Washington’s New Auxiliary Bishop Barry C. Knestout Ordained December 29

January 01, 2009

Bowie native and popular local priest Monsignor Barry C. Knestout, 46, was ordained auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on December 29. The traditional ceremony was attended by 1,200 people, including his extended family, friends, parishioners, 22 cardinals and bishops and 170 priests.

Pope Benedict XVI named Monsignor Knestout as auxiliary bishop to assist Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl in the administration of the archdiocese, which includes 580,000 Catholics and 140 parishes. Bishop Knestout is only the third local priest to become a bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington since the archdiocese was established in 1939. His younger brother, Fr. Mark Knestout, directs the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Washington. Both priests were instrumental in planning Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass in Washington last April.

Washington has two other active auxiliary bishops, Bishop Francisco Gonzalez, S.F. and Bishop Martin D. Holley. Bishop Leonard Olivier, S.V.D. is retired.

Bishop Knestout was born in Cheverly, Maryland. One of nine children, he grew up in Bowie. He received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Maryland then studied for the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in June 1989. During his priesthood, he has served in three local parishes; as priest-secretary to Cardinal James A. Hickey and Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, executive director of the Office of Youth Ministry/CYO and Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns. Since April 2007, he has been moderator of the curia and vicar for administration. As “chief of staff” for the archdiocese’s offices, he assists Archbishop Wuerl in managing and overseeing all administrative affairs of the archdiocese. Additional information on our bishops, including the homily from the ordination and Bishop Knestout’s full bio, are online.

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Susan Gibbs
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