Kenneth Joseph Povish

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Kenneth Joseph Povish
Bishop of Lansing
InstalledDecember 11, 1975
Term endedNovember 7, 1995
PredecessorAlexander M. Zaleski
SuccessorCarl Frederick Mengeling
Other postsBishop of Crookston (1970–75)
OrdinationJune 3, 1950
ConsecrationSeptember 29, 1970
Personal details
Born(1924-04-19)April 19, 1924
Alpena, Michigan
DiedSeptember 5, 2003(2003-09-05) (aged 79)
Lansing, Michigan

Kenneth Joseph Povish (April 19, 1924 – September 5, 2003) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Crookston (1970–75) and Bishop of Lansing (1975–95).

Early life and education[edit]

Kenneth Povish was born in Alpena, Michigan, the eldest child and only son of Joseph and Elizabeth (née Yachaik) Povish.[1] He received his early education at the parochial school of St. Anne's Church, and graduated from Alpena High School in 1942.[1] He studied for the priesthood at St. Joseph's Seminary in Grand Rapids and at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1946.[2] He completed his studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[2]


Povish was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Saginaw on June 3, 1950.[3] His first assignment was as a curate at St. Ignatius Church in Rogers City, where he remained for two years.[2] He then served at St. Hyacinth's Church in Bay City (1952–1956).[2] He received his first pastorate at St. Mary's Church in Port Sanilac in 1956.[1]

He served as pastor of St. Norbert's Church in Munger (1957–1960) and a professor at St. Paul's Seminary in Saginaw (1960–66).[1] From 1966 to 1970, he served as pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Bay City.[2] He was named a Prelate of Honor in October 1967.[1] In addition to his pastoral duties, he served as diocesan director of Catholic Charities and of religious education.[2] He wrote a weekly column entitled "The Question Box" in The Catholic Weekly from 1954 to 1970, and was active in the Mexican apostolate, League of Catholic Women, and St. Vincent de Paul Society.[1]



On July 28, 1970, Povish was appointed the fifth Bishop of Crookston, Minnesota, by Pope Paul VI.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 29 from Archbishop Luigi Raimondi, with Bishops Francis Frederick Reh and James Aloysius Hickey serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.[3] He selected as his episcopal motto: "To Accomplish His Work" (John 4:34).[1] During his five-year tenure, he implemented the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, establishing parish councils in each parish and a Pastoral Council for the diocese.[4] He also supported liturgical reform and the ecumenical movement.[4]


Following the death of Bishop Alexander M. Zaleski, Povish was named the third Bishop of Lansing in Michigan on October 8, 1975.[3] His installation took place on December 11 of that year.[3] As a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, he was chairman of the Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal and of the Committee on Vocations.[2] He was also a member of the NCCB Executive Board, the Committee for Laity, and the Committee for Communications.[2]

Later life and death[edit]

After governing the diocese for twenty years, Povish retired as Bishop of Lansing due to poor health on November 7, 1995.[3] He then served as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until the installation of his successor, Bishop Carl Frederick Mengeling in January 1996.[2]

He died from colon cancer in Lansing, at age 79.[1]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Lawrence Alexander Glenn
Bishop of Crookston
Succeeded by
Victor Hermann Balke
Preceded by
Alexander M. Zaleski
Bishop of Lansing
Succeeded by
Carl Frederick Mengeling


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Obituaries". St. Johns Independent. 2003-09-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "History of the bishops of Lansing". Roman Catholic Diocese of Lansing. Archived from the original on 2007-09-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop Kenneth Joseph Povish". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  4. ^ a b "History of Diocese". Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston. Archived from the original on 2009-10-02.

"Short History of the Diocese of Crookston." Diocese of Crookston. <<>>.