Two Priests to be Ordained Auxiliary Bishops for the Diocese of Brooklyn


The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio will ordain two bishops for the Church in Brooklyn and Queens today at 2 p.m. at a Mass of Episcopal Ordination to be celebrated at Our Lady of Angels R.C. Church, 7320 4th Avenue, Brooklyn. Pope Benedict XVI appointed the two priests – Msgr. Raymond Chappetto, 66, and Msgr. Paul Sanchez, 65 – as auxiliary bishops for Brooklyn.

Bishop DiMarzio will be joined by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, in addition to over 25 bishops from across the United States and the world, including Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, a close personal friend of the newly consecrated Bishop Chappetto. Timothy Cardinal Dolan, metropolitan archbishop of New York, will preside.

“Bishop Chappetto and Bishop Sanchez are two of the finest men in our presbyterate,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “They and I have heard true compliments concerning the selection of these men by our Holy Father to serve as Auxiliary Bishops here in Brooklyn and Queens. They both exude compassion, care and understanding for God’s people, and in particular for the priests of the Diocese. We are fortunate to have them serve in their new role as auxiliary Bishops. I look forward to working closely with both of them and sharing my ministry with them as we teach, sanctify and govern God’s people.”

The Most Reverend Raymond Chappetto was born August 20, 1945, in Astoria. He studied at Our Lady of Angels Seminary, Albany, where he holds a Master’s of Divinity, as well as a Master of Arts in Religious Education from St. John’s University. He is also certified in Pastoral Counseling.

He was ordained May 29, 1971, by Bishop Francis Mugavero at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn. His priestly assignments include associate pastor at St. Camillus, Rockaway Beach (1971-75); St. Pius V, Jamaica (1975-76); Incarnation, Queens Village (1976-81), and St. Helen, Howard Beach (1981-83). He was among the first to be involved in Team Ministry at Our Lady of Miracles, Canarsie, from 1983-89, where he ultimately then became pastor. He served there until 1995 when he was named an Episcopal Vicar for Brooklyn West. In 1999, he became pastor of Our Lady of the Snows, Floral Park, where he still serves. The National Catholic Education Association named him Pastor of the Year in 2008.

While remaining pastor of Our Lady of Snows, Msgr. Chappetto was appointed Minister for Priests and in 2009 he was named Vicar for Clergy and Consecrated Life. His sister- in-law is a religious sister in the congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“I am honored and humbled that the Holy Father would entrust me with such an important ministry in the life of the Church,” said Bishop Chappetto. “The work of visiting the sick, as well as teaching in our parochial school and celebrating the Sacraments has kept me grounded for the forty-one years of my priesthood. 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 Chappetto was named a Prelate of Honor by Blessed John Paul II in 1997. He speaks English and Italian.

The Most Reverend Paul Sanchez was born November 26, 1946, in Brooklyn. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from St. Bonaventure’s University, a Master of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained December 17, 1971, by then-Bishop James Hickey (later His Eminence James Cardinal Hickey of Washington, D.C.) at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. His priestly assignments include Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills (1972-75), St. Michael, Flushing (1975-87), and St. Sebastian, Woodside (1987-91). He served as pastor at St. Agatha, Brooklyn (1991-2001), and Our Lady of Mount Carmel, (2001-08), while also serving as administrator of St. Margaret Mary, Long Island City. He was named Vicar for Queens North in June 2008 and, beginning in June 2009, continues to serve as Vicar for Queens.

Then-Father Sanchez was named vicariate coordinator for the diocesan Liturgical Commission, January 1975. He served as a member of the Presbyteral Council, January 1984; member of the diocesan team for Ministry to Priests, January 1985; member, International Committee on English in the Liturgy sub-committee, January 1978 to January 1979. A passionate teacher, he was an adjunct faculty member at Saint John’s University and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, New York.

“I have been a priest for forty years and have been privileged to see how Almighty God has used me, despite my many failings and weaknesses, to build up the kingdom of Heaven. I am deeply grateful to the Holy Father for his confidence and trust in choosing me to share in the life of the apostles of our Lord,” said Bishop Sanchez. “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. Moreover, as the Territorial Vicar of Queens, I have been able to work closely with the pastors, priests and staff of our parishes. As I have walked on this great pilgrimage as a priest, the depths of God’s love have been made very clearly manifest.”
Bishop Sanchez was named a Prelate of Honor by Blessed John Paul II in 1997. He speaks English and Spanish.

As auxiliary bishops, they will join Auxiliary Bishop Frank Caggiano, Vicar General, and Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros, Vicar for Hispanic Concerns and pastor of Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill, in assisting Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to serve the sacramental, spiritual and pastoral needs of the 1.4 million multi-cultural Catholics who reside in Brooklyn and Queens.