Dale Joseph Melczek (born November 9, 1938) is an American retired prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He first served as an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit before becoming the third Bishop of Gary, a post he held from June 1, 1996 until his retirement on November 24, 2014.
Dale Melczek was born in Detroit, Michigan, and studied at St. Mary's College in Orchard Lake, and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth, from where he obtained a Master's degree in Divinity. He earned a Master's in Education from the University of Detroit, and did his postgraduate work at the University of Notre Dame.
He was ordained to the priesthood on June 6, 1964, and then served as associate pastor at St. Sylvester Church in Warren until 1970. Melczek was co-pastor (1970-1972) and later pastor (1972-1975) of St. Christine Church in Detroit, and concurrently vicar of the West Detroit Vicariate (1973-1975). He served as assistant vicar for parishes from 1975 to 1977, when he became secretary to John Cardinal Dearden and vicar general of the Archdiocese.
On December 3, 1982, Melczek was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Tragurium by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on January 27, 1983 from Archbishop Edmund Szoka, with Bishops Harold Perry, S.V.D., and Arthur Krawczak serving as co-consecrators. As an auxiliary bishop, he served as episcopal vicar of the Detroit Northwest Region.
He was later named Apostolic Administrator of Gary, Indiana, on August 19, 1992, and Coadjutor Bishop of Gary on October 28, 1995. Melczek succeeded Norbert F. Gaughan as the third Bishop of Gary on June 1, 1996.
Elected to the Board of Catholic Relief Services in November 1996, he has visited the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, East Timor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, and Tanzania on behalf of CRS. He has also served as chairman of the USCCB Committee on the Laity (2002-2005), co-chairman of the Race Relations Council of Northwest Indiana (2002-2007), and episcopal liaison to the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (2002-2007).
On November 9, 2013, Bishop Melczek turned 75, the age at which Catholic bishops are required to submit their resignations to the Pope. A year after he submitted his resignation, the Vatican accepted it on November 24, 2014. That same day, Bishop Donald J. Hying, the auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was named the 4th Bishop of the diocese, replacing Melczek. Bishop Melczek became the apostolic administrator of the diocese until Hying's installation that following January. Bishop Melczek is the now the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Gary.
|Catholic Church titles|
Norbert Felix Gaughan
| Bishop of Gary
Donald J. Hying
| Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit