Daniel Patrick Reilly

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Daniel Patrick Reilly
Bishop Emeritus of Worcester
ChurchRoman Catholic
DioceseDiocese of Worcester
AppointedOctober 27, 1994
InstalledNovember 8, 1994
RetiredMarch 9, 2004
PredecessorTimothy Joseph Harrington
SuccessorRobert Joseph McManus
OrdinationMay 3, 1953
ConsecrationAugust 6, 1975
by John Francis Whealon, Vincent Joseph Hines, and Louis Edward Gelineau
Personal details
Born (1928-05-12) May 12, 1928 (age 95)
Previous post(s)Bishop of Norwich (1975-1994)
EducationGrand Seminary in Saint-Brieuc, France
Boston College
MottoIn kindness and in truth
Styles of
Daniel Patrick Reilly
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Daniel Patrick Reilly (born May 12, 1928) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Reilly served as bishop of the Diocese of Norwich in Connecticut from 1975 to 1994 and as bishop of the Diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts from 1994 to 2004.


Early life and education[edit]

Daniel Reilly was born on May 12, 1928, in Providence, Rhode Island, to Francis and Mary Ann (née O'Beirne) Reilly.[1] He entered Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, Rhode Island, in 1943, then in 1948 went to the Grand Seminary in Saint-Brieuc, France.[1]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Reilly was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Providence on May 30, 1953, by Bishop Russell McVinney at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul in Providence.[2] After his ordination, Reilly briefly served in a parish before completing his graduate studies at Boston College.[1]

In the Diocese of Providence, Reilly was named assistant chancellor (1954), secretary to Bishop McVinney (1956), chancellor (1964), and vicar general (1972).[3] Reilly attended two sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome during the early 1960s and was raised to the rank of monsignor in 1965.[3]

Bishop of Norwich[edit]

On June 5, 1975, Pope Paul VI appointed Reilly as the third bishop of the Diocese of Norwich.[4] He received his episcopal ordination on August 6, 1975, at the Cathedral of Saint Patrick in Norwich by Archbishop John Whealon, with Bishops Vincent Hines and Louis Gelineau serving as co-consecrators.[2]

In 1978, Reilly allowed Reverend Bruno Primavera to transfer from the Archdiocese of Toronto to Norwich. Before granting the transfer, Reilly received warnings from archdiocesan officials about Primavera's fondness for teenage boys. In addition, a majority of the commission in Norwich that vetted new priest voted against Primavera. After sexual abuse allegations were lodged against him in one parish, Reilly transferred Primavera. When complaints arose in the second parish, Reilly in 1980 sent him back to Canada. In 1990, Primavera was sentenced to four years in prison in New Mexico for sexually abusing boys.[5]

During his tenure in Norwich, Reilly transferred other priests facing allegations of sexual abuse to different parishes.[5]

Bishop of Worcester[edit]

On October 27, 1994, Pope John Paul II appointed Reilly as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Worcester.[4] He was installed on December 8, 1994.[2] During his tenure in Worcester, Reilly reopened St. Joseph Parish but merged it with Notre Dame des Canadiens Parish in Worcester.[3] He raised over $50 million for his Forward in Faith campaign to place the diocese in a stable financial condition.[3]

In 2002, Reilly became the first Catholic bishop to open the annual synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.[3] In 2003, he expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage and civil unions for same sex couples. However, he declared that he was open to discussion on giving public benefits to same-sex couples.[6]


On March 9, 2004, John Paul II accepted Reilly's resignation as bishop of Worcester.[4] He was succeeded by Bishop Robert McManus, then auxiliary bishop of Providence.

On September 17, 2012, the Diocese of Norwich reached a $1.1 million settlement with a New London, Connecticut, woman who claimed that she had been sexually abused as a minor by Reverend Thomas Shea from Joseph Parish in New London. The woman claimed that Reilly, when bishop of Norwich, knew about Shea's history of abuse allegations, but kept transferring him to different parishes.[7]

In October 2020, Reilly reminisced about running retreats for men and women of the US Armed Forces in South Korea and Hawaii. He also spoke of travelling by plane and ferry to Block Island to celebrate mass when he was a priest in the Diocese of Providence.[8]

On December 30, 2020, the newspaper The Day calculated that Reilly and the Diocese of Norwich faced 35 separate lawsuits by men who had been sexually abused during the 1990s as minors. The men all accused Brother K. Paul McGlade, a monk who ran the Academy at Mount Saint John in Deep River, Connecticut. As bishop, Reilly had served on the Academy school board that recruited McGlade from Australia.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Curtis, Georgina Pell (1977). The American Catholic Who's Who. Vol. XXI. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ a b c "Bishop Daniel Patrick Reilly". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
  3. ^ a b c d e Shaw, Kathleen (2003-05-06). "Bishop Reilly to retire". Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
  4. ^ a b c Connor, Tanya. "Bishop Reilly enjoys being with the people", 'The Catholic Free Press, October 23, 2020
  5. ^ a b "A Bishop in Denial Left a Legacy of Pain Diocese and Victims Still Pay Heavy Price for Reilly's Sheltering of Abusive Priests". The Day. May 13, 2007. Retrieved 2023-10-30.
  6. ^ "Bishop brings reason to issue of gay benefits". National Catholic Reporter. 2003-11-07.
  7. ^ Altimari, Dave. "Woman Gets $1.1 Million In Priest Abuse Case; Tells Ex-Bishop, 'Shame On You'". courant.com. Retrieved 2021-10-29.
  8. ^ Connor, Tanya (October 23, 2020). "Bishop Reilly enjoys being with the people". The Catholic Free Press.
  9. ^ "Norwich diocese now faces 35 sexual assault lawsuits connected to Deep River school". The Day. 2020-12-29. Retrieved 2021-10-29.

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop Emeritus of Worcester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Worcester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Norwich
Succeeded by