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Popular pastor to lead Catholic diocese in Texas

Sunday, January 18, 2004

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bishop Daniel DiNardo of Sioux City, Iowa, formerly a popular pastor in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, will lead the Diocese of Galveston-Houston, Texas in two years.

Galveston-Houston, with more than 1 million Catholics, is the ninth largest diocese in the U.S. DiNardo, 54, initially will serve as a co-adjutor bishop alongside Bishop Joseph Fiorenza, 73, and succeed him when he must retire in 2006.

"He is a very talented person. Everyone realized that, because of his youth, Sioux City wouldn't be his final stop. Everyone was speculating on where he would go," said the Rev. Lawrence DiNardo, the chief canon lawyer for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He is not related to the bishop.

A Mass of Welcome will be held for DiNardo on March 26 in St. Michael Church in Houston.

A native of Steubenville, Ohio, DiNardo lived in St. Anne parish in Castle Shannon during his childhood. Ordained in 1977, he served as a parochial vicar at St. Pius X parish in Brookline before becoming assistant chancellor of the diocese in 1981. In 1984 he went to work in the Vatican's powerful Congregation for Bishops. He also oversaw the Villa Stritch, home to American clergy who work in the Vatican.

DiNardo returned to Pittsburgh in 1990 and served as assistant secretary for education with pastoral duties at Madonna del Castello parish in Swissvale. In 1994 he became the founding pastor of Ss. John and Paul parish in Franklin Park, where he remained until he was dispatched to Sioux City in 1997.

"The people who remember him from when he began the parish, they are more loyal than Steeler fans," said the Rev. Joseph McCaffrey, now pastor of Ss. John and Paul.

DiNardo is scheduled to offer a 10th anniversary Mass for the parish on Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.

His new diocese is more than 40 percent Hispanic. McCaffrey said that DiNardo had celebrated Spanish Masses in Iowa.

Ann Rodgers can be reached at or 412-263-1416.

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