Retired Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, OSB dies at 94

Dubuque, IowaArchbishop Emeritus Daniel W. Kucera, OSB, died May 30, 2017, at Stonehill Care Center in Dubuque, Iowa. He was 94 years old.  He is survived by two brothers, Father Edward Kucera, OSB of Lisle, IL, and Henry Kucera of New York.

Archbishop Kucera was born May 7, 1923, to Joseph and Lillian (Petrzelka) Kucera of Chicago. He attended St. Procopius College in Lisle, IL and was professed a Benedictine monk on June 16, 1944. He completed his theological training at St. Procopius Seminary, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1949. He earned masters and doctoral degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and held several positions in addition to teaching at St. Procopius College. In 1959, at the age of 36, he was named the youngest president of St. Procopius College, Lisle, IL.

He was elected abbot of St. Procopius Abbey in 1964, and in 1971, was called again to be president of the college, now renamed Illinois Benedictine College. He remained in that position until 1976. In 1977, he was ordained auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Joliet, IL. He was named bishop of Salina, KS, in March of 1980 and served there until 1984, when he was appointed archbishop of Dubuque. He welcomed Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus, OSB, as coadjutor in August of 1994 and retired in October of 1995.

His episcopacy in Dubuque is marked, in part, by expansion in services for youth formation, communications, hispanic ministry and advocacy for public policies that respect the life and dignity of the human person. Additionally, he established an educational development fund for promoting Catholic education and faith formation, which later bore his name.

Archbishop Kucera also served on several committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and was elected treasurer of the Conference from 1987-1990 and 1992-1993. From 1992 – 1996 he was the Grand Prior of the Northern Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Visitation will be Monday, June 5, at the Cathedral of St. Raphael in Dubuque from 5 p.m. to the start of a vigil service at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place Tuesday, June 6, at the Cathedral.  Visitation on Tuesday will be from 10 a.m. to the start of the funeral Mass at 11 a.m.  All are welcome to attend these services. Interment will be in the cemetery of St. Procopius Abbey, Lisle, IL.

Memorials may be given to the Archbishop Kucera Educational Development Fund in care of the Archdiocese.

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