Diocese of Covington gets a new bishop as pope accepts Foys resignation

COVINGTON – Monsignor John Iffert thought a friend might be playing a joke on him when he got the call two weeks ago asking if he'd like to be the new bishop of the Diocese of Covington.

He'd been a parish priest for most of his adult life in the church and had settled recently into his role of vicar general in a small parish in Caseyville, Illinois. Now, he was being asked to replace the retiring Bishop Roger Foys as the leader of the church in Northern Kentucky.

"I had no reason to expect this phone call," Iffert said Tuesday. "No reason whatsoever."

But when the call came, the 53-year-old priest who said he never had any ambition to become a bishop agreed to take the job. 

"I feel astounded," he said.

Soon, Iffert said, he expects the shock to wear off and the hard work to begin. There will be much to do.

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