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Burns Funeral Home

110 West Main
Milroy, IN 46156
(765) 629-2234
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Milroy IN Obituaries and Death Notices

Obituary: Bishop John J. McRaith, Minnesota native, voice for farmers in church - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Mankato State University.After he was ordained in 1960, he was associate pastor of St. Mary's Church in Sleepy Eye, Minn., and pastor of St. Michael's Church in Milroy, Minn., and St. Leo's Church in St. Leo, Minn. He returned to Sleepy Eye in 1968 as administrator at St. Mary's and superintendent of St. Mary's High School.McRaith jumped to the national stage in 1972 when he became director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, headquartered in Des Moines. He became known as an advocate on farming and rural issues, which Medley said was a factor in his becoming a bishop at a comparatively young age.From 1978 to 1982 McRaith was vicar general and chancellor for the Diocese of New Ulm. When Owensboro Bishop Henry Soenneker resigned in 1982, McRaith was named by Pope John Paul II to take his place.Responded to growing diversityAs bishop, McRaith "was on the cutting edge in welcoming international priests from India and Africa and the like," said Medley, a native Kentuckian. "And when people would say, 'They talk funny,' the Minnesotan in him would say, 'What do you mean, you people have an accent!'?"Added Medley: "We in Kentucky feel a debt of gratitude to Minnesota to have sent us one of your finest to spend his life with us. He never picked up much of an accent here, but he became a native son."McRaith's tenure saw the founding in 1993 of an Office of African-American Ministries, later renamed the Office of Black Catholic Ministry; that same year the diocese bought four properties to house the homeless. In 1997 he established an Office of Hispanic Ministry.In 2015, as part of the diocesan celebration of McRaith's 80th birthday, Medley renamed the Catholic Pastoral Center in Owensboro after him.Besides his sister, McRaith is survived by eight nieces and nephews.On March 23, a tractor-pulled wagon carried his body from Glenn Funeral Home to St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro for his funeral.Christy Taylor Chaney, an official with the funeral home, said it didn't surprise her to see people lining the streets. "He was a wonderful man, friendly to everyone, everyone loved him," she said.

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Obituary: Bishop John J. McRaith, Minnesota native, voice for farmers in church - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Mankato State University.After he was ordained in 1960, he was associate pastor of St. Mary's Church in Sleepy Eye, Minn., and pastor of St. Michael's Church in Milroy, Minn., and St. Leo's Church in St. Leo, Minn. He returned to Sleepy Eye in 1968 as administrator at St. Mary's and superintendent of St. Mary's High School.McRaith jumped to the national stage in 1972 when he became director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, headquartered in Des Moines. He became known as an advocate on farming and rural issues, which Medley said was a factor in his becoming a bishop at a comparatively young age.From 1978 to 1982 McRaith was vicar general and chancellor for the Diocese of New Ulm. When Owensboro Bishop Henry Soenneker resigned in 1982, McRaith was named by Pope John Paul II to take his place.Responded to growing diversityAs bishop, McRaith "was on the cutting edge in welcoming international priests from India and Africa and the like," said Medley, a native Kentuckian. "And when people would say, 'They talk funny,' the Minnesotan in him would say, 'What do you mean, you people have an accent!'?"Added Medley: "We in Kentucky feel a debt of gratitude to Minnesota to have sent us one of your finest to spend his life with us. He never picked up much of an accent here, but he became a native son."McRaith's tenure saw the founding in 1993 of an Office of African-American Ministries, later renamed the Office of Black Catholic Ministry; that same year the diocese bought four properties to house the homeless. In 1997 he established an Office of Hispanic Ministry.In 2015, as part of the diocesan celebration of McRaith's 80th birthday, Medley renamed the Catholic Pastoral Center in Owensboro after him.Besides his sister, McRaith is survived by eight nieces and nephews.On March 23, a tractor-pulled wagon carried his body from Glenn Funeral Home to St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro for his funeral.Christy Taylor Chaney, an official with the funeral home, said it didn't surprise her to see people lining the streets. "He was a wonderful man, friendly to everyone, everyone loved him," she said.