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Bishop Roger J. Foys resigns from Diocese of Covington; Father John Iffert named Bishop-elect

After 19 years of service to the Diocese of Covington, Bishop Roger J. Foys has announced his resignation.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation and has named Father John Iffert, vicar general and moderator of the Curia, of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, to succeed Foys.

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Foys apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Covington until the consecration and installation of Bishop-elect Iffert on September 30 at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington.

Bishop Roger J. Foys (Photo from Diocese of Covington)

The changes in the Covington diocese were announced Tuesday in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio.

Bishop Foys, 75, is a native of Chicago and former vicar general for the Diocese of Steubenville, Ohio. He became Covington’s 10th bishop in 2002 upon the reassignment of the ninth bishop of the diocese, Bishop Robert Muench. In his 19 years as Bishop of Covington, Foys has ordained 42 priests for the Diocese of Covington and has revitalized Covington’s Cathedral Square. He has been a proponent of Catholic School education, especially for vulnerable families in the urban core.

“It is with gratitude to Almighty God that I welcome Very Rev. John C. Iffert as my successor as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Covington,” said Bishop Foys. “I am grateful also to our Holy Father Pope Francis for providing for the pastoral care of our Diocese by this appointment. Bishop-elect Iffert brings a wealth of pastoral and administrative experience to his episcopal ministry. He comes well-prepared to provide for the needs of our Diocese as a pastor with the heart of a shepherd.”

Bishop-elect Iffert is currently Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Bellville, Ill., appointed by Bishop Michael McGovern, Oct. 1, 2020. He is also currently pastor of St. Stephen Parish, Caseyville, Ill. On June 7, 1997, Bishop Wilton Gregory ordained Father Iffert a priest for the Diocese of Belleville. Since ordination, Father Iffert has served as pastor, administrator or parochial vicar at six parishes in the Diocese of Belleville and has served on many diocesan Councils and Boards.

Father John Iffert (Photo from Diocese of Covington)

“I am astounded and deeply grateful that Pope Francis has elected me to serve as the 11th Bishop of Covington, Ky. and called me to share in apostolic ministry,” said Bishop-elect Iffert. “I am also grateful to Bishop Roger Foys. For 19 years he has served the people of the Diocese of Covington faithfully, diligently and with a pastor’s heart for those who are hurting. I look forward to the opportunity to know Bishop Foys, to be his brother bishop and friend in Christ.”

“Bishop-elect Iffert has been an excellent priest and a dedicated pastor, and he is widely respected in our diocese,” said Bishop McGovern, Diocese of Belleville. “With his strong faith and many talents, I believe Bishop-elect Iffert will be an excellent shepherd for the people of Northern Kentucky.”

“It is with great joy that I welcome the news that our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed Father John Iffert as the next Bishop of the Diocese of Covington. He is known to have great pastoral heart as well as excellent pastoral experience in his more than two decades of service in the Diocese of Belleville,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of the Archdiocese of Louisville. “Bishop-elect Iffert is succeeding my friend and brother bishop, Bishop Roger Foys. Bishop Foys has served Northern Kentucky with great distinction, and I join with the bishops of the Province in thanking him for his leadership and collaboration. The bishops of the Province of Louisville have a great fraternity and together we welcome Bishop-elect Iffert. We promise him and Bishop Foys our prayerful support.”

The Diocese of Covington covers the 14 northernmost counties of Kentucky. It has about 92,000 Catholics in a population of more than 534,500.

The Diocese of Covington

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