Pope Francis appoints bishops for Jefferson City and Nashville

Bishop-elect W. Shawn McKnight. Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service

Pope Francis named Father W. Shawn McKnight, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita as Bishop of Jefferson City. He succeeds Bishop John Gaydos whose resignation was accepted by the pope.

Bishop-elect McKnight, 49 was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wichita in 1994. He earned a master of arts degree and a master of divinity degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum (1993-1994) and later earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome in 1999. In 2001, he earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology also from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm.

He served in a wide variety of pastoral and administrative assignments including service on the Presbyteral Council and College of Consultors in Wichita. From 2010 to 2015 Fr. McKnight served as executive director of the US bishops’ Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations. In addition, he has held numerous academic, professional and academic society positions among them serving as director of Liturgy and director of Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum.

 

Bishop-elect J. Mark Spalding. Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of Louisville

Pope Francis named Father J. Mark Spalding, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, as Bishop of Nashville. He succeeds Bishop David Choby who died on June 3 at the age of 70.

 

Bishop-elect Spalding, 52, a native of Kentucky’s “Catholic Holy Land” was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville in 1991. He attended St. Meinrad College Seminary in St. Meinrad, Indiana where he studied philosophy. He later attended the American College at Louvain in Belgium (1991) where he earned a degree in theology. He later attended the Catholic University of Louvain, where he earned a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1992.

He served in a variety of pastoral and administrative assignments including judicial vicar from 1998-2011 and is currently vicar general for the Archdiocese, 2011-present.

His episcopal ordination and installation is scheduled for Feb.2.

For the USCCB News Release (Nov. 21, 2017), click here.

For a message from Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, click here.

For a message from Wichita Bishop Carl Kemme, click here.