Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, will ordain two new auxiliary bishops for the Church in Brooklyn and Queens, on Monday, July 20, at 2 p.m., at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Prospect Heights. Pope Francis appointed the Very Reverend James Massa, 54, and the Reverend Canon Witold Mroziewski, 49, as auxiliary bishops in May.
Co-consecrating bishops will be the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of Rockville Centre, and the Most Reverend Raymond Chappetto, Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn and Vicar General for the Diocese. They will be joined by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; His Eminence Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York; His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Archbishop-Emeritus of Washington, D.C.; His Excellency Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See Mission to the United Nations; His Excellency Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia; in addition to over 28 archbishops and bishops from across the United States and the world, including Bishop Artur Mizinski, Secretary General of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, and Archbishop-Emeritus Juliusz Paetz of the Archdiocese of Poznan.
“Each of our two new Auxiliary Bishops brings special gifts to the office to which they have been called,” said Bishop DiMarzio.
“Bishop Massa has spent most of his priestly life in the teaching ministry, while Bishop Witold Mroziewski also has given many years of his relatively young life to the service of the Diocese of Brooklyn, giving special attention to the Polish-speaking people of Brooklyn and Queens.”
Father Massa was born on Sept. 3, 1960, in Jersey City, to the late Andrew and Irene Gilbert Massa. He 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, the Bronx, where he wrote his dissertation under the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J.
The late Bishop Francis J. Mugavero ordained Father Massa a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn on Oct. 25, 1986, at St. Teresa’s Church, Woodside. His first assignment was as a parochial vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills, 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 Bishops’ 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 St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie.
Since 2014, he has served as the moderator of the Curia in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Father Witold Mroziewski was born on March 25, 1966, to Waclawa Jablonska and the late Jan Edmund Mroziewski in Augustow, Poland. He 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 Poles.
He served as parochial vicar of Our Lady of Czestochowa-St. Casimir, Sunset Park, 1993-2000, and served as pastor there from 2000-13.
He currently is pastor of Holy Cross parish, Maspeth, since 2013. He is also associate promoter of justice for criminal cases and the defender of the bond on the Diocesan Tribunal.
As auxiliary bishops, they will join Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, Vicar General; Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros, Vicar for Hispanic Concerns and pastor of Holy Child Jesus, Richmond Hill; Auxiliary Bishop Paul Sanchez, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills; and retired Auxiliary Bishop Guy Sansaricq, pastor emeritus of St. Gergory the Great in Crown Heights, in assisting Bishop DiMarzio to serve the nearly 1.5 million multi-cultural Catholics who reside in Brooklyn and Queens.