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Most Reverend Daniel W. Kucera, OSB
Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet, 1977-1980

Bishop Kucera


Archbishop Daniel William Kucera was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 7, 1923 and given the name William by his parents Joseph  and Lillian (Petrzelka) Kucera. He was educated at St. Procopius Academy (now Benet Academy) and St. Procopius College (now Benedictine University) in Lisle, Illinois. He entered St. Procopius Abbey and received the religious name of Daniel when he professed religious vows as a Benedictine monk on June 16, 1944. On May 26, 1949 he was ordained a priest by Bishop Martin D. McNamara at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus in Joliet. He earned a doctorate in education from The Catholic University of America in 1954.  He served in various administrative positions at St. Procopius College until he was named the college's president in 1959. On July 8, 1964 he was elected Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey and received his abbatial blessing on August 19, 1964, from Albert Cardinal Meyer at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus.  He served as abbot until June 1, 1971 when he resigned to become the college's president again. On June 6, 1977, Pope Paul VI named Abbot Daniel titular bishop of Natchez and Auxiliary Bishop of Joliet. He was ordained a bishop by Bishop Romeo R. Blanchette on July 21, 1977 at the Cathedral of St. Raymond Nonnatus, with  Bishops Andrew G. Grutka of Gary and Raymond J. Vonesh  as primary co-consecrators.  He chose as his episcopal motto Benedicte Domino (Bless the Lord). As auxiliary bishop, he served as Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy. After the resignation of Bishop Romeo Blanchette in January of 1979, Bishop Kucera was named Apostolic Administrator and served until the appointment of Bishop Joseph L. Imesch in June of that year.  

On March 5, 1980 Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Kucera the eighth Bishop of Salina, Kansas. He was installed in Sacred Heart Cathedral on May 7, 1980 by Archbishop Ignatius J. Strecker of Kansas City in Kansas. On December 20, 1983 Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Kucera the tenth Bishop and eighth Archbishop of Dubuque. He was installed as Archbishop on February 23, 1984 at the Five Flags Civic Center in Dubuque.  On October 16, 1995, Pope John Paul II accepted Archbishop Kucera's resignation.

Archbishop Kucera continued to reside in Dubuque until his death on May 30, 2017, at the age of 94.  Funeral Masses were celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque and at St. Procopius Abbey in Lisle.  Interment was in the Abbey cemetery.  

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