The Diocese of Owensboro was created by Pope Pius XI on December 9, 1937, separating the 32 counties of western Kentucky from the Diocese of Louisville which was at that time elevated to an Archdiocese.

Bishop Francis R. Cotton
Bishop Francis R. Cotton

The Most Reverend Francis R. Cotton, the first Bishop of Owensboro, was preconized (appointed) December 16, 1937.

Bp. Soenneker RGB
Bishop Henry J. Soenneker

The Most Reverend Henry J. Soenneker – appointed March 10, 1961, retired June 30, 1982 – was the second Bishop of Owensboro.

Bishop John McRaith 200 dpi 5x7
Bishop John J. McRaith

The Most Reverend John J. McRaith, appointed October 23, 1982, served as the third Bishop of Owensboro. Bishop McRaith resigned for health reasons January 5, 2009.

Bishop William Francis Medley, Bishop of Owensboro, Kentucky
Bishop William Francis Medley

The Most Reverend William Francis Medley was appointed December 15, 2009 to serve as the fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro. Bishop Medley was ordained to the episcopacy on February 10, 2010.