Most Reverend Joseph T. Daley

“Soli Deo Gloria” (Honor to God Alone) – Romans 16:27

Joseph Thomas Daley was born in Connerton, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania on December 21, 1915. His parents were Patrick J. and Marcy C. (Murphy) Daley. He was educated at the Seminary of Saint Charles Borromeo, Overbrook, Philadelphia.

Most Reverend Joseph T. Daley
Sixth Bishop of Harrisburg


Father Daley was ordained to the priesthood in Philadelphia on June 7, 1941, by Denis Cardinal Dougherty. After pastoral assignments in Philadelphia, Father Daley served a tour of duty in Korea as chaplain in the United States Army and in the PA National Guard. Following return to civilian life, he was assistant pastor at Saint Matthew, Philadelphia, and served until 1960 when he was named Vice Rector of Saint Charles Seminary.Father Daley was appointed Titular Bishop of Barca and Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg on November 27, 1963. He was consecrated in Philadelphia on January 7, 1964, by Archbishop John J. Krol, assisted by Bishop George L. Leech of Harrisburg. He attended the third and fourth sessions of the Vatican Council. Bishop Leech appointed him the Vicar General of the diocese on January 22, 1964. The Holy See announced the appointment of Bishop Daley as Coadjutor Bishop of Harrisburg with right of succession on July 31, 1967.

With the retirement of Bishop Leech, Bishop Daley succeeded to the See of Harrisburg on October 19, 1971. From 1969 through his tenure as ordinary, he served as president of the PA Catholic Conference. He served on committees of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the board of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D. C.When Bishop Daley was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he spoke openly of his illness to his priests and his people helping all to focus on the purpose of life, the inevitability of death, the redemptive value of suffering and the reality of the promise of eternal life. He died on September 2, 1983, and was buried in Priests’ Circle, Holy Cross Cemetery, Harrisburg, PA.

Bishop Joseph T. Daley had been appointed Coadjutor Bishop on July 31, 1967, and became Ordinary of the Diocese of Harrisburg with the retirement of Bishop Leech in 1971. While continuing the programs of Bishop Leech, he also initiated significant new ones.

In 1973, Bishop Daley established the diocesan Office of Planning responsible for defining goals for the mission of the Church throughout the diocese and its parishes. Among the priorities announced were use of the diocesan newspaper for religious education and systematic home visitations for all parishes.

Formal diocesan programs began for faith renewal, adult education, respect life and youth ministry. Trinity Spiritual Center opened on the grounds of Trinity High School, Camp Hill. Following the directions of Vatican Council II, diocesan and parish councils were created to encourage priests, sisters and laity in advisory and leadership roles.

Among Bishop Daley’s central concerns was encouragement of religious vocations. Through the Office of Vocations, he fostered discernment programs for men and women and oversaw the beginning of the Emmaus Program for priests.

To secure funding for the widening scope of diocesan services, Bishop Daley initiated the yearly Lenten Appeal in 1974 and founded the Diocesan Development Office.

After several years of illness with cancer, Bishop Daley died on September 2, 1983. He was succeeded by Bishop William H. Keeler, who continued Bishop Daley’s goals and programs.

Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg

He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Harrisburg and Titular Bishop of Ulcinium (Dulcigno) by Pope John Paul II on July 24, 1979

After Bishop Daley’s death, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Harrisburg by the Holy See.  (cf. canon 419).