For a limited time — exhibits on Cathedral campus celebrate façade dedication

Curated by Father Jordan Hainsey

In celebration of the dedication of St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica façade on Sunday, June 6, two temporary exhibits entitled “Speaking for Centuries” and “Maes: The Builder” will open on the Cathedral campus and remain on view through June 30. Additionally, following the façade dedication Stephen Enzweiler, Cathedral historian, will lead a guided tour of the Cathedral including the newly added statues and tympana.

“Speaking for Centuries” — St. Mary’s Park
A series of images and accompanying narrative will transform St. Mary’s Park into an outdoor gallery where visitors can journey through the construction of the Cathedral Basilica.

Using archival photos in vivid detail, visitors will be able to see the original 1845 Cathedral, the building process of the 1894 Cathedral and façade begun by Bishop Camillus Paul Maes, and the 1901 Cathedral interior.

Visitors will also be able to learn about the impetus for the completion of the façade by Bishop Roger J. Foys and the 24 statues and two tympana that now grace the exterior. A series of images will highlight the design phase and work of the new statues and tympana by Cathedral façade statuary artist Neilson Carlin. From gestural drawings, to sketches, to the clay model, and finally stone, visitors will be able to explore the artist’s creative process from start to finish.

Self-guide tour. St. Mary’s Park is located on Madison Ave., Covington, across the street from the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and is open dawn to dusk.

“Maes: The Builder” — Cathedral Basilica
Displayed at the Maes Chapel inside the Cathedral Basilica, visitors will be able to view a collection of personal effects that belonged to Bishop Camillus Paul Maes.

From vesture, to his pectoral cross, ring and eye glasses, the awe-inspiring display will work to bring the cathedral visionary to life.

Visitors may also view the trowel used at the Cathedral’s cornerstone laying ceremony in 1910, and the formal wear of the young trainbearer to Bishop Maes worn during liturgical ceremonies.

For Cathedral hours and liturgy times, visit: covcathedral.com.

Transitional diaconate ordination of A.J. Gedney

By the laying on of hands and through the power of the Holy Spirit, Bishop Roger Foys ordained A.J. Gedney a deacon for the Diocese of Covington.

Laura Keener, Editor.

Compared to last year’s ordinations with no congregation, the reduced capacity congregation at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, March 28, felt like a full house as Bishop Roger Foys ordained Alexander (A.J.) Gedney to the transitional diaconate.

Family and friends, including educators from Deacon Gedney’s alma mater, St. Henry District High School, showed their prayerful support as he made the diaconate promises of celibacy, prayer and obedience. Deacon Gedney is a seminarian for the Diocese of Covington and his diaconate ordination is a step on his formation to the priesthood.

In his homily, Bishop Foys reminded the congregation that even during those early days of the pandemic, when the public celebration of the Mass was suspended — the life of the Church continued.

“We still celebrated Mass and live-streamed it on the internet. We still celebrated the Eucharist. We still baptize, we still anoint people who are near death, couples still get married, I still confirm and administer the sacrament of confirmation and I still ordain,” Bishop Foys said. “The essence of our faith and the sacramental life of the Church has not changed; that should give us great comfort and consolation, that there is something in our life that does not change, that is constant upon which we can rely.”

The readings for today’s ordination Mass, Bishop Foys said, were chosen specifically for the celebration. The first reading is from the book of the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 61:1–3)

“‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me … to bring glad tidings to the lowly and to heal the broken hearted.’ The minister of God’s word is to bring glad tidings and to heal the brokenhearted,” Bishop Foys said.

The second reading, from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2 Cor 4:1–7), instructs God’s ministers not to be discouraged.

“During this year there was more than enough discouragement to go around, but Paul says this ministry is given to us through the mercy of God and so we are not discouraged,” said Bishop Foys. “The ministry we have, the ministry into which A.J. will be ordained today, is given to us through the mercy of God, he is its author and therefore we are not to be discouraged. ‘For we do not preach ourselves but Jesus Christ as Lord.’ That is key. Every minister indeed preaches Jesus Christ as Lord and master of us all, then the words he says are the words of the Lord.”

St. Paul also talks about the paradox of ministry, that “this treasure is held in earthen vessels.”

“Earthen vessels — I think that’s a wonderful image that Paul uses,” said Bishop Foys. “This treasure that we preach and teach in Jesus’ name … the Gospel message, the good news … we hold it in earthen vessels and so we must be so careful … it can shatter. We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, why? So that the surpassing power may be from God, not from us, it’s not about us … it’s all about Jesus and bringing the message of Jesus to his people.”

In the Gospel reading from St. Matthew, Jesus tells his apostles that they are “the salt of the earth” and “the light of the world.” (Matt 5:13–16)

“Then Jesus says, and this is very dear to me because it is the motto I chose, ‘your light must shine before others,’ he said, ‘that they might see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.’ Again, not for oneself, no, but so that others may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. It is all about giving the Lord the glory, giving the Lord the praise,” Bishop Foys said.

These readings, Bishop Foys said, offer good meditations for every ordained minister. “Today, it is for A. J. Gedney to thing about and to pray about.”

Bishop Foys ended his homily with words of congratulations and gratitude.

“We give thanks to God that A.J. heard the Lord’s call and then answered it … I can safely say that we are all here to pledge to you our prayers and our support, that you live day by day, year by year, decade by decade, the ministry entrusted to you.”

On the solemnity of St. Joseph, bishop encourages all to be ‘doers’ of God’s will

On the solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, Bishop Roger Foys incenses the newly erected St. Joseph altar at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. This statue of St. Joseph is significant to the Cathedral and the Diocese of Covington because it stood in the diocese’s first Cathedral, built by the diocese’s first bishop, Bishop George Carrell, S.J., in 1854.

Laura Keener, Editor.

This year’s solemnity of St. Joseph, March 19, carried a particularly celebratory tone in the Diocese of Covington as the Year of St. Joseph begins to unfold like an Easter lily — a common symbol for the saint. With his apostolic letter “Patris corde” (With a Father’s Heart), Pope Francis declared Dec. 8, 2020 through Dec. 8, 2021 the Year of St. Joseph, in honor of the 150th anniversary of Blessed Pope Pius IX’s declaring St. Joseph patron of the Universal Church. Pope Pius IX also has a special tie to the diocese — he established the Diocese of Covington in 1853.

“St. Joseph is an interesting personage in our salvation history and in the establishment of the Church,” Bishop Roger Foys said in his homily during Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption on the solemnity.

St. Joseph is mentioned in only two of the four Gospels — Matthew and Luke — and not one word is recorded in all of Scriptures attributed to St. Joseph, Bishop Foys noted.

“Where do we find a place for St. Joseph? He wasn’t a prophet or a patriarch or an apostle or the Blessed Mother. Where is his place?” Bishop Foys asked.

To find the answer, Bishop Foys said, one needs to look at what Scripture says St. Joseph does.

“St. Joseph was, we are told, a just man, a humble man, a compassionate man and deeply religious man. He was obedient to God’s will for him,” said Bishop Foys, highlighting the three times that an angel instructed St. Joseph in his dreams to care for the Holy Family.

The first was to assure Joseph of Mary’s chastity, instructing him to take Mary and the baby she was carrying into his home. In a second dream, the angel instructs Joseph to take Mary and the baby Jesus and flee to Egypt to avoid the wrath of King Harrod. In the third dream, the angel assures Joseph that King Harrod has died and it is now safe to return to Nazareth. On all three occasions, Joseph does as he is instructed.

“Joseph is always in the background but he is there,” Bishop Foys said, “Two thousand years later we celebrate in a solemn way this man who was chosen to be the foster father of Jesus, who was chosen to care for the Holy Family, to look after their needs, to protect them.”

In addition to patron of the Universal Church, St. Joseph is also patron of many circumstances and causes. One of those titles, highlighted in a jeweled glass window in the Cathedral Basilica, is patron of a Happy Death.

“We have a window here with Mary and Jesus standing at his death bed. Joseph is therefore referred to as the patron of a Happy Death — to have died with Jesus and the Mother of God at his side,” Bishop Foys said.

In his apostolic letter, Pope Francis said that his desire to declare a year honoring St. Joseph grew during this time of pandemic. Bishop Foys read an excerpt from “Patris corde”: “My desire to do so increased during these months of pandemic, when we experienced, amid the crisis, how our lives are woven together and sustained by ordinary people, people often overlooked. People who do not appear in newspaper and magazine headlines, or on the latest television show, yet in these very days are surely shaping the decisive events of our history. Doctors, nurses, storekeepers and supermarket workers, cleaning personnel, caregivers, transport workers, men and women working to provide essential services and public safety, volunteers, priests, men and women religious, and so very many others. They understood that no one is saved alone … How many people, daily, exercise patience and offer hope, taking care to spread not panic, but shared responsibility. How many fathers, mothers, grandparents and teachers are showing our children, in small everyday ways, how to accept and deal with a crisis by adjusting their routines, looking ahead and encouraging the practice of prayer. How many are praying, making sacrifices and interceding for the good of all. Each of us can discover in Joseph – the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence – an intercessor, a support and a guide in times of trouble. St. Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all.”

“That’s how our Holy Father introduces this year of St. Joseph, a man who led a hidden life but who was so much a part of the lives of Mary and Jesus and who is so much a part of our life,” Bishop Foys said. “It also tells us that no one — no one — is insignificant … God gives each of us our own role to play in this world, in this Church, in our community. We don’t have to have our name up in lights, or be on the front cover of a tabloid or the lead story on a news show — no! St. Joseph led a hidden life, most of us will lead hidden lives — it is what we are called to do.

“Do – ahah!” exclaimed Bishop Foys. “Joseph … he wasn’t a talker, he was a doer. So we celebrate today the Solemnity of St. Joseph, we thank God for giving us the gift of St. Joseph who took care of the Blessed Mother and the Son of God and who takes care of us.”

 

Traveling Relic of Saint Joseph Parish Schedule

2021

  1. Saint Edward (Harrison) March 13-14
  2. St. Francis Xavier (Pendleton) March 20-21
  3. St. Augustine (Augusta, Bracken) March 27-28
  4. Saint James (Bracken) April 3-4
  5. St. Rose of Lima (Mason) April 10-11
  6. St. Charles Borromeo (Flemingsburg) April 17-18
  7. St. Patrick (Mason) April 24-25
  8. Holy Redeemer (Lewis) May 1-2
  9. Sts. Peter and Paul (Campbell) May 8-9
  10. St. Mary of the Assumption (Campbell) May 15-16
  11. St. Joseph (Cold Spring) May 22-23
  12. St. John the Baptist Wilder (Campbell) May 29-30
  13. St. Thomas (Campbell) June 5-6
  14. St. Catherine of Siena (Campbell) June 12-13
  15. St. Bernard (Campbell) June 19-20
  16. Divine Mercy (Campbell) June 26-27
  17. St. Philip (Campbell) July 3-4
  18. St. Joseph, Camp Springs (Campbell) July 10-11
  19. St Therese (Campbell) July 17-18
  20. Holy Spirit (Campbell) July24-25
  21. Our Savior (Kenton) July 31-August 1
  22. Mother of God (Kenton) August 7-8
  23. St. John the Evangelist and St. Anne Mission August 14-15
  24. Sts. Boniface and James August 21-22
  25. St. Agnes (Kenton) August 28-29
  26. Our Lady of Lourdes September 4-5
  27. Blessed Sacrament (Kenton) September 11-12
  28. St. Joseph Cresent Springs (Kenton) September 18-19
  29. Mary, Queen of Heaven (Boone) September 25-26
  30. Cristo Rey October 2-3
  31. St. Henry (Kenton) October 9-10
  32. St. Paul (Boone) October 16-17
  33. IHM (Boone) October 23-24
  34. St. Timothy (Boone) October 30-31
  35. All Saints (Boone) November 6-7
  36. St. Joseph, Warsaw (Gallatin) November 13-14
  37. St. Edward Mission (Owen) November 20-21
  38. Transfiguration Mission (Owen) November 27-28
  39. St. John the Evangelist Carrollton (Carroll) December 4-5
  40. St. William and St. John Mission December 11-12
  41. St. Matthew (Kenton) December 18-19
  42. St. Patrick (Kenton) December 25-26

2022

  1. St. Cecilia (Kenton) January 1-2
  2. St. Pius (Kenton) January 8-9
  3. St. Barbara (Kenton) January 15-16
  4. St. Anthony (Kenton) January 22-23
  5. Holy Cross (Kenton) January 29-30
  6. St. Benedict (Kenton) January February 5-6
  7. St. Augustine, Covington (Kenton) February 12-13
  8. Cathedral (Kenton) February 19-20

Fifth grade teacher – Saint Agnes School

Saint Agnes School, a K-8 school in Fort Wright, Kentucky is currently seeking a fifth-grade teacher for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year. This individual is responsible for creating engaging and interactive lessons for Math, ELA, and Social Studies.  Other beneficial attributes include strong classroom management, integration of technology, and a willingness to collaborate.  This is a full-time, contracted teaching position.  Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and references to Principal Erin Redleski at [email protected] and to Judy Pieper, assistant principal, at [email protected].

 

In gratitude, Bishop Maes entombed at cathedral

Laura Keener, Editor.

On the day Bishop Camillus Paul Maes was buried, May 15, 1915, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recorded the weather for that day, “Heavy rain throughout the morning and into the afternoon, clearing about 3 p.m.; the wind will be from the east at 6 miles per hour.” The temperature at the time of the funeral was 64 degrees.

“Yesterday’s forecast for today was from the National Weather Service,” said Bishop Roger Foys, Oct. 26, at the requiem Mass and entombment of Bishop Maes. “‘Heavy rain throughout the morning and into the late evening. The wind will be from the east at 6 to 10 miles per hour and the high is forecast to be 64 degrees.’ I would say that I think that Bishop Maes is pleased.”

Nearly 700 people attended the requiem Mass and entombment of Covington’s third bishop — Camillus Paul Maes — at St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Bishop Maes was the longest serving bishop of the Diocese of Covington (1885–1915). It was his leadership that built the Cathedral.

In fulfilling Bishop Maes’ wish, and in gratitude for Bishop Maes’ impact and contributions to the Church in Northern Kentucky, Bishop Foys has brought Bishop Maes home to the Cathedral he loved. The former baptistery, located under the choir loft, has been transformed into the Maes Chapel and Bishop Maes has been entombed in a marble sarcophagus bearing his image.

Bishop Foys was the main celebrant of the solemn ceremony with retired Bishop Robert Muench, the ninth bishop of the Diocese of Covington, concelebrating, along with over 60 diocesan priests. The procession consisted of about 100 people — about 40 deacons, the diocese’s 13 seminarians, Dominicans from St. Gertrude Monastery and representatives from the Knights of Malta, Knights and Dames of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. John and the Catholic Order of Foresters.

They passed the casket containing Bishop Maes’ remains. Lying on the casket were symbols of the episcopacy — a white miter and a purple stole. At the foot of the casket, the Book of the Gospels was opened to the passage of “The Conversion of St. Paul.” During the ordination of a bishop The Book of the Gospels is held over the head of the bishop-elect until the prayer of consecration is completed. Paul is Bishop Maes’ middle name and St. Paul is the patron of the Diocese of Covington.

Around the casket were six lighted candles. The candles were made of unbleached beeswax — the same type of candles that would have been used to surround Bishop Maes’ casket in 1915.

Bishop Foys began his homily reflecting on the Gospel reading from St. John, “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” (12:23-26)

“Not just physical dying but also dying to our own ambitions, dying to our own will, dying to our own selfishness … giving our talents, our gifts,” Bishop Foys said. “A meaningful life is a life lived in service to others. A meaningful life is a life lived in the faith.”

He told those present that Bishop Maes would be happy they were here. His homily then shifted to Bishop Maes, painting a picture of the diocese the young bishop inherited and of Bishop Maes’ commitment to unity and of his love for the people of Covington.

“It wasn’t an easy time for him when he first came to the diocese,” Bishop Foys said. “The diocese was relatively young — only 32 years old … with a huge territory, very few priests, six churches, a lot of ministry to be done, a lot of work. It could never have been accomplished unless those who were in the ministry and those they served were willing to come together for one common cause — to bring the Gospel of Christ to life and light to their friends and to their neighbors.”

Bishop Maes inherited a diocese with crushing debt. When Covington’s first bishop, Bishop George Carrell, came to the diocese there was not a cathedral. He built one but was unable to pay for it. Bishop Foys read excerpts from correspondences Bishop Carrell had sent to the Vatican.

“In a letter to Rome he wrote, and this is sad, ‘I sometimes have to leave my house and go to the country to avoid my debtors.’ Another letter to the Propagation of the Faith says, ‘Perhaps you were too hasty in making Covington a diocese … I don’t think its priests or its people want a diocese or a bishop,’” Bishop Foys said.

Bishop Augustus Toebbe, the second bishop of Covington, “inherited the same cross that Bishop Carrell carried,” Bishop Foys said. “Both bishops worked as hard as they could to bring the Gospel to the people, to proclaim the Gospel, to bring the faith to all those they met.”

The other big challenge was what Bishop Maes referred to as “the narrow vision of parishes.” The priests and people of the diocese did not see themselves as part of a diocesan local Church, but instead focused on their own parishes — their own problems, their own concerns.

“He (Bishop Maes) declared, ‘The narrow vision of the parishes will now be obsolete. We are one Church. We are one local Church. This portion of the Kingdom of God known as the Diocese of Covington.’ And that is why he would be happy to see all of you here today — to see all the priests here — at the Mother Church of the Diocese of Covington. Yes, from individual parishes but coming together as one people of God — the local Church,” Bishop Foys said.

Bishop Foys said that to a great extent Bishop Maes succeeded in unifying the priests and people of the diocese.

“If he were not he would never had been able to build this beautiful Cathedral,” Bishop Foys said. “He had faith. He had faith in God, he had faith in himself, but most of all he had faith in God’s people. He had faith in God’s people that they would come together — that they would realize that they are the local Church; they would realize that something like this gives honor and glory not to the bishop, or to the priests or religious, but to all of God’s people. This Cathedral stands not as a testimony to one man or one people or one age it stands as a testimony as a witness to faith in God. It is literally a concrete sign of the faith of the people of this local Church known as the Diocese of Covington — people coming together with one mind, one heart and one faith.”

In closing Bishop Foys recounted the final days of Bishop Maes’ life. Seven years before his death Bishop Maes was diagnosed with diabetes. At that time, insulin had not yet been discovered. The only treatment for diabetes was a strict carbohydrate-free diet. Bishop Maes suffered greatly; walking was extremely difficult although he often refused assistance.

Bishop Foys said, that when he was told that he only had a few months to live, Bishop Maes said, “God’s will be done.”

He then entered a period of self-imposed seclusion saying to the sisters at the hospital, “I wish to see no one but to be alone with God. Tell my best friends to pray for me; especially have the children in school pray for me.”

Bishop Foys said that he then received extreme unction and holy Viaticum. The next day he dictated messages to his friends and relatives in Belgium and to his priests and to the people of the Diocese of Covington. A week before he died he said to a caller, “When I am gone I hope my people will remember me and will pray for me.”

“It’s hard not to remember him,” said Bishop Foys. “I remember him every time I walk into this Cathedral church and today we gather to pray for him. I think we can agree, by his life and certainly by this magnificent tribute to God, he has left a legacy — a legacy of devotion to God’s people, of untiring ministry and compassion and love.”

Bishop Maes’ last recorded words before he died were, “This has been a quiet, peaceful, restful day. I feel that I have done good work. I am ready to go home.”

Bishop Foys concluded his homily saying, “While we pray here today for Bishop Camillus Maes, we pray also for all those who have gone before us, those who have sacrificed and lived their faith in so many ways and we pray for those who continue to do that to this very day.

“Sometimes we see dark days in our lives, in our country, in our world and even, unfortunately, in our Church, but we must never lose sight that Jesus Christ is in our midst. He lives in every one of our churches, he is present in the Eucharist, he is present in the chapel and he is present in each other. Thank you for coming today for fulfilling the third bishop’s dream of coming home.”

Bishop Maes funeral Mass is an historic event

Messenger staff report.

An historic event will be held at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington, 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 26. On that day the funeral Mass and entombment of the diocese’s third bishop, Bishop Camillus Paul Maes, will be held.

Bishop Roger Foys will be the celebrant. A walking historical tour of the Cathedral will be given following the Mass. Invitations went out last week to all the people of the diocese.

It was through the vision and vigor of Bishop Maes that the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption was built. Records show that Bishop Maes built Covington’s Mother Church as gift to the city of Covington as a token of his affection and as a monument to speak for centuries to come of the love of Christ, for “indeed, the message of the Cathedral is the message of Christ himself.”

Bringing Bishop Maes home to the church he loved and built is a “monument of gratitude” for his contributions to the Church in Northern Kentucky.

The former baptistery — now a prayer space located under the choir loft — has been transformed into a mausoleum. Bishop Maes, who last month was exhumed from St. Mary Cemetery, Ft. Mitchell, will be entombed in the mausoleum. The new tomb of Bishop Maes features a sarcophagus of white and green marble, similar to the cathedral’s marble work. The lid features a hand carved white marble effigy depicting Bishop Maes lying in repose.

Bishop Maes was the longest serving bishop of the Diocese of Covington (1885–­1915).

For more information click here.