Church of Our Savior

In the summer of 1943, Bishop Howard began the erection of a church and school on East Tenth Street, in Covington, to serve the Negro Catholics of the City, under the care of the pastor of St. Mary Cathedral. And until such time that other churches might be erected for the Negro people, it was to serve as a mission church for the Negro people of Northern Kentucky. At that time, two frame houses, a single family house and a two-family house on Tenth Street which had been recently purchased by the Diocese, were completely renovated to serve as a church and school respectively. The two-family house was converted into classrooms and a convent for the Sisters of Divine Providence in whose charge the school was placed. The school was finished before the church, and was opened in September, 1943, the first year maintaining an average enrollment of about sixty pupils, of whom fourteen were Catholic. Sister Francis de Sales, C.D.P., was the first Superior of the School of Our Saviour, assisted by Sister Rita Marie, C.D.P., and Sister Mary Clementia, C.D.P. 

Bishop Howard personally supervised the erection of the church and selected its name, but he did not live to dedicate the new Church of Our Saviour, his last effort in behalf of the Colored Apostolate in the Diocese. On February 11, 1944, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, less than a month after the Bishop’s death, the new church was dedicated by Right Reverend Monsignor Walter A. Freiberg, Pastor of the Cathedral. Following the dedicatory services, Monsignor Freiberg offered the first Mass in the new church for the repose of the soul of the deceased Bishop, the children of the School of Our Saviour singing the Mass. On East Tenth Street, opposite the church, a frame building was fitted up for social purposes, known as “Patrician Hall.” 

On the first anniversary of the dedication of the Church of Our Saviour, February 11, 1945, Bishop Mulloy, less than three weeks after his arrival in Covington, officiated at the anniversary ceremonies. His interest in the Colored Apostolate prompted him to expand the facilities of Our Saviour center. In 1946, a high school was begun. The increase in the size of the congregation necessitated, in 1947, the lengthening of the church. On January 28, 1947, a perpetual novena in honor of Blessed Martin de Porres was begun, with services every Tuesday evening. 

In 1947, Bishop Mulloy gave his approval for the erection of a new school building to serve the Church of Our Saviour Colored Mission. The building designed on the one floor plan, was constructed of concrete blocks, containing four large size classrooms together with other facilities. The new school was blessed by Bishop Mulloy on September 19, 1948.



excerpted fromĀ History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, on the Occasion of the Centenary of the Diocese, 1853-1953, by Rev. Paul E. Ryan