Bishop Daniel Ivancho

Daniel Ivancho was born in the village of Jasinia, Maramoroš County in the Eparchy of Mukačevo (present-day Ukraine), on March 30, 1908. At the age of eight, he emigrated to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio with his widowed mother. After graduating from St. Procopius College in Lisle, Illinois, he was sent to Rome to pursue his seminary training. Because of ill health, he transferred to the Seminary in Užhorod where he completed his theological studies. On September 30, 1934, Bishop Basil Takach ordained him to the priesthood.

When Bishop Basil became ill, Father Daniel was named his coadjutor. On November 5, 1946, he was ordained a bishop at St. Paul (Latin) Cathedral in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh.  Many Eastern and Latin bishops and clergy participated, and the homilist was the renowned preacher, (then) Monsignor Fulton J. Sheen. The presence of the Empress Zita and other members of the Imperial Hapsburg family of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire added to the occasion.

When on May 13, 1948, Bishop Basil lost his long and painful battle with cancer and fell asleep in the Lord, Bishop Daniel assumed the leadership of the Exarchate.

He believed that the most pressing need he faced was to provide fitting and adequate preparation of men for the priesthood. Despite opposition from many of his advisors who favored the building of a cathedral, in a pastoral letter dated June 14, 1950 to the clergy and faithful of the Exarchate, he announced plans for the construction of seminary.  It was completed then dedicated and blessed on October 18, 1951.

Bishop Daniel also encouraged the founding of a number of Eastern monastic communities in the Exarchate.  An order of monks following the Rule of St. Benedict was established in the late 1940s in McKeesport, Pa.  In 1954, a group of Benedictine Sisters founded their monastery in Warren, Ohio, and the Franciscan Friars realized their origin at Holy Dormition Monastery in Sybertsville, Pa.

Bishop Daniel’s episcopacy ended suddenly when he resigned his ministry for personal reasons in December 1954. He retired to Florida where he fell asleep in the Lord in 1972. Though his tenure was short, he continued the work of his predecessor, and is acknowledged for his vision for the future of the Church with the establishment of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.