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Pope Francis names two priests as auxiliary bishops for Diocese of Brooklyn

May 19, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Pope Francis has appointed two priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn — the Very Reverend James Massa (r.) and the Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski (l.) — as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn. The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio (c.), Bishop of Brooklyn, will ordain the new bishops at a Mass of Episcopal Ordination to be celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph on July 20 at 2 p.m. Photo courtesy of The Tablet

Pope Francis has appointed two priests of the Diocese of Brooklyn — the Very Reverend James Massa, 54, and the Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski, 49 — as auxiliary bishops of Brooklyn. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement public on Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will ordain the new bishops at a Mass of Episcopal Ordination to be celebrated at the Co-Cathedral of Saint Joseph on July 20 at 2 p.m.

“These two men represent the very best of the Diocese. One is a parish priest who at heart is a missionary pouring himself out for others. The other is a teacher but in fact very much a father to the young men of our diocese and beyond who are studying to be priests,” said Bishop DiMarzio.

The Very Reverend James Massa, a New Jersey native, attended Boston College and graduated with a bachelor’s in theology and history in 1982. In 1985, he earned a master’s of divinity degree from Yale University, and in 1997, a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Fordham University, where he wrote his dissertation under the late Cardinal Avery Dulles.

The late Bishop Francis J. Mugavero ordained Father Massa a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on Oct. 25, 1986. His first assignment was as a Parochial Vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Queens (1986-90). He went on to serve as Campus Minister at Queens College (1990-93) and in a number of positions at seminaries and universities as an associate professor of theology. In 2005, he was appointed the executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue. In 2008, he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a member of the Joint Working Group between the Holy See and the World Council of Churches.

Father Massa returned to the Diocese of Brooklyn in 2011 and coordinated the merger of the Theologates for the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Diocese of Brooklyn.  In 2012, he was appointed associate professor of dogmatic theology and director of assessment and accreditation at Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. Since 2014, he has served as the moderator of the Curia in the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski, a native of Poland, earned a master’s in theology from the Catholic University in Lublin, Poland, in 1991. He returned to K.U.L., Poland, and earned a master’s in Canon Law (2001) and Juris Canon Lawyer (Doctoral 2003).

Bishop Juliusz Paetz ordained Father Mroziewski a priest at the Cathedral of Lomza on June 29, 1991. He served as a Parochial Vicar in the parish of Kadzidlo. In 1992, he was sent for pastoral service in Brooklyn to minister to Polish ex-patriots. He served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Czestochowa-Saint Casmir (1993-2000) and served as Pastor of this parish from (2000-13).  He now serves as pastor of Holy Cross Parish (2013-present). He is also associate promoter of Justice for Criminal Cases and the Defender of the Bond on the Diocesan Tribunal.

As auxiliary bishops, Very Reverend James Massa and The Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski will join the Most Reverend Raymond Chappetto, Vicar General, the Most Reverend Octavio Cisneros and the Most Reverend Paul Sanchez in assisting Bishop DiMarzio to serve the sacramental, spiritual and pastoral needs of the 1.5 million multi-cultural Catholics who reside in Brooklyn and Queens.

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