Long Island welcomes Assistant Bishop Chilton Knudsen

Posted Apr 10, 2014

ens_040914_chiltonKnudsen[Episcopal Diocese of Long Island press release] Bishop Chilton Knudsen, former Bishop of Maine and current Assistant Bishop of New York, has been appointed Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Long Island.  Starting on September 2, Bishop Knudsen will be asked to share in Bishop’s visitations three weekends per month and provide oversight on behalf of Bishop Provenzano for the ongoing work and ministry of Episcopal Charities and Episcopal Community Services.  She will work directly under Bishop Provenzano’s pastoral direction and in collaboration with diocesan staff.  Of her appointment, Bishop Knudsen writes, “I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Diocese of Long Island as Assistant Bishop and look forward to working with Bishop Provenzano in this part of the Body of Christ.”

Bishop Knudsen received her M. Div from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in 1980.  She was ordained deacon in 1980 and priest in 1981, first serving a new mission in Bolingbrook, IL; she later served in other congregations, both in rural and inner-city areas.  In 1987, Bishop Knudsen was called as Pastoral Care Officer (later Canon for Pastoral Care) in the Diocese of Chicago, where she developed a nationwide ministry of consulting and training about Sexual Misconduct in church settings.  The material she developed continues to be widely used.

While serving on diocesan staff in Chicago, Bishop Knudsen refreshed her high-school Spanish and served as supply priest and pastor for several Spanish-speaking congregations.  Her fluency was further refined as she helped establish La Mision de San Lucas in the Diocese of Maine.

Additionally, Bishop Knudsen has a long and personal interest in issues of addiction and recovery, especially regarding systems (congregations, dioceses, organizations) that have experienced the subtle yet powerful effects of addiction-in all its forms-in clergy or lay leaders.  As Bishop of Maine, she planted three new Maine congregations (including Maine’s only Latino congregation) and led in the revitalization of several congregations, including congregations that suffered from the aftermath of addiction in their leadership.

During Bishop Knudsen’s tenure in Maine, the Dioceses of Maine and Haiti inaugurated a Companion Diocese relationship with a number of ongoing partnerships in mission.  Bishop Knudsen herself served in 2009 as a missionary in Haiti, where she gained great respect for Haitian culture, learned to function liturgically in French, and built enduring friendships with clergy and lay leaders of that diocese.

Bishop Knudsen was born into a Navy family and grew up overseas in Guam/the Marianas Islands, the Philippines, and Japan.  She studied biology/ecology at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, PA, earning a BA in 1968. During graduate study at the University of Pittsburgh, she taught at her alma mater, developing interdisciplinary courses in Behavioral Biology and Ecosystem Analysis.  She later taught interdisciplinary courses at the community college level, and served as a counselor in women’s health clinics in Pittsburgh, PA and in Wheaton, IL.

Married since 1971 to Dr. Michael J. Knudsen, a retired engineer and composer, Bishop Knudsen delights in their adult son Dan, golf, opera and classical music, coastal scenery, and cross-cultural experiences.  The Knudsens make their home in Bath, Maine.


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