2012 Year of Women Religious at 401 E. 20th Street, Covington, KY 41014 US - Bishop Foys Announces Year of Women Religious
Bishop Foys Announces Year of Women Religious
My dear Friends:
In an address to a religious community of women in 1998 our late Holy Father, Blessed John Paul II, said: “In the variety of your charisms and vocations you are a splendid image of the Church, enriched by the Holy Spirit of the Lord with so many gifts and ministries to serve humanity evangelically. The Church expresses to you her gratitude for your consecration and for your profession of the evangelical counsels, which are a particular testimony of love.”
In this same spirit of gratitude and to honor and recognize women religious in our Diocese, I am designating the Year 2012 in the Diocese of Covington The Year of Women Religious. We will open The Year of Women Religious with a Mass celebrated at our Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 10:30 a.m. I welcome you to join me at this inaugural celebration. More details and features will be forthcoming in the Messenger.
In 1853 when Bishop George Carrell, S.J. took up his ministry in the newly created Diocese of Covington he found, within the 17,000 square miles which made up the Diocese, six parish churches, six priests and one secondary-level school staffed by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Realizing that alone he could not possibly tend to the varied spiritual and corporal needs of the people placed in his care, among other things, he set about recruiting religious orders and congregations of women to assist him. In his tenure alone, introduced to the Diocese were the Sisters of St. Benedict, the Sisters of the Poor of St. Francis from Hartwell and from Oldenburg, the Ursuline Sisters, the Visitation Sisters and the Sisters of Loretto. Each successive Bishop, including myself, has relied on these Sisters and Sisters from many other congregations to assist in answering the needs of the Diocese of Covington.
The faithful dedication and charisms of the many congregations and orders of Sisters who have served our Diocese has resulted in the establishment of schools, orphanages, a hospital, a college, and nursing and adult care centers. These ministries were administered and staffed by the Sisters. Religious women continue to be a vital part of our ministry to God’s people. Today religious women still serve in many of the apostolates begun in those early days of our Diocese as well as in new apostolates in our parishes and other institutions.
The history of our Diocese confirms that these religious women responded, sometimes against great odds and what might seem to be insurmountable hardships, with a spirit and fervor of faith that conquered obstacles that many, if not most, would not even consider to attempt. The Sisters of today continue to respond with that same zeal and that same faith, sometimes against even greater odds and even more formidable, seemingly insurmountable hardships given the growing secular and hostile environment of our society.
We are blessed to have within our Diocese five mother and provincial houses of Sisters: the Passionist Nuns, the Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery, the Sisters of Notre Dame, the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker. We thank them for their continued presence in our Diocese and for the contributions and sacrifices they continue to make for the care and welfare of our people.
I look forward with great anticipation to this Year of Women Religious and ask you to join me in praying for and thanking those who work so selflessly for our needs as the bridesmaids of Jesus Christ.
Yours devotedly in the Lord,
Most Reverend Roger J. Foys, D.D.
Bishop of Covington