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.