Pope Francis Names,
Fr. Shawn McKnight,
New Bishop of Jefferson City

Released by USCCB

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 (1993-1994) 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. 

Assignments after ordination include: associate pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita (19941997); pastoral administrator, St. Patrick Parish, Chanute (1999); chaplain, Newman University, Wichita (2000-2001); priestly service, St. Mary’s Parish, Delaware (2003-2008); pastor, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Wichita (2008-2010); priestly service, parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Washington (2010-2015); presbyteral council and college of consultors, Wichita (2000-2005); 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 2010-2015. 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. 

He also served within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as Chairman of the Committee on Priestly Life and Ministry, now known as the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations (CCLV). 

The Archdiocese of Louisville comprises 8,124 square miles. It has a total population of 1,408,733 people of which 177,725 or 7 percent, are Catholic.  

The Diocese of Jefferson City comprises 22,127 square miles. It has a total population of 920,234 people of which 81,958 or 11 percent, are Catholic.