US: A New Bishop for Covington, Kentucky

Father John Iffert, a Priest of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois

Covington Kentucky
Bishop-Elect Iffert - photo, Diocese of Belleville

Pope Francis today appointed Father John Iffert, a priest of the Diocese of Belleville as the bishop-elect of the Diocese of Covington in Kentucky. The appointment comes after Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Roger J. Foys, 75.

Bishop-elect Iffert, 53, has served as the Vicar General of the Diocese of Belleville since 2020. He is also currently the diocesan Moderator of the Curia and Pastor of St. Stephen Parish in Caseyville.

“I am astounded and deeply grateful that Pope Francis has elected me to serve as the eleventh Bishop of Covington, Kentucky,” wrote Iffert in a letter to the faithful of southern Illinois. “I am inspired by Pope Francis’ vision of a Church so deeply rooted in a relationship with Christ that we accompany the outcast, tend the wounded, mourn with the brokenhearted and rejoice and give thanks in every circumstance, and so carry out Jesus’ mission of evangelization.”

A native of DuQuoin, Bishop-elect Iffert is the youngest of John and Mary Iffert’s three children. He grew up on the family farm on the outskirts of DuQuoin and attended Sacred Heart School and DuQuoin High School.

He holds a degree in political science and economics from Illinois State University. In August 1992 he entered Mundelein Seminary where he earned a bachelor’s degree of Sacred Theology and a Master of Divinity degree. On June 7, 1997 Bishop Wilton Gregory ordained Iffert a priest of the Diocese of Belleville.

After ordination to the priesthood, Iffert served as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Columbia, St. Mary Parish in Mt. Vernon, and St. Barbara Parish in Scheller.

Additional diocesan responsibilities have included membership on the College of Consultors, the Priest Personnel Board, and the Diocesan Finance Council.

“Bishop-elect Iffert is an excellent priest and a dedicated pastor, and he is widely respected in our diocese” wrote Belleville Bishop Michael McGovern in a letter to the faithful. “With his strong faith and many talents, I believe Bishop-elect Iffert will be an excellent shepherd for the people of northern Kentucky.”

Bishop-elect Iffert will be ordained and installed as the eleventh Bishop of Covington on September 30 in the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption. He succeeds Bishop Roger Foys who is retiring after leading the diocese since 2002.

Established in 1853, the Diocese of Covington encompasses the City of Covington and the counties of northern Kentucky. The diocese has 48 parishes and approximately 90,000 Catholics within 3,358 square miles.