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Archbishop Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., V Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died on Tuesday, May 30th at the age of 94.

Posted by Jeanine Jelinek on May 31, 2017 at 5:15 PM

Most Reverand Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B., X Bishop and VIII Archbishop of Dubuque, V Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey, died on May 30th, 2017 at the age of 94. Requiescat in pace.

Funeral services are being held at the Cathedral of St. Raphael, Dubuque Iowa, and at St. Procopius Abbey.  Services at St. Procopius Abbey will be held in the Abbey Church on:

Reception of body and vigil - 7:00PM, Friday, June 9th.

Mass of Christian Burial - 10:30AM, Saturday, June 10th.

Visitation - The body of the deceased will lie in the Abbey Church from the Vigil Service on Friday until the Funeral Mass the next day, and may be visited during business hours of the Abbey (the Abbey closes at 9PM and opens at 6AM).


May 7, 1923 — May 30, 2017

Obituary for Most Rev. Daniel W. Kucera, O.S.B.

Photo courtesy of The Witness, Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Born in Chicago on May 7, 1923, he learned at an early age about the Benedictines of St. Procopius Abbey, and in 1937 he followed an older brother in coming to the schools in Lisle. Deciding that God chose him for a monastic and priestly vocation, he professed vows in 1944, and, in 1949 was ordained a priest. Following those years, then Fr. Daniel steeped himself in education and fundraising, establishing programs and erecting buildings for St. Procopius College, now Benedictine University, and, the abbey itself.

In 1959, at the age of thirty-six, Father Daniel was named president of the college. Due to his leadership skills, the monks elected Father Daniel, then fortyone, as the fifth abbot of the community in 1964. Three months after his election Abbot Daniel announced his determination to move ahead with the building of a new church and monastery. Working closely with the architect, Edward Dart, Abbot Daniel in June 1970 saw his labors crowned with the blessing of a building that would win several architectural awards in the years ahead.

In June 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed Father Daniel titular Bishop of Natchez (Mississippi) and auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. On March 11, 1980, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Daniel the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas. On December 20, 1983, Bishop Daniel was named the eighth Archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa. Though he retired from Dubuque in 1995, Archbishop Daniel continued pastoral ministry and involvement in major fund raisers.

Fr. Julian von Duerbeck, O.S.B., who entered the abbey in 1969, stated that “As abbot, Archbishop Daniel took a truly personal approach to the monk, establishing a relationship with him, so that he acted over everyone as a true spiritual director and formulator of renewal of the abbey.” Asked about the life of his predecessor, Abbot Austin Murphy, the tenth abbot, remarked, “After I became abbot, Archbishop Daniel showed interest in my role as abbot and offered his support and counsel. I remember, the day of my blessing as abbot, that he spoke of maintaining peace within myself. ‘If the community is to be at peace,’ he said, ‘then it is important that its spiritual leader have peace within himself.’” 

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