News Update

NY Auxiliary Appointed by Pope Francis Will Be One of World’s Youngest Bishops

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis on Tuesday appointed two new auxiliaries for the Archdiocese of New York, one of whom will be one of the world’s youngest bishops.

The Vatican announced on Jan. 25 that Father Joseph A. Espaillat and Father John S. Bonnici will be ordained as bishops.

Born on Dec. 27, 1976, Espaillat will be the youngest United State Bishop once he is consecrated.

The 45-year-old is the director of the Hispanic Catholic Charismatic Renewal for New York Archdiocese.

Espaillat launched a podcast and YouTube series called “SAINT HOOD IN THE CITY” in 2021.

In a video promoting the launch, Espaillat, who also goes by Father J, said that the podcast would include discussions on faith, music, sports, fashion, and pop culture.

“We’re going to talk about Pop Smoke. We’re going to talk about Kanye. We’re going to talk about Kim Kardashian. We’re going to talk about everything under the sun, and Cardi B,” Espaillat said. Bishop-elect Joseph A. Espaillat takes part in the podcast and YouTube series ‘Sainthood in the City.’. Screenshot from Centro Católico Carismático YouTube channel.

A featured speaker at

Steubenville Youth Conferences, Espaillat says that he loves ministering the sacraments, playing softball and basketball, writing poetry and rapping.

He was ordained in 2003 and has served as the pastor ofSt. Anthony of Padua Parish in the South Bronx since 2015.

Espaillat attended Cathedral Preparatory School in Manhattan before studying at Fordham University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1998.

While in St. Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York, Espaillat earned a Master of Divinity degree in Theology and a Master of Arts degree in Theology, specializing in Church history.

He has served as a director of youth ministry for the Archdiocese of New York, a pastor at St. Peter’s parish in Yonkers, and as a parochial vicar at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Manhattan.

Bonnici, 56, has served as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York for 30 years.

He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical John Paul II Institute in Washington (1995) and a licentiate degree from the

Pontifical John Paul II Institute (1992) in Rome, where he also studied at the Pontifical North American College and the Gregorian University (1987-1990) before his ordination.

We thank Pope Francis and rejoice in the appointment of our two new auxiliary bishops, Bishop-elect John Bonnici and Bishop-elect Joseph Espaillat!

Bonnici previously served as director of the archdiocese’s Respect Life Office for six years and as the pastor of St. Columba in Chester from 2008 to 2021.

He was born in New York on Feb. 17, 1965, and earned a Bachelor of Science degrees in biology and philosophy from St. John’s University in Queens, New York in 1987.

Bonnici’s most recent assignment was as pastor of St. Augustine parish and Saints John and Paul parish in Larchmont.

Bonnici and Espaillat’s episcopal ordination  will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on March 1.

The Archdiocese of New York has a total population of 6.2 million, 2.81 million of whom are Catholic. Cardinal Timothy M.

Dolan has served as the archbishop of New York since 2009.

“Pope Francis has selected two outstanding priests, both experienced pastors, to serve the people of God of this archdiocese as auxiliary bishops,” Dolan said in a statement on the archdiocese’s website.

“I look forward to working

even more closely with Bishop-elect Bonnici and Bishop-elect Espaillat, as they undertake this new role in their priesthood.”

With the addition of Bonnici and Espaillat, there will be a total of five active auxiliary bishops serving the Archdiocese of New York.

(SOURCE: CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY)