Couples celebrating milestone anniversaries ‘show the way God loves’

This year, 102 couples celebrating milestone anniversaries were recognized by Bishop John Iffert. (For a list of the couples see page 13.) The Office of Catechesis and Evangelization distributed a certificate signed by Bishop Iffert to each couple honoring their 1 year, 25 years, 50 years or 60-plus years of married life. Many of these couples joined Bishop Iffert for Vespers and a blessing, Sept. 17, at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Read more on page 1:

‘To Heal, Proclaim and Teach’: a presentation for anyone wanting to bring others to Christ

In a mission to provide resources to assist catechists and teachers, David Cooley, co-director, Office of Catechesis and Evangelization, is welcoming Jared Dees for a presentation “To Heal, Proclaim and Teach,” Oct. 14, 8:30–11:30 a.m., at the Curia’s Bishop Howard Memorial Auditorium. The presentation is open to everyone. Read more on page 2:

Go forward and serve others “in truth and in constant love,” said Bishop Iffert at Mass celebrating 100 year anniversary of Covington Latin School

The afternoon of Sept. 10 brought students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption to celebrate a Mass in honor of Covington Latin School’s 100 year anniversary. Read more on page 1:

Historic first — Bishop Iffert meets with newly created Diocesan Pastoral Council

Bishop John Iffert welcomed 10 members of the newly formed Diocesan Pastoral Council for its first gathering, Sept. 9, at the Curia. The Diocesan Pastoral Council is an offshoot of the five Deanery Pastoral Councils. Read more on page 1:

Seminary Ball returns for 2023 event with new program and updates

The Seminary Ball, hosted annually in the autumn by the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Mission Services, returns Oct. 27 for its 2023 event.

Read more on page 1:

Family Faith Formation series kicks off at St. Joseph Parish, Crescent Springs

Helping parents discuss sensitive topics with their children as they grow in virtue together is one of the priorities for Father Eric Boelscher, pastor, and administrators, faculty and staff at St. Joseph Parish, Crescent Springs. Their initial effort in implementing this priority has been the organization of the St. Joseph Parish Family Faith Formation speaker series — a monthly series of five talks from experts in their field to talk with parents and to provide them with age appropriate resources to go home and begin conversations with their children.

Read more on page 1:

DPAA celebrates 2023 campaign with reception; distributes service grants

Supporters of the Diocesan Parish Annual Appeal (DPAA) gathered for a reception in the Bishop Howard Memorial Auditorium, Covington, Aug. 24, to celebrate the success of the 2023 campaign.

Read more on page 1:

Seminarians grow in love of Spanish language and culture

Hank Bischoff, Joshua Heskamp, and Michael Schulte share photos and stories of their summer Spanish immersion experience in San Antonio, Texas and Antiqua, Guatemala. Read more on page 3:


Parishes create unique Eucharistic encounters through 40 hour devotions

Laura Keener, Editor

In a recent Sunday Gospel, Peter and the other disciples are in a boat on the sea as the wind and waves are kicking up. Jesus, on the shore, proceeds to walk on the water towards them. Peter asks Jesus to call him to him. Jesus does, and Peter leaves the boat and walks on the water towards Jesus. 

“Peter wanted to have a unique encounter with Jesus,” said Father Daniel Schomaker, diocesan director, Worship and Liturgy Office. “He had to get out of the boat in order to do that. He had to get out of the safety of the boat — his comfort area — in order to have an encounter with Jesus.” 

Today, Jesus still invites his disciples — you — to a unique encounter with him in the Eucharist — communally at Mass but also individually at adoration. The Catholic Church in the United States is in the middle of a three-year Eucharistic Revival. 

This year, on the feast of Corpus Christi in June, the Eucharistic Revival transitioned from the diocesan phase to the parish phase. To help unite the parishes around the Eucharist, Bishop John Iffert, at the request of the diocesan Worship Committee, has asked pastors to host 40 Hours of continual Eucharistic adoration. (See related article page 4.) 

These 40 Hours will be scheduled sometime during the year, from now until July 2024, when the revival culminates with a Eucharistic Congress, July 17–21, 2024, at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis. Discounted tickets for the Congress are available through the diocesan Office of Worship and Liturgy; an application is online at 

St. Augustine Parish, Covington, is the second parish to honor Bishop Iffert’s request to host the 40 Hours devotion. The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington, who held 40 Hours on the feast of Corpus Christi, was the first. St. Augustine’s 40 Hours will begin Friday, August 5, 7 p.m. continuing until Sunday, Aug. 27, 5 p.m. 

Father Schomaker said that at least two people need to be present during Adoration. This, he said, can be difficult for small parishes. To help accommodate parishes, adorers from all parishes in the diocese are welcome and encouraged to volunteer for a half hour or more of adoration at as many parishes as their time allows. Adorers can reserve their time at St. Augustine’s 40 Hours by visiting the parish website, 

“40 Hours devotions are being held throughout this Parish Eucharistic Revival year at different times so that the faithful will have the opportunity in their parish and at other parishes to spend time in Eucharistic Adoration,” said Father Schomaker. “This way, it’s a parochial celebration but it’s also a diocesan celebration, because we recognize that there is one local Church, which is the Diocese of Covington.” 

Spending time in adoration may be new to some. The good news is there is no specific ritual to know, so it’s hard to do Adoration wrong. The only requirement is to come prayerfully and reverently to gaze at and listen to Jesus. 

“The beauty of the Church is that her treasure trove of prayer is vast, and there’s not one way to pray,” said Father Schomaker. “In fact, most of the time, we need to remember that prayer requires listening. Prayer is not a monologue. It is a conversation. We have to be able to hear the Lord speak back to us.” 

For anyone who likes a little structure in their prayer they are welcome to pray the rosary or the Liturgy of the Hours, or they can bring along some spiritual reading — a book of the saints or a saint, or bring a Bible. 

“St. Augustine says that the Sacred Scriptures are love letters from home. Well, let’s read the love letters from the one who loves us,” said Father Schomaker. 

The best part of Adoration is taking the time, putting oneself in the presence of the Eucharist, to have that unique encounter with Jesus. 

“Peter had to get out of the boat. Sometimes we have to do that too, to get out of our comfort zone,” said Father Schomaker. “Today, the wind and the waves are oftentimes our culture that make quiet difficult. Silence is hard because we’re surrounded by all forms of noise. Get out of the boat. Enter into the silence. Go have an encounter with Jesus.”


Teaching in Catholic schools is a vocation, preaches Father Kidaagen at diocesan teacher Mass

Maura Baker, Staff Writer

Early August means the beginning of the school year, with teachers and school administrators preparing to re-open their doors to the hundreds of diocesan students who will be returning for 2023-2024 school year. 

Educators gathered for Mass, Aug. 7, just days before the first schools were to return to session on Aug. 9. The Mass was celebrated at St. Pius X Parish, Edgewood, and celebrated by the parish’s pastor Father Baiju Kidaagen. Chaplains from schools across the Diocese of Covington concelebrated the Mass, as well. 

“Some students will be excited, others may be anxious and some might not want to come at all,” said Kendra McGuire, superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Covington as she gave opening remarks before Mass. “Our job is to invite them all with great joy and to welcome them and instill in them a wonder and curiosity about the learning that will take place in your classroom this year.” 

Mrs. McGuire continued, “Our job is to help nurture their gifts and to help them realize that God created each and every one of your students for a purpose. We have a responsibility to show them the beauty of God’s creation — to seek the truth.” 

In his homily, Father Kidaagen spoke of teaching in a Catholic school as a vocation, because “we know we cannot make it to Heaven alone and Catholic education involves all parties being united by God to a common goal, eternal life … your job is a vocation because what you are doing has not only a temporal, but also a supernatural dimension to it,” he added. 

“In your work as Catholic educators, you are asked to form young people not simply to be a successful person in this world, but to be prepared to take their place in the Kingdom of God as God’s sons and daughters. If your job is a vocation, then you proclaim in a definitive way that Jesus must be at the heartbeat of everything you teach,” he said. 

Before the closing of the Mass, the teachers in attendance rose for a commissioning by Father Kidaagen on behalf of Bishop Iffert, “No matter which subject you will teach, remember that your task as a Catholic school teacher is to teach our students love of God and love of neighbor.”

Photo: Various school teachers sing along during the Mass service.