It’s official: Brooklyn’s Caggiano to Bridgeport—UPDATED

What had been rumored for months is now fact:

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APPOINTMENT OF THE BISHOP OF BRIDGEPORT (USA)

The Holy Father appointed Bishop of Bridgeport (USA) Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano, until now titular Bishop of Inis Cathaig and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn (USA).

 Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano

Bishop Frank Joseph Caggiano was born March 29, 1959 in Brooklyn. After attending elementary school “Saints Simon and Jude” and the secondary school “Regis High School” in Manhattan, went to the “Cathedral College” in Douglaston. He studied theology at the Seminary “Immaculate Conception” in Huntington, getting the “Master of Divinity”.

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn May 16, 1987.

After ordination, he was vicar in the parishes “Saint Agatha” (1987-1989), “Saint Athanasius” (1989-1992) and “Saint Jude” (1996-1998) in Brooklyn. From 1992 to 1996 he studied in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he received a Doctorate in Sacred Theology. It was then pastor of the parish of “Saint Dominic” in Brooklyn (1998-2003) and, from 2003-2007, Vicar for Evangelization and Pastoral Life of the Diocese of Brooklyn. In 2007 he was Vicar General of the Diocese of Brooklyn.

Appointed Titular Bishop of Inis Cathaig and Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn June 6, 2006, was consecrated on August 22 of that year.

In the Episcopal Conference is a member of the “Subcommittee on the Catechism.”

The release from the Diocese of Brooklyn: 

This morning, the Holy Father appointed the Most Reverend Frank Caggiano as the Fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Bishop Caggiano, who was ordained a priest in 1987 for the Diocese of Brooklyn, has served in a number of pastoral and administrative positions. He has been both a pastor and also responsible for the formation of men for the permanent diaconate. Since 2006, Bishop Caggiano has served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

First and foremost, Bishop Caggiano is an outstanding teacher, as is evidenced by the Holy See selecting him twice to offer catechesis to the young people at World Youth Days both in Madrid 2011 and just recently in Rio de Janeiro.

“For twenty-six years, Bishop Caggiano has faithfully served the faithful of Brooklyn and Queens, and I can attest that he is an outstanding priest. He has been one of my closest collaborators,” said the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “I had the privilege of ordaining Bishop Caggiano to the Episcopacy, and I can unequivocally state that he will be an outstanding pastor to the faithful of Bridgeport.”

Bishop DiMarzio continued, “Bishop Caggiano was at the forefront of reorganizing Catholic schools and academies to make them sustainable for many years into the future. Also under his guidance, all of our parishes were placed on firm financial footing to ensure their vibrancy for many years to come. Bishop Caggiano embodies the best of the vision that Pope Francis has for those who are called to be shepherds in the Church. I offer my prayers for Bishop Caggiano as he undertakes this new ministry in his Episcopacy.”

The announcement will be live streamed beginning at 10am this morning.  The link may be found at www.dioceseofbrooklyn.org

Well. What can I say? You are truly blessed, Bridgeport.  You’re getting a great teacher, a great shepherd, and a great friend to both priests and deacons. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, Caggiano was director of the diaconate program in Brooklyn when I began formation, back in 2002, when he was known as just plain old Father Frank. (At least one priest in the diocese insists that the energy and vitality Frank Caggiano brought to the diaconate in Brooklyn will be his lasting legacy here.) He’s much beloved by deacons and their families. His sterling reputation as both a man of deep faith and profound intellect will serve the Church very well in years to come.  (Check out this posting about the catechesis he offered in Rio for further evidence of what Bridgeport can look forward to!)

He’s also a helluva nice guy.  Bridgeport, you are getting a gem.

It’s sad to see him go. But we knew we couldn’t keep him forever. Ever since he was ordained a bishop, people have said, “When will they give him his own diocese?” It was only a matter of time. And the time has come.

Ad multos annos!  

UPDATE: As usual, some excellent context from Rocco: 

Named an auxiliary of Brooklyn at 47 in 2006, Caggiano – the son of Italian immigrants and a Gregorian-trained theologian who became a popular teacher at home – has garnered a reputation as a formidable second-in-command to (the now-tweeting) Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the ever-colorful figure whose preferred governing style has inspired the widely-used moniker of “The Czar.” Yet even if recent years in the outer boroughs have required tackling a mega-diocese’s share of hard calls, it’s not to say the nominee is all iron; while juggling an auxiliary’s schedule and running the shop on Prospect Park West, Caggiano moved back into his boyhood home for several years to care for his ailing mother before her death in 2011. Bottom line: while dropping a Brooklynite into a bucolic environment is bound to yield some unpredictable results under any circumstances, the unique mix of factors here only increase the odds.

Lastly, the appointment comes quickly on the heels of Caggiano’s well-received turn as one of the eight US catechists at last week’s World Youth Day in Rio. The team lead by two cardinals, the then-auxiliary – who likewise led sessions at WYD 2011 in Madrid – was the lone prelate of the group who wasn’t a diocesan bishop. (Summaries of the talks are available for download.)

Per the norms of the canons, the installation must take place within two months. (SVILUPPO: The rites have been scheduled for 19 September – the feast of San Gennaro, the patron of Naples; according to Caggiano, the choice was made “for obvious reasons.”)

Meantime, the videos below will give a flavor of the new Bishop of Bridgeport:

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