Most Reverend John J. McRaith

Most Reverend John Jeremiah McRaith, Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro from 1982 to 2009, died the morning of Sunday, March 19, 2017 at the age of 82.

John was born in Hutchinson, Minnesota on December 6, 1934 to Arthur Luke McRaith and Marie Hanley McRaith. He grew up with three siblings; James, Jane and Margaret Mary. He graduated from St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, on February 21, 1960. In 1982, he was ordained as the third Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. In addition to shepherding the Catholic Church of western Kentucky, Bishop McRaith served as board member for Brescia University, the Daniel Pitino Center, McAuley Free Clinic in Owensboro, and Lourdes Hospital Foundation in Paducah.

Bishop McRaith was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Marie McRaith; his brother, James “Jim” McRaith; his sister, Jane Moening; niece, Shannon Ekeren-Moening; and nephew, Barry McRaith.

He is survived by his sister, Margaret Mary Madden and the following nieces and nephews: Molly Wahlgren, Meaghen Madden-VanDyke, Matthew Madden, Mary Elizabeth Lehman, Tim McRaith, Dan McRaith, Brian Moening, and Sarah Moening.


On Thursday, March 23, a tractor-pulled wagon will process with the body of Bishop John McRaith from Glenn Funeral Home (900 Old Hartford Rd.) to St. Stephen Cathedral (610 Locust St.). It will leave Glenn Funeral Home at 10:45 AM and head to the Owensboro Catholic Schools 4-6 campus, then travel down Frederica Street past Independence Bank before turning on Griffith Avenue and Bosley Road toward Parrish Avenue. It will pass Owensboro Catholic High School before arriving at St. Stephen Cathedral around 11:55 AM. Bishop William F. Medley will receive the body prior to the Cathedral’s 12:05 PM Mass. Public visitation will take place following Mass until 8 PM. A Vigil Service is scheduled for 6 PM at the Cathedral. An all-night vigil, with Bishop John lying in repose, will take place at the Cathedral from 8 PM –  7 AM on Friday morning.  All are welcome to come and pray throughout the night.

On Friday, March 24, public visitation will take place at the Cathedral from 8 – 10:45 AM, with a Funeral Mass at 11 AM. Archbishop Joseph Kurtz from the Archdiocese of Louisville will preside with Bishop William F. Medley as concelebrant. Burial will follow at Mount Saint Joseph in Maple Mount, Kentucky.

Expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of donations to the Diocese of Owensboro in support of charitable work across the diocese and to Catholic Relief Services.