His Excellency Roger J. Foys, bishop of the Diocese of Covington, Ky., offered the commencement address to 17 graduates during Saint Vincent Seminary’s 163rd commencement exercises. Foys also received an honorary doctor of divinity degree as part of the ceremony.
During his address, Foys urged the graduates, which included both ordination and lay students, to let their lights shine. “We live in what is sometimes a very dark world. A world of death and darkness,” Foys said. “Jesus calls us to be both light and life.”
“Our light must shine before others,” he continued, adding, “ours is a light that is meant to illuminate the path for others.”
Referring to the 200th anniversary of the birth of Saint Vincent founder Boniface Wimmer, O.S.B., Foys remarked that Wimmer let his light shine.
“Boniface was faced with many a trial, many a challenge, many a dilemma,” Foys said. “With the light of Christ, he was able to overcome those trials, challenges, and dilemmas, because his faith was strong, and because his light was bright.”
“As you graduate,” Foys concluded, “wherever the future may take you, may your light shine, so that others, seeing your good deeds, may give glory to God.”
Foys has served as the Bishop of Covington since 2002. He has been recognized for the courage and directness with which he has faced tough and sensitive pastoral issues, and for his leadership in planning for the future of the Diocese of Covington. He serves the Church on a national level as a member of the Pastoral Practices Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and was on the USCCB Institute on Religious Life Committee. He is also the Episcopal Liaison to the Catholic Facilities Manager Group. He is a member of the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary, and the Board of Trustees of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is the Chancellor of Thomas More College in the Diocese of Covington.
Among his memberships are the Canon Law Society of America, National Catholic Stewardship Conference, Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development and the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators.
The Diocese of Covington, established July 29, 1853, comprises 14 counties in the northern and eastern areas of Kentucky. It has a Catholic population of about 90,000 in a total population of about 452,000.