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Pope Francis names two new auxiliary bishops of New York


WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father John S. Bonnici and Father Joseph A. Espaillat as auxiliary bishops of New York. The appointments were publicized in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 25, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan (center) congratulates Bishop-elect John Bonnici (left) and Bishop-elect Joseph Espaillat after the announcement that the two New York priests will serve as auxiliary bishops of their home diocese. (Photo courtesy of the Archdiocese of New York.)

Bishop-elect Bonnici is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and has served as pastor of St. Augustine Parish and SS. John & Paul Parish in Larchmont since 2021. Father Bonnici was born Feb. 17, 1965, in New York. He received bachelor of science degrees in biology and philosophy from St. John’s University in Queens, in 1987, and studied at the Pontifical North American College and at the Gregorian University in Rome. He pursued his graduate studies at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Rome where he earned his licentiate degree, and at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington where he earned his doctorate. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 22, 1991.

Bishop-elect Bonnici’s assignments include serving on the faculty of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, assistant director and director of the archdiocesan family life/respect life office. His parish assignments include: parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Elmsford; pastor at Church of St. Philip Neri in the Bronx; pastor at St. Columba in Chester; and administrator at St. Mary’s Parish in Washingtonville.

Bishop-elect Espaillat is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and since 2015 has served as pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Bronx and as director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Renewal for the archdiocese. Father Espaillat was born Dec. 27, 1976, in New York. He attended Cathedral Preparatory School in Manhattan and received his bachelor of arts degree in philosophy from Fordham University in the Bronx in 1998. He received a master of divinity degree in Theology and a master of arts degree in Theology (specializing in Church History) from St. Joseph’s Seminary. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 17, 2003.

Bishop-elect Espaillat’s assignments after ordination include parochial vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Manhattan; administrator and then pastor at St. Peter’s parish in Yonkers; and director of youth ministry for the Archdiocese of New York.

Once consecrated, he will be the youngest bishop currently serving in the United States.

The Archdiocese of New York is comprised of 4,683 square miles in the State of New York and has a total population of 6,238,441 of which 2,807,298 are Catholic.