The Gift of New Shepherds
August 4, 2014, the feast of Saint John Vianney, patron of priests, was a glorious day in the life and history of the Archdiocese of New York. At Saint Patrick?s Cathedral, before close to two thousand cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, women and men religious, seminarians, family, and members of the faithful, three exemplary archdiocesan priests?John Jenik, John O?Hara, and Peter Byrne?were ordained to the episcopacy. They joined our loyal and faithful Bishop Gerald Walsh and Bishop Dominick Lagonegro as auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese of New York, and the fraternity of Cardinal Edward Egan, Bishop Robert Brucato, and Bishop Josu Iriondo, our retired, yet still present and cherished prelates.
Now I want to introduce you to the duties and responsibilities of our fine auxiliary bishops in the years to come.
I need to set the stage with a slight change. Since 1967, the archdiocese has been divided into nineteen geographic areas called vicariates. A priest serving in each vicariate has been assigned, for terms, to assist the archbishop as vicar. As vicar, he is the archbishop?s ?go to person? for the particular region to which he is appointed. The vicar might represent the archbishop at Masses, events, and meetings, (including monthly clergy meetings), as well as offer insights, observations, and counsel regarding pastoral, educational, and charitable matters and the assignments of pastors, administrators, and parochial vicars. Beginning today, we will change the title from vicariates (with vicars) to deaneries (with deans), the vocabulary used in Church law and our neighboring dioceses. By the way, the current Pastoral Planning summons us to begin a look at reconfiguration of our deaneries.
Back to our auxiliary bishops.
Of course, our auxiliary bishops will principally do that for which they were ordained?assist me with the administration of the sacraments, particularly the Sacraments of Confirmation and Holy Orders, and be present at the many parish celebrations which are such an important part of Catholic life.
As my closest advisors, I have also asked each of our five auxiliary bishops to serve as episcopal vicars of deaneries clustered into ?regions.? Each of them will reside within the territorial boundaries of the regions in which they will serve. (Bishop Walsh will continue to reside on the seminary grounds; Bishop Lagonegro and Bishop Byrne will reside up north at the St. Kateri Residence; Bishop Jenik will remain as pastor and in residence at Our Lady of Refuge, the Bronx; and Bishop O?Hara will soon move to a rectory on Staten Island.)
The chart below indicates the regions comprised of deaneries over which each auxiliary bishop will serve as episcopal vicar:
? Bishop Walsh: Central Westchester, Yonkers and South Shore
? Bishop Lagonegro: Ulster, Sullivan, Orange and Rockland
? Bishop Jenik: Bronx, North Manhattan and Central Harlem
? Bishop O?Hara: Staten Island, and South, East and West Manhattan
? Bishop Byrne: Dutchess, Putnam and Northern Westchester
Each auxiliary bishop will represent me at Masses, events, and meetings in their region for which I am not able to be present, usually for scheduling reasons. For the most part, they will fulfill this responsibility within the deaneries they serve. However, each is also prepared to represent me throughout the archdiocese for specific ministries of the Church.
The chart below indicates the particular ministries for which each auxiliary bishop is prepared to represent me:
? Bishop Walsh: Ecumenism/Interreligious Dialogue and Healthcare
? Bishop Lagonegro: Schools/Religious Education
and Adult Faith Formation
? Bishop Jenik: Catholic Charities and Housing
? Bishop O?Hara: Lay Ecclesial Ministries/Communities/Movements and Young Adults
? Bishop Byrne: Family/Marriage/Pro-Life and Youth
Thus far, I have highlighted the ways within which our auxiliary bishops will assist me on the local level, if you will, in our deaneries, in specific geographic regions of our vast archdiocese. However, I have also asked them to be of assistance to me on the wider, archdiocesan level. They will do this in two ways: First, each will exercise pastoral vigilance in connection with an archdiocesan program, ministry, apostolate, or pastoral outreach. Second, each will serve as a member of archdiocesan boards of trustees.
The chart below indicates programs for which each auxiliary bishop will exercise pastoral vigilance:
? Bishop Walsh: Vicar for Clergy, Seminary, Vocations and Stewardship
? Bishop Lagonegro: Prison Apostolate, RCIA, CYO and Scouts
? Bishop Jenik: Co-Vicar for Hispanics, Housing, Ethnic Apostolates and Immigrants
? Bishop O?Hara: Parish Planning, Religious Men and Women, Knights of Columbus, Orders of Malta and Holy Sepulchre, and Mass in the Extraordinary Form
? Bishop Byrne: Co-Vicar for Hispanics, Marriage/Family Life, Pro-Life and Missions
The chart below indicates the boards of trustees on which the auxiliary bishops will serve as members:
? Bishop Walsh: ArchCare and Seminary
? Bishop Lagonegro: Archdiocesan Pastoral Council
? Bishop Jenik: Catholic Charities and Cathedral Trustees (Cemeteries)
? Bishop O?Hara: Finance Council and Catholic Communal Fund
? Bishop Byrne: Pro-Life Commission
I also want to announce that I am appointing Monsignor Gregory Mustaciuolo as our vicar general, in addition to his current duties as chancellor. Since the departure of Bishop Sullivan last year, Bishop Walsh has been serving us well as vicar general, but I now want him to concentrate on the duties mentioned above, especially in his role as vicar for clergy (He would be the ?bishop vicar general? when I am out of the archdiocese). In many ways, as moderator of the curia, Monsignor Mustaciuolo has already been ably fulfilling the usual obligations of a vicar general, or the archdiocesan version of a ?chief operating officer.? It makes sense to make it official. I trust him very much, and his diligence, pastoral sensitivity, fairness, and reputation for selfless service are already widely acclaimed and appreciated.
There it is. This is how our five auxiliary bishops and our new vicar general will be serving you and me. Bishop Walsh and Bishop Lagonegro have been doing so, with much dedication and distinction, prior to my own appointment as Archbishop of New York. From conversations with our three new auxiliary bishops?Bishop Jenik, Bishop O?Hara, and Bishop Byrne?I know that they are raring to go and eager to serve. Yes, I thank the Lord and our Holy Father for the episcopal team we have in place here in the archdiocese. It?s now time for all of us to go and do His Will.