Speaking for Centuries


About Bishop Maes

Portrait of the Rt. Rev. Camillus Paul Maes, D.D., shortly after becoming Third Bishop of Covington. Archives of the Diocese of Covington.A native of Courtrai, West Flanders, Belgium, Camillus Paul Maes was born on March 13, 1846. While studying in a Belgian seminary, Camillus Paul decided to dedicate himself to the American missions.
Father Maes was ordained on December 19, 1868, in Belgium. He arrived in the United States on May 9, 1869, and began his ministry in the Diocese of Detroit.
While serving in Detroit, Father Maes wrote a biography of the Rev. Charles Nerinckx, pioneer priest of Kentucky and co- founder of the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross in Marion County, Kentucky.
In 1880, Father Maes was appointed Chancellor of the Detroit Diocese.
Father Maes was officially appointed Bishop of Covington on October 1, 1884, the first diocesan priest in Detroit to be elevated to that rank. Archbishop William Elder of Cincinnati performed the consecration on January 25, 1885, at St. Mary Cathedral in Covington.
During his long tenure in Covington, Bishop Maes was responsible for erecting the present Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption on Madison Avenue.
Bishop Maes departed this world on May 11, 1915, and was laid to rest at St. Mary Cemetery in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky.

Featured Stories

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 […]

Part II: Amid great trials, Bishop Maes built a cathedral to ‘speak for centuries to come’

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 […]

The interior of St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1888, just three years after Maes became Bishop of Covington. Archives of the Diocese of Covington.

Part I: From the beginning, Camillus P. Maes seemed destined to become Covington’s shepherd

The little girl’s gift that built a cathedral

On a warm summer afternoon in the late 1880’s, a little girl walked up to the front door of the residence of the Bishop of Covington and rang the bell …

Bishop Maes Motto: The Cross is my Leader

Watch the Funeral Mass live, Oct. 26, 10 a.m.

About the Project

A Prayer for Bishop Maes

A Prayer for Bishop Maes

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the soul of your departed servant Bishop Camillus, to whom you committed the care of your family, may, with the manifold fruit of his labors, enter into the eternal gladness of his Lord.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Clay mold of sarcophagus

Clay mold of sarcophagus

A clay mold of the sarcophagus of Bishop Maes created by Liturgical Arts Studio, Philadelphia. The finished sarcophagus will be crafted from white marble and placed in a newly created mausoleum in the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, Covington.

Completed sarcophagus

Completed sarcophagus

The lid of the sarcophagus features a hand-carved white marble effigy depicting Bishop Maes, in full pontificals, lying in repose.

Mausoleum Vault

Mausoleum Vault

The entire tomb sits beneath a starry vault, reminding God’s Pilgrim People that our ultimate goal is Heaven.