Diocesan News

Three Diocesan Priests Mark Golden Jubilees in December; Diocesan Priest Marks Silver Jubilee

Msgr. John H. Maksymowicz

Msgr. John H. Maksymowicz

Msgr. John H. Maksymowicz, who resides at Cathedral Prep Residence, Elmhurst, is a native of Brooklyn, who attended St. Patrick’s School, Bay Ridge; St. Augustine Diocesan H.S., Park Slope; Cathedral College, Brooklyn; Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington; and the North American College, Rome.

He was ordained Dec. 18, 1970, at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, by Bishop James Hickey.

He served as an assistant at St. Mary Magdalene, Springfield Gardens, 1971-74, and then was a member of the faculty at Cathedral Prep, Elmhurst, 1974-90.

From 1990 to 1993, he was an assistant at Most Precious Blood, Astoria.

In 1994, he became a member of the staff at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C., a post from which he recently retired after 25 years of service there.

He was named a Prelate of Honor in 1995 and Protonotary Apostolic in 2009.


Msgr. Richard E. Marchese

Msgr. Richard E. Marchese

Msgr. Richard E. Marchese, secretary to the papal nuncio in Washington, D.C., since 2008, is a native of Brooklyn, who attended St. Patrick’s School, Bay Ridge; St. Augustine Diocesan H.S., Park Slope; Cathedral College, Brooklyn; Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington; and the North American College, Rome. He earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University while in Rome. Later, after graduate studies at Fordham University, he received his masters and doctorate degrees.

He was ordained Dec. 18, 1970 at St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, by Bishop James Hickey, later Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C.

He served as an assistant at St. Fortunata, East New York, 1971-74, and was assigned in 1974 to the faculty of Cathedral Prep, Elmhurst, where he was Principal-Rector, from 1994 to 1998. While at Cathedral Prep, he also served as Assistant Diocesan Vocations Director, 1975-78, and coordinator of the Diocesan Italian Apostolate, 1979-81.

He was pastor at St. Frances Cabrini, Bensonhurst, 1998-2005, and St. Helen, Howard Beach, 2005-08, before being reassigned to the Apostolic Nunciature.


Msgr. Robert J. Thelen

Msgr. Robert J. Thelen

Msgr. Robert J. Thelen, a part-time parochial vicar at St. Margaret, Middle Village, and Resurrection-Ascension, Rego Park, was born in Queens and attended Resurrection-Ascension School; Xavier H.S., Manhattan; Cathedral College, Brooklyn; Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, and the North American College, Rome.

He was ordained on Dec. 18, 1970, by Bishop James Hickey in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome.

He served as an assistant at St. Joseph Patron, Bushwick, 1970-73, and then returned to Rome to study moral theology at North American College.

In 1977, he was assigned to the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.

In 1988, he was assigned as an assistant at St. Athanasius, Bensonhurst, and as director of the Diocesan Ministry to Priests program.

In 1989, he became Episcopal Vicar for Brooklyn West.

In 1993, he was named pastor of Nativity BVM, Ozone Park.

In 2007, he was appointed as rector of Cathedral Residence of the Immaculate Conception, Douglaston. He served as rector until 2016.

Named a monsignor in 1990, he also served as chairman of the ethics committee at Saints Joachim and Anne Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Coney Island.


25 years: Diocesan Priest Marks Silver Jubilee

Father Robert J. Armato

Father Robert J. Armato

(The following biography is a re-run from the Jubilarian special section that ran in June)

Father Robert J. Armato, the pastor of St. Margaret’s parish, Middle Village, is a native of Maspeth, who attended PS 102, Maspeth; Our Lady of Hope School, Christ the King H.S., both Middle Village; Queens College; St. John’s University, Jamaica; St. Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Indiana; and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.

From 1974 to 1990, he was an insurance underwriter, broker, and underwriting manager.

He was ordained May 20, 1995, by Bishop Thomas V. Daily, at St. James Cathedral-Basilica, Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at Incarnation, Queens Village, 1995-2000; St. Bernadette, Dyker Heights, 2000-02; and St. Joseph, Astoria, 2002-05.

From 2005 to 2009, he was pastor of St. Frances Cabrini, Bensonhurst.

He was a parochial vicar at St. Joseph, Astoria, 2009-12; and Our Lady of Hope, Middle Village, 2012-17.

In 2017, he was assigned to his current pastorate.

He also has served as a member of the Diocesan Insurance Commission, the Presbyteral Council, the Art and Architecture Committee of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, the board of directors of the Parish Service Corp., and the Peter Turner  Insurance Co.

He intended a private celebration of the anniversary but also was scheduled to be honored at the parish’s 160th-anniversary dinner-dance, which has been postponed due to COVID-19.

One thought on “Three Diocesan Priests Mark Golden Jubilees in December; Diocesan Priest Marks Silver Jubilee

  1. Msgr. Robert J. Thelen – “Father Bob” as I knew him then – set me on the road as a lifelong guitar player when, at St. Joseph Patron in 1971 he formed our church’s first “Folk Mass.” When my father was killed in July of 1972, my mother and I moved in with my grandparents to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a “suburb” then of Albuquerque. Father Bob visited the West that summer, and it meant the world to me that he visited me in New Mexico. I would love to tell him so.
    Best always,
    Kathy Mille (now Kathy Wimmer)