Pastor ‘excited’ by new bishop
The news that the Our Lady of Fatima parish has a new pastor has been followed quickly this summer by the news from Rome that there is a new bishop.
“We are excited at the appointment of a new shepherd and welcome him to our diocese and parish,” said the Rev. Reginald Norman, of the appointment of the Most Rev. Frank J. Caggiano, the auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., who has been named the successor of the Most Rev. William E. Lori as the bishop of Bridgeport.
Father Norman succeeds Father Michael Palmer, who had been the Wilton parish’s pastor for 36 years (and a priest for 50 years) before retiring in late spring. Father Norman’s statement came in an e-mail message last Friday in reply to a Bulletin request for comment on the announcement that came July 31 at noon that Pope Francis had appointed Bishop Caggiano, according to Fairfield County Catholic, the diocese newspaper.
“ We hope he will join us at our upcoming confirmation or a parish visit,” Father Norman continued. “His background has shown him to be very pastoral and a great teacher, which excites us as we want to be led. We pray for a smooth transition and many years of service. Just think, in one month a new pastor and a new bishop — exciting changes during an exciting time.”
Bishop Caggiano got “a warm welcome to Bridgeport” Aug. 1 by employees of the diocese who met him for the first time and gathered for a morning press conference held at the Catholic Center, the diocese reported on its website. News of his appointment was widely covered by print, TV, radio and social media. “During the press conference, it was learned that Bishop Caggiano is an avid Mets fan who enjoys gardening, reading and carpentry work,” the diocese website reported.
The new bishop, a native of the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1987, in the chapel of the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens. He has served as the pastor of churches in Sunset Park and Bensonhurst and as a parochial vicar at a church in Canarsie. He also taught theology courses at numerous Catholic universities, including the Staten Island campus of Saint John’s University and Saint Joseph’s College.
He was named a papal chaplain by Pope John Paul II in 2003. The next year, he was named by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio as vicar for evangelization and pastoral life. Bishop Caggiano has written for two Catholic newspapers.
The diocese announced a Sept. 19 date for the Installation Mass for Bishop Caggiano, the diocese’s fifth bishop.
Until the installation of Bishop Caggiano, Msgr. Jerald A. Doyle will continue to serve as administrator of the diocese. “The Diocese of Bridgeport welcomes the news of Bishop Caggiano’s appointment. The Holy Father has blessed us with a priest, pastor and teacher with extensive experience at every level of diocesan ministries. Most importantly, he is a man of deep faith, love for the Church and commitment to the Gospel. On behalf of the Clergy, Religious and Laity, we welcome him with open arms and with our prayers that God will bless him as the Shepherd of our diocese,” said Msgr. Doyle.
Sacred Heart Church in Georgetown is another Roman Catholic church in Wilton, whose pastor is the Rev. David Leopold.