Old Clergy

The Most Rev. Daniel L. Dolan


Education and Ordination

Daniel Lytle Dolan was born in 1951 in Detroit Michigan. He began his preparation for the priesthood in 1965 at the archdiocesan minor seminary in Detroit. He continued his studies in the Cistercian Order and at the seminary of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) in Ecône, Switzerland, where was ordained a priest by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on June 29, 1976.

As a seminarian at Ecône in autumn 1973, he had already come to the conclusion that the only logical explanation for evil of the the New Mass and the errors of Vatican II was that Paul VI, due to personal heresy, had lost the pontificate. Ever since, he has steadfastly held that position regarding Paul VI and his successors, and never once acknowledged them as popes in the Canon of his Mass.

This explanation for the situation after Vatican II later came to be known popularly as “sedevacantism” (from the Latin term for the interregnum between popes).

Missionary Work in SSPX

In early 1977 Father Dolan returned to the U.S., where he acquired a reputation as an eloquent preacher, and where in a few years, he had founded over 35 traditionalist Mass centers from East coast to West.

In early 1983, as part of a plan to compromise with the modernist Vatican, Archbishop Lefebvre attempted to impose a “liturgical reform” – the 1962 Missal of John XXIII – on SSPX’s American priests. At the same time, the Archbishop insisted that the Americans accept the scandalous marriage annulments granted by modernist tribunals, and work with priests ordained according to the protestantized ordination rite promulgated by Paul VI in 1968.

Nine American priests, including Fr. Dolan, refused, and were promply expelled from SSPX. (Four more would later join them.)

Expansion in Cincinnati

Fr. Dolan continued his missionary apostolate unchanged and increased the number of activities at his principal church, St. Gertrude the Great in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The parish, which he founded himself in 1978, is one of the largest (600 members) and best-organized in the U.S.

In 1989 Fr. Dolan initiated contacts with the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI). Subsequent discussions revealed agreement on major theological issues (the pope, the new sacraments).

In 1991, Bishop Moises Carmona, head of the Mexican traditionalist organization Trento, asked the 12 CMRI priests to elect one of the number to receive episcopal consecration. Bishop Carmona, a respected pastor and former seminary professor in Acapulco, had himself been consecrated a bishop in 1981 by Archbishop P.M. Ngô-dinh-Thuc, former Archbishop of Hué, Viet Nam.

The CMRI fathers selected Fr. Mark A. Pivarunas, whom Bishop Carmona then duly consecrated.

In 1992 Bp. Pivarunas, with a view towards assisting clergy formerly belonging to SSPX, asked Fr. Dolan to receive episcopal consecration. After considerable hesitation, Fr. Dolan agreed in mid-1993.

Episcopal Consecration

Bp. Dolan was consecrated a bishop in St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati on 30 November 1993, the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle, during the course of Solemn Pontifical Mass. The rite took three hours, and all the solemnities of the Pontificale Romanum were observed.

Seventeen traditional Catholic priests from the U.S., Mexico and Canada participated in the ceremony, along with several hundred Catholics from various parts of the country.

A professionally-produced DVD of the consecration is available.

Current Apostolate

Bishop Dolan continues to serve as Pastor of St. Gertrude the Great Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In addition Bishop Dolan conducts a modest national and international apostolate. He confirms in churches in the U.S. operated by former members of SSPX, and has also travelled extensively to conduct episcopal functions for traditionalist churches and organizations in Mexico, France, Belgium, Poland and Italy.

The bishop has ordained seminarians and priests for Trento, the Institute Mater Boni Consilii of Verrua Savoia, Italy, and other organizations.

In particular he encouraged the foundation in 1995 of Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Warren (Detroit) Michigan, which now offers the complete traditional seminary program.

Information on Bishop Dolan’s apostolate appears in the St. Gertrude the Great Newsletter which appears several times a year and is sent out free of charge to those who request it.

The Rev. Anthony Cekada

Assistant Pastor

Born in 1951, Anthony Cekada studied at De Sales Preparatory Seminary and St. Francis Seminary College in Milwaukee, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1973. He also studied organ and composition at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Already discontent with the Vatican II changes, he entered the Cistercians of the Common Observance, a conservative monastic order.

In 1975 he entered St. Pius X Seminary in Ecône, Switzerland, completed his studies, and was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1977.

Following his ordination, Father Cekada taught seminarians at St. Joseph’s House of Studies Armada, Michigan, and St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary, Ridgefield, Connecticut.

From 1979 to 1989 he resided in Oyster Bay Cove, New York, where he did pastoral and administrative work, and edited the traditionalist publication The Roman Catholic. During the same period, he travelled on weekends to offer the traditional Mass in traditional churches and missions in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota.

In 1989 Father Cekada moved to Cincinnati, where he now assists with pastoral work. He also offers the traditional Mass in Columbus and Milwaukee on weekends.

He has since devoted a considerable amount of time to research and writing. TAN Books published two of his works criticizing the post-Vatican II liturgical reform. One was a commentary and new translation for The Ottaviani Intervention, a key document in the history of the traditional movement. The other, The Problems with the Prayers of the Modern Mass, discusses the systematic omission of certain doctrines (hell, the soul, miracles, the true Church, etc.) from the Missal of Paul VI; it has sold nearly 15,000 copies at last count, and has been published in French, Italian, German and Dutch.

Father Cekada has also written two introductory booklets for newcomers to the traditional Mass: Welcome to the Traditional Latin Mass and Traditionalists, Infallibility and the Pope. Both are extremely popular and have achieved wide circulation, due to their succinct and scholarly treatment of the issues of the New Mass and the pope. Father Cekada’s writings are available from our bookstore, as well as from articles online.

Once a month during the academic year Father Cekada travels to Brooksville, Florida to teach Canon Law, Liturgy, and Scripture at Most Holy Trinity Seminary.