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Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption to celebrate dedication and blessing of new facade Sunday

A historic event 113 years in the making will take place at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington Sunday as Bishop Roger Foys will bless and dedicate the Cathedral Basilica’s newly completed façade.

The event is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. and will be held outside with the portion of Covington’s Madison Ave. in front of the Cathedral Basilica (between 11th and 12th Streets) closed to traffic, allowing a vantage point for participants. Participants are invited to bring lawn chairs for the ceremony.

Distinguished guests offering remarks include Covington Mayor Joseph U. Meyer, Judge-Executive Kris Knochelmann, St. Elizabeth Healthcare President Garren Colvin and Thomas More University President Dr. Joseph Chillo.

The project includes the addition of 24 saint statues to niches along the Cathedral Basilica’s north, center and south portals and tympana above the north and south portals. The saint statues represent the patrons of the parishes and institutions of the Diocese of Covington including St. Paul, St. Peter, St. Elizabeth and St. Thomas More.

The new tympana, together with the center portal tympanum that was completed in 1917, now create a tryptic of the Catholic Church’s dogmatic teachings of Mary — the Annunciation that Mary would be the Mother of God; the Assumption of Mary to heaven; and the Coronation of Mary, Queen of the Universe.

The project completes the vision of Covington’s third bishop — Bishop Camillus Maes — who desired to build as a gift for the people of Covington a magnificent Cathedral that would “speak for centuries.”

The statues and the tympana bring the Cathedral Basilica closer in image to Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral, of which Bishop Maes modeled the exterior.

Additionally, two curated art exhibits will make their debut Sunday, June 6 and will continue to be available for viewing until June 30.

The “Speaking for Centuries” exhibit will be displayed at St. Mary Park, located directly across the street from the Cathedral Basilica on Madison Ave. It features a series of images and accompanying narratives where visitors can journey through the construction of the Cathedral Basilica. St. Mary Park is open from dawn to dusk.

A second exhibit, “Maes: The Builder,” is located inside the Cathedral Basilica at the Maes Chapel. It features a collection of personal effects that belonged to Bishop Maes including vesture and personal effects. The Cathedral Basilica is open 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Following the blessing and dedication, Stephen Enzweiler, cathedral historian, will lead a tour of the Cathedral Basilica including its new façade.

A booklet detailing the event is available online.

Diocese of Covington

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