Pope Francis has appointed Father Patrick Neary as bishop-elect of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota, according to an announcement today by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States. 

Neary, 59, has served as the pastor of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Portland, Oregon, since 2018. A priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Neary was ordained in 1991, and his previous assignments include 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 attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (1985), and he earned a master of divinity degree in theology from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California (1990).

Neary’s appointment as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud comes after the pope’s acceptance of Bishop Donald Kettler’s resignation. Kettler, 78, has served as bishop of St. Cloud since 2013. He submitted a letter of resignation to Pope Francis in 2021 in accordance with canon law, which requires bishops to do so when they reach age 75.

“Father Neary is tremendously qualified with his experiences as a pastor, seminary rector, formation director, and missioner,” Kettler said following the announcement. “I am very appreciative that he said yes to the call to serve the people of this diocese as their bishop, and I welcome him warmly to Central Minnesota.” 

Neary is set to be installed as the bishop of St. Cloud on Feb. 14, 2023. 

“No one is more surprised than I am to be asked to serve as bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud. Yet I have always trusted that Christ has guided me through every stage of my life as a priest,” Neary said in response to his announcement. 

Addressing his soon-to-be flock, Neary said: “Please pray for me that I can be a faithful and loving servant to all of you.”

According to its website, the Diocese of St. Cloud consists of 131 parishes in 16 central Minnesota counties and has a population of more than 125,000 Catholics. 

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