By Francesca Norsen Tate
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The ordination of two priests as Auxiliary Bishops for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn was a celebratory event that brought prelates, clergy and laypersons from as far away as Australia.
The new Auxiliary Bishops are the Most Rev. Raymond F. Chappetto, D.D., and the Most Rev. Paul R. Sanchez, D.D.
Bishop Sanchez is a Brooklyn native who has served parishes both in this borough and Queens. Up to the time that Pope Benedict XVI appointed him a bishop, Sanchez served as Vicar for Queens, as vicariate coordinator for the diocesan Liturgical Commission, a member of the diocesan team for Ministry to Priests, and International Committee on English in the Liturgy sub-committee. He is known as a passionate teacher and was an adjunct faculty member at Saint John’s University and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. He is fluent in English and Spanish.
Bishop Chappetto holds degrees from Our Lady of Angels Seminary and St. John’s University. He is certified in Pastoral Counseling and is fluent in English and Italian.
Our Lady of Angels Church, on Fourth Avenue and 74th Street in Bay Ridge, which hosted the consecration liturgy, was filled with bishops, clergy, dignitaries and special guests. As the procession entered the church, the bishops, clergy, and members of the Knights of Columbus and Order of the Holy Sepulchre formed a line that, if it had stretched all the way up Fourth Avenue, would have spanned several blocks.
Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop emeritus of the Archdiocese of New York, was the Presiding Cardinal; Timothy Cardinal Dolan, originally listed on the roster as fulfilling this role, could not attend. As Cardinal Egan processed into the church, he greeted his clergy colleagues, members of the church and well-wishing neighbors.
Archbishop Philip E. Wilson, leader of the Archdiocese of Adelaide in Australia, was among the co-Consecrating Bishops, as was a former Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, Most Rev. Gerald M. Barbarito, who served here from 1994-99 when Pope John Paul II appointed him as Bishop of Ogdensburg, New York that year. Bishop Barbarito now serves the Catholic Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida. Other co-Consecrating Bishops were the Most Rev. Gregory J. Mansour, leader of the Eparchy of St. Maron, serving Maronite (Eastern Rite) Catholics; and the Bishop emeritus of Brooklyn, Most Rev. Thomas V. Daily. Assumption Church’s Pastor, Father James W. King, served as Master of Ceremony for the Retired Auxiliary Bishops of Brooklyn.
Prior to their ordination, Bishops Chappetto and Sanchez attended a retreat with Bishop DiMarzio, to discuss their new roles in the Church. During a press conference that followed the July 11 liturgy, they discussed the insights they gained.
“We learned a lot from the lives of the apostles” said Bishop Chappetto. "Usually, there’s not much written about them in the Scriptures, but we deduced a lot of their virtues, their example, the struggles that they were under. We learned a lot about them that we can really apply to the life that we’re going to try to lead.”
Bishop Sanchez said, “Bishop Ray and I, sitting at the feet of Bishop DiMarzio, listening to his experiences, hearing his zeal and enthusiasm, having seen him minister to the people of God in Brooklyn and Queens, I think we really get a sense of what it means to bishop in a very practical way. I’m very grateful to him that he gave us that time.”
Just before the Consecration and laying-on-of-hands, priests and deacons held the Gospel Book over the heads of each new bishop being ordained. During the press conference, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio explained this rite.
“The Book of the Gospels is placed over the heads of the Bishops prior to the Prayer of Consecration, because they are responsible for preaching the word of God, and always being faithful to it," he said. "So it is a reminder that they labor under the word of God, and before the word of God.”