The Vatican has announced the appointment of Rev. Patrick M. Neary, C.S.C., as the 10th bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. Bishop-elect Neary currently serves as the pastor of Holy Redeemer Church, a Holy Cross parish in Portland, Oregon.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Saint Cloud has an estimated total population of 555,400, which currently includes 131 parishes with a combined Catholic population of about 125,000. Catholic education is widely available throughout the diocese for all age groups, with 27 elementary schools and two high schools, Saint John’s University, the College of St. Benedict, and Saint John’s School of Theology.
“No one is more surprised than I am to be asked to serve as bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud,” Bishop-elect Neary said. “Yet I have always trusted that Christ has guided me through every stage of my life as a priest. I so look forward to meeting everyone who is a part of this diocese, my new family. I especially ask God to help me build on the legacy of Bishop Kettler and all the clergy and personnel who serve in the diocese with zeal and devotion.”
Bishop Kettler added, “Father Neary is tremendously qualified with his experiences as a pastor, seminary rector, formation director, and missioner. 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.”
Bishop-elect Neary is the oldest of six children of Jacob and Marybelle Neary of Laporte, Indiana. He attended the University of Notre Dame as an undergraduate seminarian with the Congregation of Holy Cross, graduating with a BA in history in 1985. Bishop-elect Neary entered the Holy Cross novitiate the following August in Cascade, Colorado. He received his Master of Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California, in 1990 and took final vows that September. Bishop-elect Neary was ordained to the priesthood on April 6, 1991.
After serving as a deacon and then associate pastor of St. John Vianney Parish, Goodyear, Arizona, Bishop-elect Neary was assigned assistant vocations director for Campus Ministry at the University of Notre Dame from 1994-1997. From there, he joined the formation staff at Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Indiana, until 2004. Soon after, he was named rector of Moreau Seminary, where he continued to help men discern God’s call in the States until 2010.
At that time, Bishop-elect Neary moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he became the McCauley House of Formation rector. In 2012, he was named district superior of East Africa, where he remained until 2018. After that, he returned to the States, where he took up his current role as pastor of Holy Redeemer Church.
“Fr. Pat is a highly respected and deeply faithful priest and pastor,” added Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., provincial superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross, U.S. Province of Priests and Brothers. “His leadership at our seminary at Notre Dame, as well as in our District of East Africa when he was superior, was exemplary. I could not be happier for Fr. Pat and the Diocese of St. Cloud, my home diocese. It is all a blessing! We will pray for Fr. Pat as he prepares to take on this important role as shepherd of the good people of the St. Cloud Diocese.”