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Monday, September 21, 2009

"Wichita Pastor To Lead U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat For Clergy, Consecrated Life, Vocations"

From the USCCB Office of Media Relations

WASHINGTON—Father W. Shawn McKnight, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita, Kansas, has been named head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

Father McKnight, who is 41, will assume his USCCB position in July, succeeding Father David Toups, interim secretariat director.

Msgr. David Malloy, USCCB General Secretary, made the appointment.

“Father McKnight brings extraordinary background to the position,” Msgr. Malloy said. “In addition to parish work, his experience includes years in seminary formation, education of deacons, college chaplaincy and membership on his diocesan presbyteral council. I am grateful that Bishop Michael Jackels of Wichita is permitting him to serve the U.S. bishops in this national position.”

Father McKnight is the son of Mary Elizabeth (O’Reilly) and the late William Thomas McKnight and is the oldest of eight siblings. He was ordained a priest for the Wichita Diocese in 1994.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas, Master of Arts and Master of Theology degrees from the Pontifical College Josephinun in Columbus, Ohio, and licentiate and doctoral degrees in theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, in Rome.

Father McKnight taught graduate studies at the Josephinum, 2003-2008, where he also served as Director of Liturgy, Dean of Students, Director of Formation in the school of theology and Vice-president for Development and Alumni Relations. He currently serves on the faculty of the St. Meinrad Permanent Deacon Formation Program.

He served as chaplain at Newman University in Wichita, 2000-2001, where at the same time he was an adjunct professor of theology and visiting scholar at the university’s Bishop Gerber Institute of Catholic Studies.

Father McKnight has been published in the Deacon Reader and the Newman Review and has spoken at assemblies of the National Association of Deacon Directors, National Diaconate Institute for Continuing Education as well as at arch/diocesan programs in Wichita; Wheeling, West Virginia; Lafayette-in-Indiana; Houston; Ogdensburg, New York; Phoenix; Denver; Charleston, South Carolina; and Dodge City, Kansas.

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