Orthodox archbishop visits St. Cloud

Bishop Patrick Neary welcomed The Most Rev. Daniel, Orthodox archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest, for a short meeting July 15.

The archbishop visited St. Cloud July 15-16 and was hosted by Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Church in St. Cloud, part of the Orthodox Church in America.

Archbishop Daniel

“This is my first visit to St. Cloud ever in my life,” Archbishop Daniel said. “I’ve received a wonderful welcome and the sense of hospitality has been extremely good and kind. I feel very much at home here.”

Archbishop Daniel attended a reception at the Chancery office with Bishop Neary and Franciscan Sister Helen Rolfson of the Diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Commission, Kateri Mancini of the Greater St. Cloud Faith Leaders group, diocesan chancellor Joe Towalski and Father Andrew Jaye, pastor and Father Deacon Dana Bichler of Holy Myrrh-Bearers Parish. After the reception he had a short one-on-one meeting with Bishop Neary.

“We discussed some issues we have in common,” Bishop Neary said. “He’s very personable, a really nice guy.”

Archbishop Daniel was raised in Riverdale, California, a predominantly Portuguese-American community, and speaks fluent Portuguese. He attended St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood in 1981.

Archbishop Daniel visits with Bishop Patrick Neary July 15.

While pursuing a canon law degree in the early 1990s, Archbishop Daniel contemplated conversion to Orthodox Christianity.

It was his study of canon law that impelled him to respond to the call to embrace Orthodox Christianity, he said.

He petitioned to be received into the Orthodox Church in America and was vested as an Orthodox priest in 1997. On July 18, 2022, he was canonically elected by the Holy Synod of Bishops as bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest. On Nov. 11, 2022, they unanimously elevated him to archbishop.

During Archbishop Daniel’s time in the area, he planned to celebrate Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy Sunday morning at Holy Myrrhbearers Parish. He also planned to visit Saint John’s Abbey to share a meal with the monks and view the Saint John’s Bible.

Pictured from left are: Franciscan Sister Helen Rolfson, Joe Towalski, Archbishop Daniel, Bishop Patrick Neary, Father Andrew Jaye, Kateri Mancini and Father Deacon Dana Bichler.


The group visits during the reception in the Chancery sunporch.




Author: Dianne Towalski

Dianne Towalski is a multimedia reporter for The Central Minnesota Catholic Magazine.

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