History of St. Joseph Heights: A Memento

Posted on: November 30, 2018 1:00 pm
Tags: Archives,

In 1874 the first Sisters of Notre Dame arrived in Covington. Fifty years later Covington became a province. In 2020 Covington will merge with Chardon, Toledo, and Thousand Oaks, California to become one SND/USA Province. 

A memento is a keepsake, a reminder of an event or a person. The paperback book Covington’s Sisters of Notre Dame is a keepsake of the past 146 years.

The book, authored by Michael Hargis (retired artist and architect), begins with a concise history of the Sisters as the congregation was founded in Coesfeld, Germany and gradually extended to the United States until the present. Following the introduction, the chapters in the pictorial history are:

  • Hands Across the Sea
  • Old Notre Dame Academy
  • St. Joseph Heights
  • Faces of the Covington Province
  • School Days
  • Service Beyond the Classroom

Photos of the provincial superiors may be found on these pages:

  • Sr. M. Angela Meiners 43, 54, 57
  • Sr. M. Joseph Geise 69
  • Sr. M Borromeo Rumpke 61, 69
  • Sr. M. Joann Pitstick 64, 69
  • Sr. M. Joell Overman 69, 70, 71, 73, 120
  • Sr. M Margaret Droege 86, 93
  • Sr. M. Shauna Bankemper 71,101, 102
  • Sr. Marla Monahan 73, 74
  • Sr. M. Ethel Parrott 74, 101


This 1974 group photo was taken in front of the provincial house as part of the 100-year anniversary of the sisters’ immigration to the United States and the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky. 

An excellent example of the book serving as a memento or keepsake, a reminder of an event or person, is the response of a former resident at St. Joseph Diocesan Orphanage in Cold Spring, Kentucky. He purchased a copy of Covington’s Sisters of Notre Dame while he was living in Wisconsin. As he looked through the book, he recognized himself and his brother in a photo. He emailed a request for more information to the Covington Provincial House and mentioned that his favorite group mother at the orphanage was Sr. Mary Juan. He said Sr. Mary Juan, "made me what I am today...I would like to share with my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren a truly remarkable upbringing.”

This initial contact resulted in his trip to the Covington Provincial House. He visited the Archives to view more photos, as well as the convent cemetery and a special moment at the grave site of Sr. Mary Juan. Before returning to his home in Michigan, he stopped for the first time at the grave site of his birth mother. The book of Covington’s Sisters of Notre Dame served as a very valuable memento!

A limited number of Covington’s Sisters of Notre Dame can be purchased as a memento for yourself or a gift to someone else who wants to cherish memories of the Covington Sisters of Notre Dame. Copies obtained at the Provincial Center will benefit the SND Ugandan Mission. The cost is $22.00. For more information, call 859-392-8228 or email 

Suggested links

90 Years: St. Joseph Heights

Mother Theresa's visit at St. Joseph Heights

Buried Treasure


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