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Diocese of Owensboro

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The Bishop

Most Rev. William Francis Medley

Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro

Bishop-Elect Medley

William Francis Medley was born on September 17, 1952 in Marion County, Kentucky to Dorothy C. Hayden Medley and the late James Werner Medley.  He was baptized at St. Francis of Assisi Church, St. Francis, Kentucky and attended elementary school there.  After attending St. Thomas Seminary High School, Bishop Medley received a bachelor of arts in philosophy and psychology from Bellarmine University in Louisville and a master of divinity from Saint Meinrad School of Theology in St. Meinrad, Indiana.  Before his ordination in 1982, Medley served as a social worker for the Kentucky Department of Human Resources from 1974 to 1978.

Bishop Medley was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1982 at the Cathedral of the Assumption by the Most Reverend Thomas C. Kelly, O.P., Archbishop Emeritus of Louisville.  He served as a transitional deacon before ordination at St. Rita Parish in Louisville.  After ordination Medley became associate pastor at St. Pius X Parish, Louisville from 1982 -1985 while serving as chaplain at Assumption High School.  In June, 1985 he was assigned associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville, where he served until 1988.  In June of 1988, he was assigned as administrator of Saint Benedict Parish, St. Charles Borromeo Parish and Holy Cross Parish, Louisville, and in 1989, Bishop-elect Medley was appointed director of the Office of Clergy Personnel. In 1990 he became the establishing pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish, which was formed through the merger of the former parishes of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Benedict, and Holy Cross. 

In September, 1993 Bishop Medley was appointed pastor of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, Bardstown, Kentucky (the original See of the Archdiocese of Louisville). During his tenure at St. Joseph, the church was designated a minor Basilica. During this time, he also served as the administrator of St. Monica Parish in Bardstown.

In June of 2005 Bishop Medley was appointed pastor of Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Louisville, Kentucky and in 2007 he became pastor of Transfiguration of Our Lord Parish in Goshen, Kentucky. As part of the recent restructuring of parishes in the Archdiocese of Louisville, Bishop Medley was appointed pastor of the new parish of St. Bernadette, which was formed by the merger of Mother of Good Counsel and Transfiguration of Our Lord parishes on April 8, 2008. 

Bishop Medley served in a variety of positions in the Louisville Archdiocese, including on the College of Consultors, the Priests’ Council, the Planning Commission of the Archdiocese, the Priests’ Health Panel, and Priests’ Personnel Board.  He has served as president of the Bardstown/Nelson County Ministerial Association and on the Nelson County Human Rights Commission.

Bishop Medley was ordained as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro on February 10, 2010.

Founded in 1937, the Diocese of Owensboro extends through 32 counties in Western Kentucky.  With 51,780 Catholics, the diocese hosts 79 parishes, 19 schools (including 1 university), and 1 hospital.  Bishop-elect Medley succeeds Bishop Francis R. Cotton, the first Bishop of Owensboro who served until 1961, Bishop Henry J. Soenneker, who served from 1961 to 1982, and Bishop John J. McRaith, who served from 1982 to 2009.