Bishop John McRaith, 82

Bishop John. J. McRaith, a priest at St. Michael’s Parish in Milroy in the 1960s, was buried at a convent cemetery near Owensboro, Ky.  He died March at the age of 82.  He was the Bishop emeritus of the Catholic Diocese in Owensboro.
A native of Hutchinson, Father McRaith was ordained in 1960, and then served as an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Sleepy Eye, before becoming pastor at St. Michael’s in Milroy, and then St. Leo’s Parish in St. Leo.  He returned to Sleepy Eye, where he was superintendent of St. Mary’s High School.
In 1972, he became director for National Catholic Rural Life Conferences headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, and became an advocate for rural and farm issues.
From 1978 to 1982, he was vicar general and chancellor for the Diocese of New Ulm.  He was appointed Bishop for the Owensboro Diocese in 1982.  He served in the position until January of 2009, when ill health forced him to step down.
A Minneapolis Star-Tribune story described how his casket was towed to the cemetery by a tractor.  Along the route, farmers parked tractors and farm implements and stood in silent salute as a tribute to the bishop.