Dolan grew up in the Clairemont neighborhood of San Diego as one of nine children. He was ordained a priest of the diocese in 1989. He was a parish priest for 27 years before he was appointed as auxiliary bishop.
He has served as vicar general and moderator of the curia. As vicar for clergy, he also assisted McElroy in the assignment of priests in San Diego’s 98 parishes.
“I cannot begin to express my thanks to God for his goodness to me throughout my life and I enter this new chapter with a renewed commitment to love and serve the Lord and His Church with my whole heart, soul, and strength,” Bishop Dolan said in a June 10 press release.
The Phoenix bishop-elect was also known in San Diego for his support of refugees, in particular the Lost Boys of Sudan, a group of more than 20,000 boys from the Nuer and Dinka ethnic groups who were orphaned or left home during the Second Sudanese Civil War.
After his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in 2017, Dolan was hailed as an “LGBT-positive priest” by New Ways Ministry, a Catholic LGBT outreach group without approval or recognition from the Catholic Church.
Dolan was the pastor of St. John the Evangelist parish in the Hillcrest neighborhood, which, according to New Ways Ministry, is “where many of San Diego’s LGBT residents live.”