Pope Benedict XVI Names New Monsignor

Eight Brooklyn Priests Are Recognized for Their Service to the Catholic Church

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Ph.D., D.D., Bishop of Brooklyn, announced that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, conferred the honor of Chaplains to His Holiness to seven priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn, an honor which carries the title of Reverend Monsignor and entitles them to wear a black cassock with fuchsia piping and buttons along with a fuchsia sash. The title is effective immediately.

The Holy Father also has promoted the Reverend Monsignor John Bracken, to rank of Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary. The title of Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary is considered to be the highest of these honors and is awarded for singularly important service to the Church. Up until last June, Monsignor Bracken served as the Diocesan Vicar General for Temporalities, a position he has held since 1997, which required him to oversee the administration of the financial resources of the Diocese according to Cannon Law. He retains the title of Monsignor and is now entitled to wear a fuchsia ferraiuolo, a silk cape worn with the red-trimmed black cassock for non-liturgical events of special solemnity, for example, graduations and commencements.

Priests who are accorded Papal Honors are considered honorary members of the papal household. This honor is bestowed for the lifetime of the recipient and is conferred with a diploma issued by the papal Secretariat of State.

The recipients of 2009 Papal Honors in the Diocese of Brooklyn are:

Chaplain to His Holiness

The Reverend Monsignor Steven J. Aguggia, JCL – Judicial Vicar and Pastor of St. Margaret Parish in Middle Village, Queens, NY

The Reverend Monsignor Steven A. Ferrari, – Territorial Vicar for Brooklyn, NY


The Reverend Monsignor Jamie J. Gigantiello, – Vicar for Development and Pastor of Mary Gate of Heaven Parish in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, NY

The Reverend Monsignor Kieran E. Harrington, MBA, – Vicar for Communications and Administrator of St. Joseph’s Parish in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, NY

The Reverend Monsignor Anthony M. Hernandez, JCL – Chancellor and Pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY

The Reverend Monsignor Paul W. Jervis – Pastor of St. Martin de Porres, (St. Peter Claver, Our Lady of Victory, Holy Rosary) in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, NY

The Reverend Monsignor Peter I. Vaccari, STL – Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, NY

Protonotary Apostolic Supernumerary

The Reverend Monsignor John Bracken, P.A. – currently on sabbatical

“I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to Monsignor Bracken and to our new monsignori,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “The Holy Father has chosen not simply to honor these eight priests but to honor our diocese and all our priests. As we journey through this Year of the Priest, may we reflect upon the gift of the priesthood to the Church of Brooklyn.”

The title of monsignor is one of distinction given by the pope to certain priests in the Roman Catholic Church as part of a papal honor recognizing the priest’s service to the Church. Priests upon whom the title of Monsignor is bestowed are considered to be members of the papal household and thus are listed in the Annuario Pontificio, which is the papal yearbook. In 1969, the custom of Chaplains of His Holiness surrendering the title upon the death and burial of the conferring pontiff was suppressed. Today, all monsignors retain their titles upon the death and burial of a Pope.

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio will preside at a celebration of Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint James in Brooklyn on Sunday, November 29th at 4pm. A reception will follow in the Cathedral Pavilion.