Pope Francis has named Father Patrick Neary as the new bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. This announcement was made by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States. Father Neary, 59, has been serving as the pastor of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon since 2018. He is a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross and was ordained in 1991. Prior to his current assignment, Neary has served as a campus minister and residence hall rector at the University of Notre Dame, director of the McCauley House of Formation in Nairobi, Kenya, and district superior of East Africa for the Congregation of Holy Cross. He received a master of divinity degree in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California in 1990, after earning his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 1985.
Father Neary’s appointment as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud follows the acceptance of Bishop Donald Kettler’s resignation by Pope Francis. Bishop Kettler, 78, has been serving as bishop of St. Cloud since 2013 and submitted his letter of resignation in accordance with canon law, which requires bishops to do so when they reach the age of 75. Bishop Kettler welcomed Father Neary to the diocese, stating that he is “tremendously qualified with his experiences as a pastor, seminary rector, formation director, and missioner.” Father Neary is set to be installed as the bishop of St. Cloud on February 14, 2023. He has expressed surprise at being chosen for this role, but added that he trusts that “Christ has guided me through every stage of my life as a priest.” He asked for prayers from the diocese, stating, “Please pray for me that I can be a faithful and loving servant to all of you.” The Diocese of St. Cloud consists of 131 parishes in 16 central Minnesota counties and has a Catholic population of over 125,000.