On our Currents interview with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the bishop said that our new auxiliary bishops, Ray Chappetto and Paul Sanchez, are two of the most highly regarded priests in the diocese.
He talked about the selection process: how polls are taken of the local clergy, how questionnaires are distributed to clergy and laity alike, and how names are chosen and sent to the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.
When all was said and done, Bishop DiMarzio said that the names of Chappetto and Sanchez were always among the most popular.
That’s why there has been such an outpouring of congratulations and best wishes in the paid advertising in our special pullout section this week. It was easy soliciting such advertising from parishes and lay people. The overflow of ads will appear in our July 21st edition that will carry all the news and photos of the ordination ceremony of the two new auxiliary bishops. (We do not publish July 14 in keeping with our summer policy.)
A reminder to all of our readers to tune into The NET on Wednesday, July 11, beginning at 1 p.m. for our live coverage of the bishops’ ordination from Our Lady of Angels Church in Bay Ridge. The broadcast is a huge project and the members of the DeSales Media Group have been preparing for weeks. On The Tablet side, all of our reporters will be on hand to provide the best coverage. We’ve even hired extra photogs for the day to make sure we don’t miss a shot. And our website will be filled with the photos from the event.
All the preparation is fit for the occasion, although these two new members of the hierarchy would be the first to downplay any personal attention to themselves.
I’ve known both men from our days together at Cathedral Prep in Brooklyn, although I point out that they are older than I am.
Bishop Paul was my first editor. He was the Editor of The Spire, our school newspaper, when I was a cub reporter. He assigned me to cover the senior retreat. I interviewed the proper people, wrote the article and received my first byline under Paul’s tutelage. You can look it up, as they say.
Bishop Ray and I happened to vacation in the same town of Mastic Beach in the summer time. Each morning, I would pedal my bike about a mile and a half to St. Jude’s Church, where the young Ray Chappetto was always in attendance.
When then-Father Sanchez was in his first assignment at Our Lady of Mercy, Forest Hills, I called upon him to pose for some set-up photos for our article on the new practice of face-to-face confession. He willingly obliged, and those photos still remain in our archives.
Then-Msgr. Chappetto was a tireless advocate for the building of the new church at Our Lady of the Snows. When we issued an invite to appear on our cable TV show “Tablet Week in Review,” he was ready and willing and even brought along parishioners to promote the cause.
These two new prelates are quintessential men of the church. There has never been any mistaking them for anything other than priests. They each display an enthusiasm and joy for their vocations. They are bright, intelligent and close to the people. Add that inner peace that is a sure sign of holiness, and you have the perfect ingredients for a bishop.
All those polls and consultations, with an assist from the Holy Spirit, surely got it right this time when the names of Ray Chappetto and Paul Sanchez came to the surface.