All-schools Mass and community Christmas tree to connect students spiritually

Laura Keener, Editor.

The safety protocols necessitated to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are challenging families, schools and churches to find new and safe ways to carry on not just daily activities but also celebrate holidays this year. This Christmas will be no different. While abandoning established traditions can be disappointing, sometimes the challenge begins what is hoped will become a new tradition. Such is the case this Advent as Bishop Roger Foys contemplated how to connect with students in preparation for the celebration of Christmas.

This year, every student in the diocese will be invited to participate virtually as Bishop Foys celebrates Mass Monday, Dec. 14 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. This will be the first time during his episcopacy where every student will have the opportunity to participate at a single Mass. There is no facility in the Northern Kentucky that could accommodate the diocese’s 8,500 students along with the sacred space necessary for Mass. And while there is no replacing in-person celebration of the Mass and receiving the Eucharist, a virtual Mass with spiritual Communion does offer its own graces.

Additionally, passersby of St. Mary’s Park, Covington, may have noticed the most recent addition of 20-foot Christmas tree. The tree was erected and lighted Saturday, Dec. 5 and now stands waiting for decorations. Bishop Foys is inviting every student in the diocese to create an ornament suitable for the outdoors to be placed on the St. Mary’s Park Christmas tree.

Bishop Foys will bless and dedicate the Christmas tree during a live-streamed event Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. Covington Mayor Joseph Meyer and Kendra McGuire, superintendent of Schools, will join in the virtual community event.

“These are ways of bringing our Catholic School community together during these challenging times when our students are not able to be together in their respective schools,” said Bishop Foys.