The Most Rev. Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis, presents the Order of St. Louis King Award to Fr. James Knapp, SJ
Archdiocese of St. Louis Honors James Knapp, SJ

Fr. James Knapp, SJ, was honored this month with the Order of St. Louis King Award from the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The Order of St. Louis King Award is the highest award that the Archdiocese bestows, given to those who have provided “consistent, outstanding service to the work of the Church” in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. It was presented to Fr. Knapp in appreciation for his work with the Courage organization and his service as spiritual director and assistant professor of theology at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, the seminary serving the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Courage is a Catholic-led support ministry for adults and teens with same-sex attraction; Fr. Knapp serves as chaplain of the St. Louis chapter.

Archbishop Robert Carlson conferred the award. In attendance were Bishop Edward Rice and Bishop Robert Hermann, Fr. Provincial Ronald Mercier, Fr. James Mason, the president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary; Fr. Knapp’s sister and brother-in-law; and five of Fr. Knapp’s fellow Jesuits.

Born and raised in St. Louis, Fr. Knapp attended St. Gabriel the Archangel grade school, St. Louis University High School, Rockhurst University in Kansas City and Saint Louis University. His theology degrees are from Regis College-University of Toronto, his Ph.D. in education administration is from Fordham University and his doctorate in sacred theology is from Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at Catholic University of America. 

He entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant in 1969 and was ordained at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church in 1981.

Fr. Knapp is now in pastoral ministry at Jesuit Hall at Saint Louis University. He taught at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary from 2011 to 2015. He previously served at St. Louis University High School (St. Louis), Rockhurst High School (Kansas City) and Regis Jesuit High School (Denver).

The Order of St. Louis King Award was established by the late Archbishop John L. May and was first awarded in 1988 to Cardinal John J. Carberry. Only 81 people have been recognized with this honor. 

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