Bluegrass Bishop

Peacemaker, Spanish-speaker, and Franciscan friar John Stowe M.Div. ’93, STL ’95 heads to Lexington, Kentucky, to serve nearly 50,000 congregants.

Humility is a trait that serves a priest well. Humor helps, too. Franciscan friar John Stowe M.Div. ’93, STL ’95, who was installed as bishop of Lexington, Kentucky, on May 5, showed flashes of both when he told one Kentucky paper, “I know I will have to learn a lot about horses and UK basketball. I know a thing or two about bourbon.” Named to the post by Pope Francis, Stowe, 49, is among the younger bishops. He heads to the Bluegrass State from El Paso, Texas, where he served as moderator of the Curia and vicar general, and where he regularly celebrated Masses in English and Spanish. In Lexington, he says, he wants to ensure that Latino members of the congregation feel fully a part of the Church—and that others recognize that “the Hispanic presence is a real gift.” While studying at SCU’s Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Stowe helped lead the local branch of Pax Christi, the International Catholic Peace Movement. He led faculty and students to attend the annual Franciscan Desert Experience at the U.S. underground nuclear test site on Shoshone lands in Nevada.

post-image New Kentucky home: Stowe is studying up on horses and Wildcats basketball. View full image. Photo by Lexington Herald-Leader
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