Meet Our New Bishop
March 18, 2016
The Rev. Canon Daniel G. P. Gutierrez was elected Bishop at The Diocese of Pennsylvania’s Special Convention on March 12.
The Rev. Canon Daniel G. P. Gutierrez, a priest of the Diocese of the Rio Grande, is canon to the ordinary, chief operating officer, and chief of staff for the diocese, which is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As part of his role in diocesan leadership, he also serves as executive director of the diocesan conference and retreat centers, and he oversees all aspects of ministry, human resources, budgeting, funds and investments, and capital campaigns within the diocese. He also serves the Episcopal Church through administrative and budgetary oversight of the Navajoland Area Mission and is vice president of the Episcopal Church in Navajoland Economic Development Corporation.
Before Gutierrez was named to his current position in 2011, he had an extensive career in public service — including serving as chief of staff to the mayor of Albuquerque and as director of the Bernalillo County Economic Development Department. He also was president of a strategy and media firm whose clients included state and local political leaders.
Gutierrez was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood in 2008, both in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, and subsequently he served at the Cathedral Church of St. John and at St. Michael and All Angels Church in Albuquerque. After joining the diocesan staff, he was called to rebuild two struggling parishes, serving them as vicar and rector.
Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of New Mexico, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in history and political science in 1987 and a master of arts in public administration in 1992. In 2007, he earned a diocesan certificate in Anglican studies through the Trinity School for Ministry, and in 2011, he was awarded a master of theological studies degree from St. Norbert College.
Gutierrez has been married since 1991 to Suzanne Fletcher Gutierrez, and they have one son, Jude, a junior at The Bosque School, a college preparatory high school.
Q: What is your vision for the ministry of the bishop in a diocese? What aspect of the ministry of the episcopate in the Diocese of Pennsylvania excites you the most?
My vision for the ministry is that the people of Diocese of Pennsylvania will know I love them. I will be a faithful shepherd, caring servant, authentic companion, and loving apprentice of Jesus Christ. This vision comes to reality only through the people of the diocese. I am deeply curious about the people I serve and have found that ministry is not about me. True ministry is living — spiritually and physically — with the faithful, the fallen, the seeking, the hurting, and the lost. We all jointly share in the responsibility of building the beautiful kingdom of God. The people of the diocese provide this sacred possibility, and this gives me hope and excitement.
The diocese has a story of pain, hope, endurance, and awakening that speaks of Christ present in our lives. This story is a testimony of the “ongoing incarnation” of Jesus Christ. Things are being made new and new chapters are being written. Let’s tell a new story.
In the first chapter of John, Jesus is traveling and being followed by curious observers. He is asked, “Where are you staying?” Jesus responds, “Come and see.”
Imagine if this diocese were to be known as the “come and see” diocese — a place to encounter God through prayer, community, liturgy, and service. A place where the dignity of humanity was lifted up, and a place that shows how people love one another. A place where Christ is reflected in each person. “Come and see” and you may want to join in this sacred story called the Diocese of Pennsylvania.
Q: Using an example from your own ministry, how do you seek and serve Christ in all persons, love your neighbor as yourself, strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
I am blessed to work with the Episcopal Diocese in Navajoland. Initially, our task was to create an economic development plan, reorganize administration, and develop sustained outreach. But what began as an opportunity to work with Bishop Bailey and the Diné (Navajo) people has sacredly transformed into the realization of God’s presence in our work. I am profoundly moved by this ministry and am forever changed.
Initially, both sides started with a suspicion of one another’s motives. Over time, we allowed the Holy Spirit to enter our work, and we began to open our faith and lives to one another. We listened and learned one another’s stories. We approached our time together as sacred presence. We looked at each other through a different lens — as loving children of God.
Now, each meeting is one of change. The Diné perceive our hearts and invite us into their lives. We understand the cultural and economic systems that force the Diné to operate in a method that is beyond our grasp. We continually break through barriers through laughter, mutual respect, and hard work. Our time is filled with dignity, honesty, and prayer. We bless one another and in the process find Jesus.
In poverty, we meet our own poverty. We continue to build that beautiful kingdom of God one small step at a time.
When I call the Diné my brother and sister, they are not mere words. They emanate from each beat of my heart, and they resound with a loving truth centered in Christ.