ROCKVILLE CENTRE– The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has appointed an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan, as the twelfth Bishop of the Diocese of Columbus (Ohio). The appointment was publicized in Washington, January 31, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Brennan will be introduced to the Diocese of Columbus at a news conference at the Diocese of Columbus Catholic Center today at 10 a.m.
“Bishop-designate Robert Brennan has a blend of holiness, missionary fire, humility, intelligence and pastoral experience that will serve the mission of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Columbus in an extraordinary way,” said Rockville Centre Bishop John Barres. “The Church of the Diocese of Rockville Centre expresses its solidarity and prayers with Bishop Brennan and the Diocese of Columbus as we rejoice together and give thanks to the Holy Spirit and to Pope Francis for this historic appointment.” Read Bishop Barres’ complete statement here.
“I am honored and humbled that the Holy Father extended this call to serve the Lord in a new way,” said Bishop-designate Brennan. “I will always love Long Island and its people. I have been blessed to minister to the people of the Diocese of Rockville Centre for 30 years and am thankful for the opportunities that has presented. But the Holy Father has asked me to serve as Bishop of Columbus and I look forward to getting to know the Diocese of Columbus and the people there.” Read Bishop Brennan’s statement here.
The Catholic Faith Network has produced a special program – “Sending Forth a Shepherd: Bishop Robert J. Brennan.” This program will air on CFN, as well drvc.org and all diocesan social media platforms beginning at 10 a.m.
“My respect for him and my confidence in him is boundless,” said Bishop William Murphy, Bishop Emeritus, Diocese of Rockville Centre. “Always humble, always attentive, he is a model priest and a bishop who comes to one and all ‘as one who serves’.” Read more from Bishop Murphy here.
Bishop-designate Brennan was born on June 7, 1962 in the Bronx. The oldest of five children, Bishop Brennan was raised in Lindenhurst, where his parents still reside. Bishop Brennan attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School, Lindenhurst, and Saint John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Saint John’s University, Queens. Bishop-designate Brennan studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree.
He was ordained on May 27, 1989, by Bishop John McGann at Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre.
His priestly assignments include associate pastor of the Church of Saint Patrick in Smithtown (1989-1994) and Secretary to the Bishop (1994-2002). Bishop Brennan worked in that capacity for three bishops: the late Bishop John McGann, the late Bishop James T. McHugh and Bishop William Murphy. On May 27, 1996, then-Father Brennan was named Honorary Prelate to His Holiness Pope Saint John Paul II with the title of monsignor. In 2002, then-Rev. Msgr. Brennan was named vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In June 2010, then-Msgr. Brennan was appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Long Beach. On July 25, 2012, he was ordained as auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Bishop Brennan is bi-lingual and works closely with the Spanish community.
Bishop Brennan has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services as well as various diocesan boards and committees. He has served as chaplain for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County. He serves on the Board for the Institute for Catholic Schools at his alma mater, St. John’s University. He served in several capacities at the Catholic Faith Network including as one of the co-hosts of the award-winning program Insight. At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Brennan served as a member of the Committee for Catholic Education, the Administrative Committee, and the Priorities and Plans Committee.
Each month, Bishop Brennan celebrates Mass in English and in Spanish at the Nassau County Correctional Facility and periodically celebrates Mass at the other jails located on Long Island. He also celebrates Mass monthly for the Dominican Sisters of Amityville who taught him in elementary school and in high school, along with the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany.
Until Bishop-designate Brennan’s installation as Bishop of Columbus on March 29, Bishop Frederick F. Campbell will continue leading the Diocese. The Diocese of Columbus was established in 1868 and comprises 11,310 square miles that include 23 counties in the state of Ohio. It has a total population of 2.64 million people of which 276,177 are Catholic. The Diocese has 105 parishes.
Bishop Nelson Perez, who served the Diocese of Rockville Centre with Bishop Brennan, and is now the Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio, expressed joy at the news that Bishop Brennan will be in a neighboring diocese. Read Bishop Perez’s statement here.
Bishop to Celebrate Mass in RVC on Friday, February 1, and Sunday, February 3.
Bishop-designate Brennan will return to the Diocese of Rockville Centre where he will
concelebrate Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Agnes with Bishops John Barres and Bishop William Murphy on February 1 at 7:45 a.m. This Mass will be televised on the Catholic Faith Network at 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday, February 3, Bishop Brennan will celebrate the 11 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on the World Day for Consecrated Life. This Mass will also air on the Catholic Faith Network.
The Catholic Faith Network can be seen on Optimum Channel 29/137, Verizon FiOS channel 296, Charter Spectrum channel 162/471 and on www.cfntv.org.