On Monday, July 20th, at 2 p.m., the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will ordain two new bishops for the Church in Brooklyn and Queens at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, 856 Pacific Street, Prospect Heights. Pope Francis appointed the Very Reverend James Massa, 54, and the Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski, 49, as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn in May.
Co-consecrating bishops will be the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Centre, and the Most Reverend Raymond Chappetto, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Vicar General for the Diocese. They will be joined by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York; His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop-Emeritus of Washington, D.C.; His Excellency Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations; His Excellency Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia; in addition to over 28 archbishops and bishops from across the United States and the world, including Bishop Artur Mizinski, Secretary General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, and Archbishop-Emeritus Juliusz Paetz of the Archdiocese of Poznan.
“Each of our two new Auxiliary Bishops brings special gifts to the office to which they have been called. Bishop Massa has spent most of his priestly life in the teaching ministry, while Bishop Witold Mroziewski also has given many years of his relatively young life to the service of the Diocese of Brooklyn, giving special attention to the Polish-speaking people of Brooklyn and Queens,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “Our new Auxiliary Bishops will join those who already labor in our Diocese, accommodating the spiritual needs of our faithful through their ministry of preaching, administering of the sacraments and living their lives for others.”
The Very Reverend James Massa was born on September 3, 1960, in Jersey City, New Jersey, to the late Andrew and Irene Gilbert Massa. He attended Boston College and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Theology and History in 1982. In 1985, he earned a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Yale University, and in 1997, a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Fordham University, where he wrote his dissertation under the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.
The late Bishop Francis J. Mugavero ordained Father Massa a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on October 25, 1986. His first assignment was as a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in the Forest Hills section of Queens (1986-1990). He went on to serve as Campus Minister at Queens College (1990-1993) and in a number of positions at seminaries and universities as an Associate Professor of Theology. In 2005, he was appointed the Executive Director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. In 2008, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a Member of the Joint Working Group between the Holy See and the World Council of Churches.
Father Massa returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2011 and coordinated the merger of the Theologates for the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Diocese of Brooklyn. In 2012, he was appointed Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology and Director of Assessment and Accreditation at Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. Since 2014, he has served as the Moderator of the Curia in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“The Holy Father’s appointment is deeply humbling, especially when I focus on myself and my own fears and limitations,” said Bishop Massa. “But when I focus on Christ the Good Shepherd, I feel strength of one whose perfect love casts out all fear and works through us, as priests and bishops, to bring great healing and joy to people’s lives. It is a great gift from God to share in this apostolic ministry for the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens.”
The Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski was born on March 25, 1966, to Waclawa Jablonska and the late Jan Edmund Mroziewski in Augustow, Poland. He earned a Masters in Theology from the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland, in 1991. He returned to K.U.L., Poland, and earned a Masters in 2001 and a Doctorate in 2003 in Canon Law.
Bishop Juliusz Paetz ordained Father Mroziewski a priest at the Cathedral of Lomza on June 29, 1991. He served as a Parochial Vicar in the parish of Kadzidlo. In 1992, he was sent for pastoral service in Brooklyn to minister to Poles. He served as Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Czestochowa-Saint Casmir (1993-2000) and served as Pastor of this parish from (2000-2013). He now serves as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish (2013-present). He is also Associate Promoter of Justice for Criminal Cases and the Defender of the Bond on the Diocesan Tribunal.
“I wish to extend my most sincere gratitude to our Holy Father Pope Francis, for his trust in appointing me to the historic vibrant See as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said Bishop Mroziewski. “This is a gift, which despite my human weakness and brokenness, I will take upon with faith. As I said I am all yours and I promise to give all that I have and all that I am in God’s service.”
As auxiliary bishops, they will join Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, Vicar General; Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros, Vicar for Hispanic Concerns and pastor of Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill; Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills; and retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq, pastor emeritus of St. Gregory the Great in Crown Heights, in assisting Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to serve the nearly 1.5 million multi-cultural Catholics who reside in Brooklyn and Queens.
The diocesan network New Evangelization Television (NET TV) will provide live coverage of the Ordination, which will also be live streamed on www.netny.tv. NET TV is a cable network featuring news and information with a Catholic point of view, and is available in the New York area on Time Warner Cable, Channel 97, Cablevision, Channel 30, and nationally on Verizon FiOS On Demand.