Diocese to celebrate awarding of pontifical honors

Laura Keener, Editor.

“If one part of the body suffers, all parts suffer with it; if one part is honored, all the parts share its joy.” (1 Cor. 12:26)

The Diocese of Covington has cause for joy as Pope Francis bestowed pontifical honors on 31 of its priests, religious and laity. Earlier this year, Bishop Roger Foys had requested that these individuals be honored and was recently notified of the Holy Father’s acceptance.

“The giving of papal honors is a time honored tradition of the Church. Following that time honored tradition we chose a broad spectrum of people who have contributed a wonderful service to the Church and by extension to the Holy Father,” said Bishop Foys in an interview about the announcement. “There are so many people in the diocese over the 165 years of its existence who have done remarkable work for the Church. When we work together as one we are always much stronger.”

Two honors have been awarded: the title “Chaplain to His Holiness” and “The Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” (“For the Church and the Pontiff).

Chaplain to His Holiness (monsignor) is an honor bestowed upon priests who have distinguished themselves in service and ministry to the Church and who are at least 65 years of age. The Holy Father has granted four diocesan priests the title “monsignor” — Msgr. Ronald Ketteler, Msgr. Gerald Reinersman, Msgr. Gerald Twaddell and Msgr. Daniel Vogelpohl.

The Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice is a papal award bestowed on clergy, religious and lay faithful in recognition of distinguished service given to the Church. Pope Leo XIII, in marking his 50th priestly jubilee, established the award in 1888. He did not intend for it to be a long-standing award but it has since become part of Church tradition. Two priests, one deacon, nine women religious and 16 lay men and women will receive the award. They are: Father Ryan Maher, V.G.; Father Daniel Schomaker, V.G.; Sister Janet Bucher, C.D.P.; Sister Celeste Marie Downes, S.J.W.; Mother Margaret Mary Fields, C.P.; Sister Marla Monahan, S.N.D.; Sister Fran Moore, C.D.P.; Mother Mary Christina Murray, S.J.W.; Sister Mary Ethel Parrott, S.N.D.; Sister Marget Stallmeyer, C.D.P; Sister Mary Catherine Wenstrup, O.S.B.; Mary Brown; William and Anne Burleigh; William and Sue Butler; Charlie and Mary Sue Deters; Timothy Fitzgerald; Deacon Gerald Franzen; Mark and Casey Guilfoyle; Berry Mang; Clare Quigley; Karen Riegler; Clare Ruehl and Margaret Schack. Each of these honorees will receive metal cross bearing the images of St. Paul and St. Peter suspended from a yellow and white ribbon.

The Diocese of Covington will host an investiture ceremony for the monsignors and The Cross will be distributed to honorees at a ceremony Sunday, Sept. 27, 2 p.m., at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington. Due to capacity restrictions the event will be ticketed. The general public is invited to join the celebration online as it is live streamed on the Cathedral website, www.covcathedral.com. The ceremony will be recorded for future viewing.

“This honor is a celebration for the Diocese of Covington, certainly for these individuals and their families, to highlight the good work that they have done for the Church, most often unrecognized and quietly,” said Bishop Foys.