Pope names bishops for Diocese of Jefferson City and Diocese of Nashville

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Bishop-elect McKnight

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop John R. Gaydos of Jefferson City, Mo., and named as his successor Father Shawn McKnight, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita, Kan.

Father McKnight was executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations from 2010-15.

Father Shawn McKnight was born June 26, 1968. He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Wichita on May 28, 1994.

He earned a master of arts degree and a master of divinity degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum (1993-94) 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.

Assignments after ordination include: associate pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita (1994-97); pastoral administrator, St. Patrick Parish, Chanute (1999); chaplain, Newman University, Wichita (2000-01); priestly service, St. Mary's Parish, Delaware (2003-08); pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita (2008-2010); priestly service, parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Washington (2010-15); presbyteral council and college of consultors, Wichita (2000-05); pastor, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita (2015-present).

Father McKnight formerly served as executive director of the Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV) of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 2010-15. He has also held numerous academic, professional and academic society positions among them serving as director of Liturgy and director of Formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop John R. Gaydos, who has served as the third bishop of Jefferson City.

Bishop Gaydos was born August 14, 1943, and will turn 75 this August. On June 25, 1997, Gaydos was appointed bishop of Jefferson City by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained as bishop on August 27, 1997. 

The pope also named Father J. Mark Spalding, a priest of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., as the new bishop of Nashville, Tenn., succeeding Bishop David R. Choby, who died June 3.

The appointments were announced in Washington Nov. 21 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Editor's note: This story will be updated. 

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