Diocese of Holy Trinity & Great Plains


The Diocese of the Holy Trinity and Great Plains covers the Western United States and extends from Arkansas to Wyoming. The Diocese was faithfully led for 18 years by the Rt. Rev. James R. McNeley who retired in 2008. The Rt. Rev. Leo J. Michael was Enthroned as the new Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese.

The Rt. Rev. J. Leo Michael - Bishop Ordinary

The Right Reverend Leo Joseph Michael, a native of India, left his home at age 14 to join the Salesians of Don Bosco Minor Seminary, a religious order dedicated to youth ministry. After five years of minor seminary and a year of novitiate formation in Nashik, Maharashtra, India he became an official member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He earned his bachelors in philosophy in Darjeeling. His work and experience included serving in orphanages, schools, parochial settings, and social service settings among the poverty-stricken from the hills of Darjeeling to villages of rural Tamil Nadu. After Michael had completed his years of practical training he entered his Theology formation at Kristu Jyoti (Christ the Light) College, Bangalore, which is affiliated with the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome. After eleven years of formation, he was ordained in 1992. The next eight years, along with his regular pastoral duties he served as youth director, counselor, teacher, principal and dean of Don Bosco Schools in various locales of South India, while earning his Master’s Degrees in English Literature, Education, and Counseling Psychology. Michael came to the United States in August 2000 to serve the Arkansas Diocese of Little Rock in three locations; priest chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rogers, associate pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Rogers and pastor of St. John’s Catholic Church in Huntsville. Then on December 12, 2001, driving toward his Huntsville parish, he was involved in an auto accident that injured him, totaled his car and became the catalyst in severing his priestly ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. The newly appointed bishop in the Diocese of Little Rock dismissed him from his pastoral duties. Leaving in excellent standing with the church, Michael left for India. Michael returned to the US and accepted a position as Rector of St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in Springdale, Arkansas in April 2003. He was appointed as Archdeacon of the United Episcopal Church in April 2005 and then in April 2006 he was consecrated Suffragan Bishop. November 2007, Michael was licensed to serve in the Holy Catholic Church-Anglican Rite assisting Bishop James McNeley in the Diocese of the Holy Trinity-Great Plains. Bp. Michael became Bishop Ordinary on June 12, 2008 upon the retirement of Bp. McNeley. He is a US Citizen, married to Holly Michael and resides in Springdale, Arkansas.

The Rt. Rev. James R. McNeley - Bishop Emeritus

The Rt. Rev. James R. McNeley was born on December 30, 1931 in Fort Scott, Kansas. He was Confirmed in St. Andrew's Episcopal Church on April 9, 1944 and served in the United States Navy from 1952 to 1956. He married Madelyn on December 26, 1953 and they have two daughters: Gina Karleskint of Fort Scott, Kansas, and Mary Katherine McNeley of Grant’s Pass, Oregon. They also have six grandchildren and one great grandchild. Bp. McNeley was Ordained to the Diaconate August 12, 1980 by The Rt. Rev. James O. Mote and Ordained to the Priesthood on July 16, 1981 by The Rt. Rev. Louis W. Falk. He served as Deacon and Priest at St. Francis Anglican Church in Fort Scott, Kansas from 1980 to 1984 and served as Archdeacon for 8 years under Archbishop Falk. McNeley served as Rector at St. James Anglican Church in Kansas City, Missouri from 1985 to 2003. He was Consecrated Bishop on January 25, 1992 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Retired as Bishop Ordinary in 2008.