Saint John & Saint Ann
Serving the Catholic Communities of Covington Kentucky

Saint Ann
   Saint Ann Parish was first organized in 1860, the little community of West Covington, then known as Economy, had a mere 500 inhabitants.
                Before 1860, a Mr. Patrick Monahan taught catechism classes because there was no church or resident priest. Economy’s Catholics had to travel long distances to attend Mass. They went to Saint Mary’s Cathedral, then on 8th Street in Covington, or took the ferry to Saint Patrick’s Church in Cincinnati. 
                The Reverend Thomas R. Butler, pastor of the Cathedral, offered the first Mass of record in Economy. In answer to a sick call, Father Butler brought the requisites for offering Mass with him. He said Mass in the Callahan home next door to the sick person on Short John Street.
                From then until the completion of the first building of Saint Ann’s Church in 1862, Mass was said regularly in the little one-story frame cottage rented from the Burns family at the corner of Main (Parkway) and High Streets.
                Bishop Carroll of the Diocese of Covington, hesitant about sanctioning a new church, had to be convinced by a committee of Catholics from Economy that a church was needed there.
                On Sunday, June 3, 1860, in the presence of a large gathering of the faithful from Covington and Newport, Bishop Carroll laid the cornerstone for the new church. The men of the parish worked on the construction of the  first little Saint Ann’s by lantern and moonlight after working 8 to 10 hours a day at their own jobs. The raging Civil War saw distressing poverty in the parish, and completion of the building had to be postponed.

                In 1864, Bishop Carroll appointed The Reverend Adrian Egglemeers as first resident pastor. On his arrival he found few Catholics and an unfinished church. During his pastorate of 11 years, he saw the church completed as well as a rectory, Sisters’ home, and a two-story school. When he left Saint Ann’s in 1875, there was a large congregation and the parish was thriving with 150 children in the school.
                Saint Ann drew parishioners from the West End of Covington as well as Ludlow, which eventually spawned Saint Patrick’s, at 5th and Philadelphia and Saint James Parish in Ludlow.
                In 1888, a French Canadian priest, The Reverend Louis G. Clermont, arrived at Saint Ann’s. He established a shrine dedicated to Saint Ann with a relic from Rome said to be from a rock of Saint Ann’s tomb from Jerusalem.  
                This began the tradition of novenas to Saint Ann, which has continued to this day. The 9-day event begins on July 18th and on the last day, July 26TH, thousand of devotees of the Saint carry her statue and lighted candles through the streets of Covington.
                During Father Clermont’s tenure, the front wall of the school began to give way, causing much worry, concern, and expense over the years. The school was torn down to make way for a new structure dedicated in September 1908, by Bishop Maes.
                In 1910, the congregation under the direction of Reverend William B. Ryan observed the Golden Jubilee of Saint Ann Parish.    On October 1, 1917, Reverend Thomas B. Ennis succeeded Father Ryan, beginning a pastorate, which continued for twenty-three years.
                Father Thomas B. Ennis erected a new church building; its cornerstone laid on August 30, 1931, was the original cornerstone from the 1860 church. The structure was dedicated June 19, 1932.
           In November, 1940, Reverend Joseph Deimling was appointed to Saint Ann. The present school is the third built and completed June 1, 1957, and dedicated the following October. In June 1981, a decision was reached by the parishioners and the Diocese to close Saint Ann School due to declining enrollment. The children of Saint Ann continue to attend Prince of Peace School. The Saint Ann building presently houses a very fine day care facility.
      Father Lewis Jasper was named the new pastor on May 29, 1977 and undertook the renovation of the church.
    Other pastors during the years were Father Joseph Broering, Father Steinhauser, Father Rosing, Father Paul Krebs, Father Mark Steidle, Father Douglas Fortner and currently Father Michael Greer. 

Saint Ann became a mission of Saint John in 1999 the two parish’s work together to spread the good news in the city of Covington.

 

SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST

 

On December 27, 1854, the feast day of Saint John the Evangelist, a church under his patronage was solemnly dedicated to him at Leonard & Worth Streets in Covington, Kentucky.  Seventy years later in November 1924, a new Saint John Church located at 627 Pike Street would then become the gathering place for the local Catholic community to assemble in worship and profess their religious beliefs.  The present parish church, a magnificent structure of early German Gothic design, still remains the centerpiece of the Lewisburg neighborhood of Covington. 

Saint John is a monument to that heritage of which many of us are so proud.  It represents an era of immigrants who came to this country called America.  They were willing to forsake their homelands in search of a more meaningful and rewarding way of life.  The origin of Saint John with its German-Catholic influence is just one of the many Catholics parishes in Northern Kentucky whose beginnings can be attributed to a commonality of ethnic roots and religious persuasion.

Saint John is the third oldest parish in Covington.  One of the first official acts of the newly formed Diocese of Covington (1853) was to give permission to build a church in Lewisburg.  Work began on December 27, 1854.  By the turn of the century, the church, because of it's hillside location, was in need of major repairs.  The only alternative was to find a new location.  In 1908, Rev. Cammilus Maes, Bishop of the Diocese of Covington, purchased the land on Pike Street which is the present site of Saint John.

The school building was the first to be erected and served as church, school, rectory and nun's convent.  It was dedicated in 1914.  Rev. Anthony Goebel who was assigned as pastor in 1909, continued as pastor for forty five years until his death in 1954.

In 1922, ,ground was broken for a new church and a new rectory.  It was dedicated on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1924.

The style of the church is German Gothic.  The proportions are of the old masters of Medieval Architecture.  The height of the steeple corresponds to the length of the church, both measuring 163 feet.  The interior has a beautifully arched wooden ceiling and altars cut from Italian marble.  The stained glass windows were designed by the Art Glass Firm of Dr. Oidtmann, Linnich, Germany.  The seven windows in the sanctuary depict major events documented in the Old and New Testaments.  At the right side of the front entrance is a niche which contains a statue of the Pieta, a copy of the masterpiece in the Cathedral of Muenster in Westphalia.  The church bells are a exact reproduction of the bells in the Cathedral Aix-la-Chapelle in Aachen, Germany.  The installation of the pipe organ was completed in 1934.  The church is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.In December, 1963, Monsignor Edward Fedders, a member of the Marynoll Order was elevated to the rank of Bishop.  He was a son of Saint John Parish and remains the only native son to date of the Diocese of Covington to be consecrated as a Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.

In 1986, Saint John merged with three other local parishes to become a Diocesan District  school.  The name was changed to Prince of Peace.  In July, 1999, Saint Ann of West Covington became a mission of Saint John's.

Today, Saint John continues to provide spiritual and social guidance to the community as it has for the last one hundred and fifty years.