Most Rev. Daniel L. Dolan - Biographical Information

Bishop Dolan at the Ordination of Fr. Saavedra in Warren, Michigan, 11/30/2004
Bishop Dolan at the ordination of Fr. Saavedra in Warren, Michigan, 11/30/2004

Education and Ordination

Daniel Lytle Dolan was born in 1951 in Detroit Michigan. He began his preparation for the priesthood in 1965 at the archdiocesan minor seminary in Detroit. He continued his studies in the Cistercian Order and at the seminary of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in Ecne, Switzerland, where was ordained a priest by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on June 29, 1976.

As a seminarian at Ecne in autumn 1973, he had already come to the conclusion that the only logical explanation for evil of the the New Mass and the errors of Vatican II was that Paul VI, due to personal heresy, had lost the pontificate. Ever since, he has steadfastly held that position regarding Paul VI and his successors, and never once acknowledged them as popes in the Canon of his Mass.

This explanation for the situation after Vatican II later came to be known popularly as "sedevacantism" (from the Latin term for the interregnum between popes).

Missionary Work in SSPX

In early 1977 Father Dolan returned to the U.S., where he acquired a reputation as an eloquent preacher, and where in a few years, he had founded over 35 traditionalist Mass centers from East coast to West.

In early 1983, as part of a plan to compromise with the modernist Vatican, Archbishop Lefebvre attempted to impose a "liturgical reform" - the 1962 Missal of John XXIII - on SSPX's American priests. At the same time, the Archbishop insisted that the Americans accept the scandalous marriage annulments granted by modernist tribunals, and work with priests ordained according to the protestantized ordination rite promulgated by Paul VI in 1968.

Nine American priests, including Fr. Dolan, refused, and were promply expelled from SSPX. (Four more would later join them.)

Expansion in Cincinnati

Fr. Dolan continued his missionary apostolate unchanged and increased the number of activities at his principal church, St. Gertrude the Great in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The parish, which he founded himself in 1978, is one of the largest (600 members) and best-organized in the U.S.

In 1989 Fr. Dolan initiated contacts with the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). Subsequent discussions revealed agreement on major theological issues (the pope, the new sacraments).

In 1991, Bishop Moises Carmona, head of the Mexican traditionalist organization Trento, asked the 12 CMRI priests to elect one of the number to receive episcopal consecration. Bishop Carmona, a respected pastor and former seminary professor in Acapulco, had himself been consecrated a bishop in 1981 by Archbishop P.M. Ng-dinh-Thuc, former Archbishop of Hu, Viet Nam.

The CMRI fathers selected Fr. Mark A. Pivarunas, whom Bishop Carmona then duly consecrated.

In 1992 Bp. Pivarunas, with a view towards assisting clergy formerly belonging to SSPX, asked Fr. Dolan to receive episcopal consecration. After considerable hesitation, Fr. Dolan agreed in mid-1993.

Episcopal onsecration

Bp. Dolan was consecrated a bishop in St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati on 30 November 1993, the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, during the course of Solemn Pontifical Mass. The rite took three hours, and all the solemnities of the Pontificale Romanum were observed.

Seventeen traditional Catholic priests from the U.S., Mexico and Canada participated in the ceremony, along with several hundred Catholics from various parts of the country.

A professionally-produced DVD of the consecration is available.

Bishop Dolan preaching in Nantes, France, 8/15/2000
Bishop Dolan Preaching in Nantes, France, 8/15/2000

Current Apostolate

Bishop Dolan continues to serve as Pastor of St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In addition Bishop Dolan conducts a modest national and international apostolate. He confirms in churches in the U.S. operated by former members of SSPX, and has also travelled extensively to conduct episcopal functions for traditionalist churches and organizations in Mexico, France, Belgium, Poland and Italy.

The bishop has ordained seminarians and priests for Trento, the Institute Mater Boni Consilii  of Verrua Savoia, Italy, and other organizations.

In particular he encouraged the foundation in 1995 of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Warren (Detroit) Michigan, which now offers the complete traditional seminary program.

Information on Bishop Dolan's apostolate appears in the St. Gertrude the Great Newsletter which appears several times a year and is sent out free of charge to those who request it.

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