Pope Benedict XVI has named two new auxiliary bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn, the apostolic nuncio to the U.S. announced May 2.
The bishops-designate are Msgr. Raymond Chappetto, 66, and Msgr. Paul Sanchez, 65.
“These two men are among the most respected priests in the Diocese of Brooklyn.” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn said. “Fundamentally, they are parish priests at heart. Each is very attentive to the diverse needs of the people they serve.”
“I am also grateful for their assistance in my ministry as bishop.” The two future bishops also “consistently offer wise counsel and advice that has been indispensable in the administration of the diocese,” Bishop DiMarzio said.
Bishop-designate Chappetto, who serves as the diocese’s vicar for clergy and consecrated life, said he is “honored and humbled” that Pope Benedict has entrusted him with “such an important ministry in the life of the Church.”
“The work of visiting the sick, as well as teaching in our parochial school and celebrating the Sacraments has kept me grounded for the 41 years of my priesthood,” he said. “Despite the greater responsibilities of my new office, I intend to be faithful to those ministries which have been so nourishing to me these many years.”
Bishop-designate Sanchez said in his 40 years as a priest he has been “privileged to see how Almighty God has used me, despite my many failings and weaknesses, to build up the kingdom of Heaven.”
He expressed deep gratitude to the Pope for choosing him.
“As I have walked on this great pilgrimage as a priest, the depths of God’s love have been made very clearly manifest,” he added.
Bishop-Designate Chappetto was born Aug. 20, 1945 in the Astoria neighborhood in Queens. He studied at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Albany and at St. John’s University.
Bishop Francis Mugavero of Brooklyn ordained him to the priesthood in May 1971. He has served at several parishes.
He has a master’s degree in divinity and a master’s degree in religious education, as well as certification in pastoral counseling. He speaks English and Italian.
Bishop-designate Chappetto is currently the pastor of Our Lady of the Snows at Floral Park.
Bishop-designate Sanchez was born Nov. 26, 1946 in Brooklyn. Then-Bishop James Hickey, who later became Archbishop of Washington and a cardinal, ordained him to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in December 1971.
He has served at several parishes and he has been a member of the diocesan Liturgical Commission, the Presbyteral Council, and a subcommittee of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy.
He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure’s University, a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He speaks English and Spanish.
The bishop-designate reflected on the parishes he has served.
“I have loved my ministry as a parish priest in my first three wonderful parishes and then as pastor of the people of St. Agatha in Sunset Park and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Astoria. Even when the people had limited financial resources, they were rich in faith and an inspiration to my life of faith.”
His time as Territorial Vicar of Queens allowed him to work closely with the pastors, priests and staff of the diocese’s parishes, he said.
The Diocese of Brooklyn has 1.4 million Catholics across the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.
The diocese already has two auxiliary bishops: diocese Vicar General Bishop Frank Caggiano and Bishop Octavio Cisneros, the Vicar for Hispanic Concerns and pastor of Holy Child Jesus Parish in Richmond Hill.