On the death of Bishop Dolan


It was with great surprise and sadness that I received the news of the death of the Rev. Daniel L. Dolan. Daniel Lytle Dolan was born on 28 May 1951 in Detroit, to a large Irish family. In 1965, he entered the lower seminary of the archbishop’s seminary in that city. He later joined the Cistercian Order in Switzerland and from there moved to the seminary founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in Econe.

Already around 1973, he stopped recognising the heresiarch Montini (Paul VI) as Pope. After returning to the USA as a priest, he began a very intensive Catholic apostolate. On April 27, 1983, he was expelled from the fsspx along with priests Cekada, Sanborn, Kelly, Jenkins, Zapp and others. These famous “Nine” had opposed the imposition of the 1962 non-traditional liturgy by fsspx headquarters on the North American district, contrary to an earlier agreement.

This district was faithful to the rubrics of the Mass of St Pius X from the beginning. Other problems were the fsspx’s recognition of modernistic declarations of nullity of marriage and its allowing priests ordained in the new, dubious rite of ordination, especially bishops, to exercise priestly ministry. The flashpoint was the referral of neo-presbyter Rev. Thomas P. Zapp to an institution where he would celebrate Mass in the new proto-modernist 1962 rite promulgated by modernist John XXIII. The priests of the Northern District of the USA stood up for their Polish confrere (the surname Zapp is an abbreviation of the Polish surname Zapotoczny, typical for the Podhale region, where Fr Tomasz’s parents came from).

After his removal from the fsspx, Fr. Dolan co-founded the Confraternity (now Congregation) of St. Pius V. After leaving that group due to a lack of doctrinal clarity within it, Fr. Daniel began an independent apostolate at St. Gertrude the Great Church in the Cincinnati area. In 1993, on the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, he received the episcopal sacrament from the Rev. Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas.

In 1995, he and Fr. A. Cekada encouraged then Rev. Donald J Sanborn to establish Holy Trinity Seminary.

In the 1990s, he often visited Europe, where, among other things, he ordained several priests for the Institute of Our Lady of Good Counsel. In October 2007, he also visited Poland, baptising many candidates in our chapel of Our Lady Queen of the Polish Crown in Krakow. That same year he invited me to the USA for the ordination of Fr Mark Ramolla. Bishop was known for promoting many devotions, including the Holy Face and Our Lady of Good Counsel on whose feast day he died. He was also the founder of the Priestly Society of St Francis de Sales.

My relations with Bishop Dolan were sometimes stormy, but we finally reconciled last year, on the feast of St. Hyacinth of Poland (Św.Jacek) – 17 August.

Fr. Rafał J. Trytek ICR, 27.IV. A.D.2022, feast of St. Peter Canisius, 39 years after the removal of Bishop Dolan from fsspx

P.S. I ask for your prayers for the deacon priests whom Bishop Dolan was to ordain on 4 May, the feast of St Joseph, Patron Saint of the Church, and who at this moment are probably waiting for a bishop who can ordain them, and also for a Polish seminarian who is to be ordained a subdeacon on 11 May, the octave of St Joseph, Patron Saint of the Church.