Holiness. Helping. Hospitality. Healing


St. Agnes Chapel and School began at the same time in 1930. The school was started in the first week of September 1930 under the direction of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The first mass was celebrated in the chapel, a frame building, on the north end of the property, on October 5th, 1930. Msgr. Gerhard Geisen, the Chancellor of the diocese, organized the parish. The land for St. Agnes came as donated and purchased property from August Knochelman and is about 11 acres. The bell for the chapel was donated by the City of Covington and was the bell from the Twelfth Street firehouse.

The chapel was established as a chapel annex to St. Mary Cathedral and a series of assistant pastors of the Cathedral served as Curates under the direction of the rector of the Cathedral.

The students of St. Agnes School in the early years attended classes in houses on the property and at St. Joseph Heights.

The congregation grew rapidly and, in 1938, construction was started on the current St. Agnes church building. The church building was completed and formally dedicated in 1939 by Bishop Howard. The school grew rapidly also and, in 1941, a frame building with four classrooms and a large basement recreation area was built just behind the new church building. This was to be a temporary school building until a larger, more permanent building would be needed.

On August 9th, 1954 Bishop Mulloy issued a decree establishing St. Agnes as a parish separate from the Cathedral. The name of the parish was changed from St. Agnes Chapel to St. Agnes Church. Msgr. Charles A. Towell was appointed the first pastor.

The school enrollment was increasing rapidly and, with the increased number of students, a larger school was needed. Ground was broken in 1955 for the new school building. A new rectory was also added to accommodate the additional clergy assigned to the growing parish. The rectory was completed in the spring of 1956, and the school was completed and dedicated on February 10th, 1957.

The Sisters of Notre Dame taught at St. Agnes from the start, but they lived at St. Joseph Heights until 1960 when St. Agnes built a convent near the school for the convenience of the sisters teaching at the school.

Stained glass windows and new pews were added to the church in the early 1960's. St. Agnes Church membership was increasing, and in 1964 an annex was completed at the left side of the church to accommodate increased attendance at mass.

Also in the early 1960's, six classrooms and storage space was added to the north end of the school to accommodate the ever-increasing enrollment of the school which had reached 879 children at that time. This addition was completed in 1964. By 1967, St. Agnes School enrollment peaked at 939 students, the school had seventeen nuns and eleven lay teachers and all available space was pressed into use as classrooms.

In 1980, the church sanctuary was remodeled, and on Sunday, October 19th, 1980, as part of the celebration of fifty years of parish life, the church was rededicated to St. Agnes and a new altar was consecrated.

Ground was broken for new additions to the school and church basement on January 13th, 1989. In 1990, the new addition to the school was opened. The building includes a multipurpose center, regulation-size gymnasium, science lab, computer lab, classrooms, enlarged kindergarten, guidance counselor's office, and new offices and faculty workroom. In the church building, the undercroft was renovated, and the old school gym was remodeled and divided into offices.

The Sisters of Notre Dame ended their ministry at St. Agnes School after 65 years. The convent building, now abandoned after the Sisters of Notre Dame left the parish, was put to another use. On January 8th, 1995, St. Agnes hosted the first IHN in the old convent building. The building was subsequently refurbished by members of St. Agnes Parish and now hosts the homeless of IHN on a regular basis. The chapel in the convent was converted for use a Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

In 2013, St. Agnes moved forward with renovations to update the schools infrasturture including new central heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, as well as all new electric systems. Additional work includes improved lighting and other improvements. Work begins in early 2013 with all renovations expected to be completed prior to the 2013-2014 school year.

Fr. Mark Keene is the current pastor of St. Agnes and Msgr. Don Enzweiler is our associate pastor. In addition, Fr. James Quill is retired in-residence at St. Agnes Church.

At the age of 75, St. Agnes is thriving with great priests and great people, all ordinary people in an extraordinary parish. COME CELEBRATE!