Wednesday, June 23, 2021

New Statues for the Cathedral of Covington, Kentucky

Our friend Fr Jordan Hainsey has sent us some pictures of the sculptures recently added to the façade of the cathedral of his diocese, Covington, Kentucky. He writes, “On Sunday, June 6, Bishop Roger Foys and the faithful of Covington, Kentucky, blessed and dedicated 24 new statues and two tympana on the façade of the cathedral of the Assumption during Solemn Vespers of Corpus Christi. Modeled after some of France’s great Gothic churches like St Denis and Notre-Dame de Paris, the cathedral was begun in 1894 by Covington’s third bishop, Camillus Paul Maes; while much of the construction and decoration were completed by 1915, a good deal of the work envisioned by Bishop Maes remained unfinished.

World-renowned ecclesiastical artist Neilson Carlin was commissioned to design 24 statues honoring the Diocese of Covington’s parishes and institutions, and 2 tympana bas-reliefs to complete the tripart Marian schema of the portals. They are made of Bedford limestone taken from the same quarry which provided material for the original façade in 1908.

Twenty, full-round statues fill the portal jamb niches (L-R): Saints John the Baptist, Barbara, James the Greater
Agnes, William of York, Timothy
Pope Pius X, Patrick, Benedict, Joseph
Boniface, Henry, Catherine of Siena, Charles Borromeo
Augustine of Hippo, Thérèse of Liseiux, Anne
Bernard, Rose of Lima, and John the Evangelist.
Four statues fill the buttress niches (L-R): Saints Thomas More, the Apostles Paul and Peter, and Elizabeth of Hungary.
The statue of St Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, bears the likeness of the Servant of God Zita of Bourbon-Parma, the last Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary, and wife of Blessed Karl of Austria.
Two new tympana, the Annuciation and the Coronation of the Virgin, complement the central Assumption tympanum made in 1914.
The completion of the Cathedral Basilica façade by Bishop Roger J. Foys and the faithful of Covington marks a historic moment in the life of the diocese. Symbolizing the deep faith of Covington’s people, the completed façade will continue, in the words of Bishop Maes, to ‘speak for centuries to come of the love of Christ.’ ”

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