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.
The Most Reverend Francis R. Cotton, the first Bishop of Owensboro, was preconized (appointed) December 16, 1937. The Most Reverend Henry J. Soenneker, appointed March 10, 1961, retired June 30, 1982, was the second Bishop of Owensboro.
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.
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.
The Seal of the Diocese of Owensboro
The clasped hands are taken from the great seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Emblazoned upon the cross are the stones and Palm Branch of Victory which represent Saint Stephen, Protomartyr, the patron of the Diocese and of the Diocesan Cathedral. This coat of arms was created for the Diocese by Pierre de Caignon la Rone.