Bishop-elect Richard G. Henning
Bishop-elect Richard Garth Henning was born in Rockville Centre, NY, in 1964 to Richard and Maureen Henning, the first of five siblings. He grew up in Valley Stream, receiving the sacraments of baptism, first holy communion and confirmation at Holy Name of Mary Parish where he also attended the parish grammar school. In the summers, the bishop-elect spent a good deal of time on a small island in the Great South Bay where his family has gone for generations. There, he developed a lifelong passion for the water — sailing, boating, and kayaking on the bay.
Bishop-elect Henning attended Chaminade High School and counts the Marianists who operate the school as a major influence in his faith life and commitment to learning. He received a BA and MA in History from St. John’s University, Queens, New York and received his training for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington NY. He was ordained in 1992 and served for five years as an associate pastor at St. Peter of Alcantara in Port Washington. In that assignment, he did extensive pastoral work in the large parish school and ministered to the Spanish-speaking Catholics of that peninsula. In addition to fluency in English and Spanish, Bishop-elect Henning is fluent in Italian and is able to read French, Greek and Hebrew.
In 1997, Bishop McGann assigned then-Father Henning to post-graduate studies in Sacred Scripture. He earned a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at The Catholic University of America and a Doctorate in the same from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
After his studies, the bishop-elect joined the faculty of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, where he taught scripture for more than ten years. At that same time, he began assisting on the weekends at St. Patrick’s Parish in Bay Shore and later added pastoral work at the Catholic mission Our Lady of the Magnificat in Ocean Beach on Fire Island.
In 2012, as part of the partnership for seminary formation among the Dioceses of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn, and the Archdiocese of New York, Msgr. Henning was appointed to lead the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception through its transition to the largest retreat house in the Northeast. The Ordinaries of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn and New York also charged him to establish and lead the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of Catholic priests and deacons. Bishop-elect Henning is also noted for his work with international priests serving in the U.S.
Bishop Barres appointed Bishop-elect Henning the interim Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in September of 2017. Since that appointment, the Bishop-elect has worked closely with Bishop Barres on projects related to parish evangelization and Bishop Barres’ call to dramatic missionary growth.