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Bishop » Statements
We are grateful to Pope Francis for the appointment of Monsignor James F. Checchio, a native son of New Jersey, as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen.
This priest of the Diocese of Camden served generously and well there in a variety of positions until he was called to serve the Catholic Dioceses of the United States as Vice Rector and, subsequently for the past ten years, as Rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, the American seminary located near the Vatican responsible for the formation of future priests for the Dioceses of the United States and sister Dioceses.
As an educator and formator, Bishop-Elect Checchio has deepened in the hearts and minds of the many seminarians at the College an awareness of the meaning and challenges of priesthood through theological studies, spiritual formation including prayerful reflection on the revealed Word of God and the Tradition of the Church and its meaning for the modern world, and a variety of pastoral service opportunities.
Under Bishop-Elect Checchio’s leadership, the College and its affiliated institutes have grown significantly and are thriving. As Chair of the Board of Governors for the College, I have been both privileged and pleased to collaborate with Bishop-elect Checchio in these efforts and initiatives. I know him to be a very spiritual and able man, a leader and a good and generous priest who loves the priesthood and priests. I join the priests and people of the Diocese of Metuchen in welcoming their new shepherd back to our state to serve them and their needs into the future.
We also wish to express our sincerest thanks to Bishop Paul Bootkoski not only for his leadership and care of the people of the Diocese of Metuchen since 2002, but also for his 36 years of ministry within the Archdiocese of Newark.
May God continue to bless him as he enters this new chapter in a life of service to the Church.
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I was delighted to learn of the appointment of Most Reverend James F. Checchio as Bishop of Metuchen this morning. A priest of the Diocese of Camden, Bishop Checchio assumes his new role and ministry after ten years of service at the Pontifical North American College, the United States theological seminary in Rome. Prior to that assignment, Bishop Checchio held numerous administrative positions in the Diocese of Camden: secretary to the Bishop, Vice Chancellor, Director of Communications, Tribunal Official, Moderator of the Curia and Episcopal Vicar for Administration. After his ordination as a priest in 1992, Bishop Checchio ministered in several parishes before pursuing graduate degrees in Business Administration (MBA) and Canon Law (JCD).
Bishop Checchio is extremely well prepared to serve as Diocesan Bishop in Metuchen. He has extraordinary gifts, a wonderful personality, a great sense of humor and a shepherd’s heart. I join my brother bishops of New Jersey in welcoming Bishop Checchio home where he will serve the local Church of Metuchen with the same love and enthusiasm that have always characterized his life and work as a priest. Ad multos annos!
Respectfully in the Lord,
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., J.C.D.
Bishop of Trenton
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has chosen one of the finest priests I know to serve as the new Bishop of Metuchen. His appointment is truly a blessing for the good people in that community of faith and for the priests of the diocese.
Monsignor Checchio, a priest of the Diocese of Camden who has served as a parochial vicar, diocesan administrator and for the past ten years as Rector of the Pontifical North American College, is a man of many talents. His love of God, the priesthood, and of the people he serves will sustain him as chief shepherd for the people of the Diocese of Metuchen.
On behalf of the priests, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Camden, I express my heartfelt congratulations to Bishop-Elect Checchio as he accepts this new responsibility of service to the Church.
We welcome Pope Francis' appointment of the new bishop of Metuchen. Bishop-elect Checchio brings to his people great faith, compassion for all and zeal to serve. His previous service to the Church has prepared him well for his new ministry.