Bishop Meagher has made a remarkable contribution to the Archdiocese of Sydney over a number of decades, including as a former Rector of the Good Shepherd Seminary and as a Director of Catechesis for World Youth Day when Sydney hosted the event in 2008.
Most Rev. Daniel Joseph Meagher was born on 10 November 1961 in the NSW Riverina town of West Wyalong. Bishop Daniel was the second of six children of Alan and Elizabeth (nee Woods). Life on the farm was difficult and his parents left West Wyalong and brought their family to settle in Sydney.
His father was a publican and owned a number of hotels including the Commercial Hotel at Port Kembla and the Matraville hotel which they owned for 25 years.
Bishop Daniel was educated by the Jesuits, completing his secondary schooling at St Ignatius College Riverview in 1979.
He studied economics and law at the University of Sydney and it was during these years that he felt a strong calling to serve the marginalised, volunteering at the Matthew Talbot hostel for homeless men and also at the local St Vincent De Paul conference at St Canice’s parish in the inner Sydney suburb of Elizabeth Bay.
Bishop Daniel practised as a solicitor for three years with Mallesons, Stephen Jaques before embarking upon his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s Seminary.
He was ordinated a priest on 22 July 1995 at St Mary’s Cathedral and was founding Parish Priest at Holy Spirit Parish in Carnes Hill from 2000-2004 before he went on to study for two years at the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, obtaining a Licentiate in Fundamental Theology.
After returning to Sydney, Bishop Daniel was appointed Director of Catechesis for World Youth Day from 2006-2008, working closely with then Bishop Anthony Fisher in the planning of this landmark event for the Catholic Church in Australia.
He has served in numerous leadership positions, including as Director of Mission for Catholic care and as Director of Formation in the Permanent Diaconate program.
Bishop Daniel spent a stint in rural NSW as Administrator of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Broken Hill in the Diocese of Wilcannia-Forbes from 2012-2014.
Bishop Daniel returned to Sydney to take up an appointment as Rector of the Seminary of the Good Shepherd from 2015-2020 and in 2021, he served as Administrator of All Hallows in Five Dock.
Bishop Daniel has been a vocal advocate for the homeless, spending six months in early 2021 working with the homeless and the marginalised in inner Sydney. He said Mass weekly at the Matthew Talbot hostel and also volunteered to help the homeless at David’s Place and through the homeless support services provided by the Order of Malta.
“I spent a lot of time ministering to the homeless, living at Surry Hills and travelling down to parks around Central where they congregated. I also got to know a lot of people living in the housing commission areas. I am attracted to that because I find that by being close to people on the margins, I come much closer to God. I hope to continue that as Bishop”.
On 18 November 2021, Pope Francis appointed him a bishop as Titular Bishop of Pocofelto and an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney.