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COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) -
A Mass of Christian burial was held Friday for Bishop William A. Hughes, who as the Diocese of Covington's eighth Bishop led the "People of God" from 1979-1995.
Hughes died Feb. 7 at Carmel Manor in Ft. Thomas.
His funeral was held at the Cathedral Basilica, with Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville as the principal celebrant. Most Rev. Robert N. Lynch, former General Secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and currently Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, will give the homily. The public is welcome.
The Bishop Emeritus of the diocese was 91 years old.
Bishop Hughes resided at Carmel Manor in Ft. Thomas since 2004.
His leadership of the Covington Diocese, under the episcopal motto "To Serve, Not Be Served," was greatly influenced by the directions of the Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965.
He established the Diocesan Pro-Life Commission (now the Pro-Life Office), Diocesan Communications Office, the Development Office (now the Stewardship and Missions Office) which organized the first Diocesan Annual Appeal in 1984; the Cathedral Foundation, the Committee for Continuing Education of Clergy, and the Lay Personnel Pension Plan administrative commission, among other initiatives. In 1982 the diocese joined the Kentucky Council of Churches.
During his tenure five new parishes and five new missions, most in eastern Kentucky, were established. In northern Kentucky he re-established Our Savior Parish in Covington as a parish (1981) and created St. Timothy Parish, Union (1989).
In 1982 Bishop Hughes issued a pastoral statement entitled "A Vision of Church," to encourage more active participation of lay people in the Church. The pastoral stressed the importance of priests, religious and lay people working together. In 1985 Bishop Hughes issued a second pastoral, "Not Lords, But Servants." Its theme was the need for people of the Church to share responsibilities set forth in the Gospels. In 1992 Bishop Hughes, along with Kentucky's other Bishops, issued "Reverence for Life—The Pursuit of Justice."
Hughes was born in 1921 in Youngstown, Ohio. After preparing for the priesthood at seminaries in Baltimore and Cleveland, he was ordained in 1946. He served as assistant pastor at parishes in the Youngstown Diocese from 1946-1955 and also was a faculty member at two high schools.
"We commend our brother, Bishop William Hughes, to the loving care of our Heavenly Father," said Bishop Roger Foys, current Bishop of the Diocese of Covington. "After having served the Church as a priest for 66 years and a bishop for 38 years, 16 of those years as Bishop of Covington, he has now gone home to God."