Death of Former Auxiliary Bishop Rene Valero

Auxiliary Bishop Rene Valero

Retired Auxiliary Bishop Rene Valero, who had been living in retirement at Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston, died Sunday, March 10, at Long Island Jewish Hospital. He was named an auxiliary bishop on Oct. 4, 1980 along with then-Auxiliary Bishop Anthony J. Bevilacqua and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan.

After serving as pastor of Blessed Sacrament, Jackson Heights and Regional Bishop of Queens, he retired in 2005.

The youngest of three sons of Venezuelan parents, Bishop Valero was born in the West Harlem section of Manhattan on Aug. 15, 1930. He attended St. Joseph’s School there and Sacred Heart Mission House, Girard, Pa., before beginning seminary training at Cathedral College, Brooklyn.

He completed his preparation for the priesthood at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I., and was ordained June 2, 1956, by Archbishop Thomas E. Molloy in St. James Pro-Cathedral, Brooklyn.

His first assignment was to St. Michael–St. Edward’s parish in Fort Greene for a year, followed by three years at St. Agatha’s, Sunset Park.

In 1960, he began studies in social work at Fordham University School of Social Service, earning a master’s in 1962. For the next 12 years, he served at Catholic Charities, first at the Family Service Office and then as Kings County director before becoming the first director for the Office for the Aging.

From 1974 until 1980, he was coordinator of the diocesan Spanish Apostolate, during which he also served as chairman of the board for the Northeast Hispanic Pastoral Center. In June 1979, he was named the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, Jackson Heights and served there until 2005.  He was also Regional Bishop of Queens.

The episcopal ordination of Bishops Bevilacqua, Sullivan and Valero took place Nov. 24, 1980 in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica, Sunset Park. Bishop Francis J. Mugavero was the ordaining prelate, assisted by Auxiliary Bishop Charles R. Mulrooney and Bishop John J. Snyder of St. Augustine, Fla., and a former auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn.

Bishop Valero remained as pastor of Blessed Sacrament after his Episcopal ordination, then in 1983 he was appointed by Bishop Mugavero to direct the Catholic Migration and Refugee Office, a position he held until 1991.

Shortly after Bishop Thomas V. Daily became Brooklyn’s sixth bishop in 1990, he established the diocesan Committee on Racial Harmony and appointed Bishop Valero to chair it. Under his leadership, the committee has elevated consciousness on the evil effects of racism by sponsoring then-annual convocations featuring prominent speakers, conducting parish hearings and arranging discussions in parochial schools.

At the time of his death he was living at Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said, “Today, I join with the faithful throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn in praying for and remembering former Auxilary Bishop Rene Valero.  A Manhattan native, Bishop Valero served in active ministry for nearly 50 years, a period of devout service that included 25 years of service as Auxiliary Bishop.

“Upon his elevation to Auxiliary Bishop in 1980 by Pope John Paul II, Bishop Valero made history in becoming the first Hispanic to serve in such a role within the Brooklyn Diocese. At many levels, in his service as priest and pastor, through his leadership with the Catholic Migration Office and the Office of Aging for Catholic Charities, and as Auxiliary Bishop, it is certain that Bishop Valero’s legacy will live on in Brooklyn and Queens for many years.”

A Vigil Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, March 19th at 7:30 pm at Blessed Sacrament parish in Jackson Heights, Queens. Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, vicar general of the Diocese of Brooklyn. will celebrate the Mass.

The funeral Mass for Bishop Valero will be celebrated Wednesday, March 20th at 10:30 AM at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston, Queens.

The arrangements are as follows:


Immaculate Conception Center AND
7200 Douglaston Parkway
Douglaston , New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001

Monday, March 18, 2019
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM & 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM


Blessed Sacrament R. C. Church
34-43 93rd Street
Jackson Heights, New York 11372
Tel: (718) 639-3888

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM


Blessed Sacrament R. C. Church
34-43 93rd Street
Jackson Heights, New York 11372
Tel: (718) 639-3888

Tuesday, March 19, 2019
7:30 PM


Immaculate Conception Center AND
7200 Douglaston Parkway Douglaston
New York 11362
Tel: (718) 229-8001

Wednesday, March 20, 2019
10:30 AM


Bishops Crypt at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston

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