June 1, 2024 | Special Issue
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Bishop William F. Medley confirms a man during the 2023 Easter Vigil at St. Stephen Cathedral in Owensboro. ELIZABETH WONG BARNSTEAD | WKC

Worship: Celebrating together, united in faith


The Office of Worship plays a crucial role in numerous diocesan liturgical celebrations, including the annual Marriage Anniversary, Sophia Awards, and Respect Life Masses. It also actively participates in other significant liturgical events at the parish level, such as the installation of a pastor or the dedication of an altar. These are just a glimpse of the many retreats and celebrations in the church’s life where the Office of Worship’s involvement is pivotal.  

Each liturgical celebration is special in its own way but those that bring people into the Church and those that confer ordination are particularly joyful.

In the past year, two men were ordained to the priesthood and now actively serve in our diocese. Nine men were accepted to candidacy for Holy Orders. One of these men will be ordained a transitional deacon in the coming months and a priest next year. The remaining eight men will be ordained permanent deacons within the next few years.

The Office of Worship is also involved in the RCIA process and conducted a workshop with RCIA coordinators last year, where each coordinator was provided with the RCIA Ritual Book in English or Spanish, and an opportunity to network.

Our office coordinated three separate Rite of Election celebrations, one in Paducah and two in Owensboro. Each catechumen (unbaptized) and candidate (those already baptized) received a personal invitation from Bishop Medley to attend and participate in the Chrism Mass. 

The Easter Vigil is the liturgical celebration where those who have gone through the RCIA process enter the Church. At this year’s Easter Vigil from around the diocese, there were 96 catechumens who were baptized, and 161 candidates who came into full communion with the Church.

In total, there were 257 people who entered the Church through the RCIA process, which represents a 23.8% increase from the year before.

The Lord has blessed our Church in many ways but especially with ordinations, those to be ordained, and those entering the Church.

Dcn. Ken Bennett is the Co-Coordinator for the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Owensboro.

Originally printed in the June 2024 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

Current Issue

Publisher |  Bishop William F. Medley
Editor |  Elizabeth Wong Barnstead
Contributors |  Riley Greif, Rachel Hall
Layout |  Rachel Hall
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