Posted on 24 October 2013.
By Jim Mancari
Wednesday, Oct. 16 was a busy day at the diocesan headquarters in Park Slope.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated a Mass commemorating the 10th anniversary of his installment as bishop of Brooklyn. Bishop DiMarzio also installed Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto as vicar general and Father James Massa as moderator of the curia.
Bishop DiMarzio said that he looked up the descriptions of these two positions in the weeks leading up to the Mass to refresh himself on the responsibilities of each.
He read: “The Diocesan Curia consists of those institutions and persons which assist the bishop in the governance of the diocese, especially in guiding the pastoral action and caring for the administration of the diocese and exercising juridical power.”
“It’s not about power; it’s about service,” he said. “The only power that we are exercising in the Church is one of service. We are here to serve the needs of the diocese.”
With the heads of the diocesan deaneries present, Bishop DiMarzio installed Father Massa and Bishop Chappetto to their new posts.
“He (Father Massa) comes uniquely prepared as a doctorate in theology, as a teacher in the seminary with pastoral experience, with experience in campus ministry,” the bishop said. “He’s had his fingers in many, many pies, and I’m sure he’s going to be able to help us bake the best pie we can as we look at the New Evangelization.
“The moderator of the curia has the specific task of coordinating administrative affairs and taking care that the other members of the curia properly fulfill their duties. That’s what Father Massa’s responsibilities will be. He’s going to help me do it because he will bring energy, zeal and vision to what is happening.”
As for the position of vicar general, Bishop DiMarzio said that vicar generals must be trustworthy, wise, honest and “morally upright with pastoral and administrative experience, capable of establishing a good, human rapport with others and competent in dealing with diocesan affairs.”
“I think Bishop Chappetto fills the bill,” he said.
Bishop Chappetto’s position was made effective Sept. 19, the same day that the former diocesan vicar general, Bishop Frank Caggiano, was installed as the ordinary of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn. Father Massa’s new responsibilities will officially commence Jan. 1, 2014.
Bishop Chappetto thanked Bishop DiMarzio for his new honor.
“We (Bishop Chappetto and Father Massa) will do everything we can to help you (Bishop DiMarzio) in your awesome task of being the bishop of this wonderful diocese,” the auxiliary bishop said. “We appreciate your willingness to share your day with us and allowing us to take our oaths with you.”
But Bishop Chappetto was quick to point out that the true reason for celebrating the Mass was to honor Bishop DiMarzio on his 10th anniversary.
“On behalf of all the people here today – the priests, deacons and lay people that work for the diocese – we sincerely thank you for the 10 years of leadership you’ve given to us,” Bishop Chappetto said. “You don’t have an easy task, especially in the complexity of Brooklyn and Queens. But you do it well, and you do it with a great enthusiasm and great leadership, and for that we are very grateful.
“We know that you’ve tackled some monumental problems in the first 10 years, and we know that you still have a lot left to do, but I am positive I can speak for everyone here that you have our support. Whatever each of us can to do to help you with your task, we will do. We wish you good health – most of all good health – in the future years that you are our shepherd, and we promise to continue to support you.”
Right before his final blessing, Bishop DiMarzio said he was grateful for all the support he’s received over the last decade in Brooklyn and Queens, and he said he is looking forward to future support.