Bishop Daniel J. Felton is the tenth Bishop of Duluth. He was born Feb. 5, 1955, the son of Carol and the late Ken Felton and the oldest of five children. He attended St. Edward School in Mackville, Wis., and Appleton West in Appleton. He holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wis., in religious studies and psychology; a master’s degree in theology from St. John University, Collegeville; and a licentiate of sacred theology and a master’s degree in social communications from the Gregorian University in Rome.
Bishop Felton was ordained a priest on June 13, 1981, by Bishop Aloysius Wycislo for the Green Bay Diocese. His parish assignments in the Diocese of Green Bay included Holy Innocents in Manitowoc, St. Raphael the Archangel in Oshkosh, and St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Manitowoc. Bishop Felton was also the director of affiliate affairs for the Catholic Telecommunications Network of America. Bishop Felton served in Green Bay as a member of the diocesan College of Consultors, Presbyteral Council, Bishop Advisory Council, Personnel Board, Diocesan Finance Council, St. Norbert Board of Trustees, and Silver Lake College Board of Directors. He was also a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. At the time of his appointment as Bishop of Duluth in 2021, he had been serving the Green Bay Diocese as vicar general and moderator of the curia since 2014.
Bishop Felton was ordained May 20, 2021, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth. The principal co-consecrator was Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and his co-consecrators were Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay and Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois.
Coat of Arms of the Diocese of Duluth
The coat of arms of the Diocese of Duluth is decorated in the colors of the coat of arms of France. It displays a cross terminating in the fleurs-de-lis in honor of the French missionaries who brought the Faith to the territory now encompassed by the Diocese of Duluth. Among those missionaries was Father Joseph Cretin, a zealous French priest, who began an active and successful missionary career in this area by trying to revive the old Indian missions and evangelize the Canadian “voyagers” who went there for the fur trade. In 1850 he was appointed the first Bishop of St. Paul by Pius IX on the recommendation of the Seventh Provincial Council of Baltimore (1849).
The See City is named after Daniel Greysolen Du Luth, one of the early French officers. Over the shield is a mitre, a tall flat hat, elaborately ornamented, worn by bishops, archbishops and some abbots. The two fringed streamers, usually hanging from the back, suggest the spirit and the letter of the Bible.
The background shield if in living color would be colored blue and would be symbolic of Lake Superior on whose shores the See City rests. The unevenness of the background surface is symbolic of the water tides and depicts the storms of life that we must go through.
Explanation of the Coat of Arms and Motto of Bishop Felton
A Glass Cutter
For three generations, the Felton Family owned the Valley Glass Company, a retail glass business in Appleton, WI. Bishop Felton, along with his grandfather and father, are glaziers by trade. The glass cutter is symbolic of the work heritage of his family.
The Lily of St. Joseph
Bishop Felton is being ordained a bishop in the year of St. Joseph. He has a special devotion to St. Joseph, especially the tradition of the “Sleeping St. Joseph.” Many a prayer intention has been placed under his statue of St. Joseph, where Bishop Felton knows that St. Joseph is working it out in his dreams. St. Joseph, pray for us.
For the 40 years of his priesthood, Bishop Felton’s appointments have always been along a body of water (Lake Winnebago, Lake Michigan, the Fox River, the Green Bay and now Lake Superior). The shores of these waters have provided Bishop Felton with moments of recreation, prayer, and rebirth reflective of the life-giving waters of Jesus Christ.
Our Lady, Undoer of Knots
Bishop Felton has a special devotion to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots. Every day he prays to Mary to help him undo the knots that are placed before him in the events, people and experiences of each day so that all may grow closer to her son, Jesus Christ. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.
Motto: Believe in the Good News
Numerous times the New Testament proclaims that the Kingdom of God is at hand! Often, this proclamation comes off the lips of Jesus Christ himself. The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent. Believe in the Gospel (Mark 1:15). This is one of Bishop Felton’s favorite scripture passages. The Kingdom of God is given to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Only our sin prevents us from knowing the glory of this Kingdom. So, let us repent and truly believe in the Good News!