Maes, Camillus Paul
MAES, CAMILLUS PAUL
Bishop; b. Courtrai, Belgium, March 13, 1846; d. Covington, Ky., May 11, 1915. His parents, John Baptist and Justine (Ghyoot) Maes, had him educated at St. Amandus College in Courtrai, the seminaries in Roulers and Bruges, and the American College in Louvain. He was ordained for the Diocese of Detroit, Mich., December 19, 1868, at Mechlin, Belgium. His appointments in Michigan included pastorates at St. Peter Church in Mount Clemens (1869–71), St. Mary Church in Monroe (1871–73), and St. John the Baptist Church in Monroe (1873–80), as well as chancellorship of the Diocese of Detroit (1880–85). He was consecrated third bishop of Covington, Ky., January 25, 1885, at the Covington cathedral. During his episcopate, Maes conducted an extensive building program and erected in Covington the Cathedral of the Assumption. He labored for conversions in the Appalachian Mountain area of his diocese, issued numerous pastoral letters, and founded two diocesan papers, the New Cathedral Chimes and the Christian Year. For many years he served as secretary (1900–15) of the board of trustees of The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., which he had helped to establish, and as president (1897–1915) of the board of bishops for the American College at Louvain, Belgium.
In the 1890s, Maes opposed the leasing of Catholic schools to state authorities. He resisted proponents of the state's right of compulsory education, although in the related controversy over Cahenslyism (see cahensly, peter paul) he aligned himself with the Americanizers. He was among the first to advocate publication of The Catholic Encyclopedia and the Catholic Historical Review, and to encourage the organization of the United States Catholic Historical Society. Among his personal literary achievements was a biography of the early Kentucky missionary Rev. Charles Nerinckx. Maes was a member (1905–15) of the board of governors of the Catholic Church Extension Society and honorary president (1908–15) of the Belgian and Holland section of the society. He was the organizer of a national Eucharistic movement and became the first president (1893–1915) and protector (1894–1915) of the Priests' Eucharistic League; he was also founder and editor (1895–1903) of the league's journal, Emmanuel; and president of the first five Eucharistic Congresses in the U.S. Although seriously considered for promotion to rectorships at The Catholic University of America and at the American College of Louvain, as well as to the archbishoprics of Milwaukee, Wis., New Orleans, La., and Cincinnati, Ohio, Maes remained bishop of Covington until his death.
Bibliography: p. e. ryan, History of the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky (Covington 1954).
[e. j. baumann]