Pope Francis has named Conventual Franciscan Father John Stowe, 48, as bishop of Lexington, Kentucky. Bishop-elect Stowe is vicar provincial of the Conventual Franciscan Province of Our Lady of Consolation, Mount St. Francis, Indiana, and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio.
John Stowe was born April 15, 1966, in Amherst, Ohio. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Louis University in 1990; a master of divinity from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, in 1993 and a licentiate in sacred theology from Jesuit School of Theology in 1995. He made his solemn profession to the Conventual Franciscans, Our Lady of Consolation Province, August 1, 1992, and was ordained September 16, 1995.
Following ordination, he served as associate pastor (1995-1997), administrator (1997-2000) and pastor (2000-2003) of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in El Paso, Texas. He served as vicar general (2003-2010) and chancellor (2008-2010) of the Diocese of El Paso, while also serving as administrator of Our Lady of the Valley Parish (2006-2010). He was elected vicar provincial and has served as rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation since 2010. In Lexington, he succeeds Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, who was appointed bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, January 24, 2014.
The Diocese of Lexington comprises 16,423 square miles in eastern Kentucky and has a total population of 1,588,319 people, of whom 41,914, or three percent, are Catholic.