Local Catholic parish bids farewell Fr. Kneib

Father Ben Kneib, left foreground, shakes the hand of a St. Columban Church parishioner as they conclude their visit in the receiving line of a 5-7 p.m. farewell reception for the Catholic priest at the parish's Bishop Hogan Memorial School last Wednesday. Fr. Kneib, assigned to the Chillicothe parish in 2013 and having overseen two major capital improvements projects for the church structure – total replacement of its roof and complete retro restoration of its interior – during his tenure, announced at parish Masses the preceding weekend that The Most Rev. James Johnston, bishop of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, had approved his request to take a 1-year sabbatical from his parish assignment. Fr. Kneib leaves, initially for a month-long retreat, early this week. The replacement as pastor, he reported, will be Fr. Ryan Koster, who has been serving most recently as parochial vicar at a North Kansas City parish and previously had spent time at St. Joseph, including instructing at Bishop LeBlond High School there. Paul Sturm/CT Photo