Skip to content

In Memoriam – Bishop John J. McRaith, ’52

Bishop John J. McRaith, ’52

OWENSBORO, KY — A prominent figure in the Catholic Church passed away. Bishop John McRaith served the Diocese of Owensboro for over 20 years.  He passed away around 3:30 Sunday morning, March 19, 2017.  He was 82 years old. Bishop McRaith was appointed on Oct. 23, 1982, and served as the third Bishop of Owensboro. According to the Diocese of Owensboro website, Bishop McRaith resigned on Jan. 5, 2009, due to health reasons.

Current Diocese of Owensboro Bishop, William Medley, released a statement saying “I am very saddened by the death of Bishop John Jeremiah McRaith.  I extend my sympathy to his dear family and the people of the Diocese of Owensboro. He went on to say “He was a kind and noble man. Visitation and Funeral Arrangements for Bishop McRaith are as follows:
Visitation Thursday at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro from 12-8pm with a prayer service at 6pm. Visitation Friday from 8:00am to 10:45. The funeral mass starts at 11.
John McRaith was born in HutchinsonMinnesota. He attended St. John’s Preparatory School in Collegeville, and both Loras College and St. Bernard Seminary in DubuqueIowa.
He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of New Ulm on February 21, 1960. He served as chancellor and vicar general of the Diocese, and as executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference from 1971 to 1978.
On October 23, 1982, McRaith was appointed the third Bishop of OwensboroKentucky, by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 15 from Archbishop Thomas KellyO.P., with Bishops Henry Soenneker and Raymond Lucker serving as co-consecrators.
McRaith resigned for health reasons on January 5, 2009, after a 26-year-long period as ordinary of the Diocese of Owensboro. He explained, “I do not have a life-threatening illness, but my doctors have advised me to slow down.”