Saturday, July 17, 2004

Prayer vigil a tradition at St. Ann's

Faith Matters

By Karen Vance
Enquirer contributor

COVINGTON - On Sunday, a Covington church will continue a 117-year-old tradition of prayer.

St. Ann's Catholic Church, 1274 Parkway, Covington, will host a novena, a nine-day prayer vigil, at 7 p.m. each night.

"I think it's a great opportunity to see the power of prayer and give people an opportunity to explore a traditional part of their faith, be a part of something bigger than themselves," said Lisa Raterman, a member of the St. Ann's worship committee.

The tradition is nearly as old as the church community, which began meeting in 1860; but the church began its annual novena to pray to St. Ann, Mary's mother, in 1887. A priest arrived with a relic from Rome said to be a rock from St. Ann's tomb in Jerusalem.

"I think part of the reason people continue to come is the tradition. When you have something that has been running that long, you want to honor it," Raterman said.

Each night, services begin with novena prayers at 7 p.m. and then about 15 minutes of silent prayer and reflection, then a mass at 7:30 p.m.

On the last night, July 26, those who come to pray participate in a procession around the West Covington church with the statue of St. Ann. There is a reception afterward.

"We have a lot of families who come with their children and their children's children," Raterman said. "People bring their own intentions, their own prayers and needs. It's very personal for them."

For information, call the church at (859) 261-9548.

Christian reading school

From the Heart Ministries of Cincinnati will host a Christian reading school Aug. 2-6 aimed at helping families read the Bible together and talk about what they're reading with their peers and other families.

The classes run from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. each night with a family fun day on Aug. 7 at the church, 715 Fleming Road, Springfield Township.

Cost for the classes are $25 per family, but scholarships are available. For information or to register for the classes, call 531-5433 or e-mail

Retired minister returns

Retired Rev. Doak Mansfield will return to his church, Heritage Universalist Unitarian Church in Anderson Township, for a sermon at the regular 10:30 a.m. service Sunday.

Mansfield, who served as the church's pastor when it was known as the Salem Acres Community Church and retired to Laurel, Miss. in 1985, will preach on the topic "More than Memories" at the church, 2710 Newtown Road.

For more information about the special service, call the church at 231-8634.

To submit religion news, e-mail or send a fax to 755-4150.

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