Dec 18, 2013

Boston auxiliary bishop named to head Maine diocese



(CNS photo/Gregory L. Tracy, The Pilot)

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Auxiliary Bishop Robert P. Deeley of Boston has been appointed bishop of Portland, Maine, by Pope Francis.

The appointment was announced Dec. 18 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the Vatican's nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Deeley, 67, succeeds Bishop Richard J. Malone, who became bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., May 29, 2012.

His installation Mass will be Feb. 14 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

"Kindly pray for me and for all God's holy people that we may be what the Lord calls us to be, the community of the church showing forth the love that God has shown us in his son, Jesus," Bishop Deeley said in a Dec. 18 statement.

"We have known each other from the day we entered the seminary in September 1964," said Bishop Malone. "While our educational journeys and ministerial assignments took us in different directions, our paths have intersected many times in these nearly 40 years we have known each other.

"And so it is that I can promise the people of our great Diocese of Portland that they will be pastored by a man who is, in St. Timothy's words, truly 'strong, loving and wise,'" added Bishop Malone in a statement issued the same day.

Bishop Deeley's "significant experience in the life and work of the universal church will greatly assist the people he serves as they carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus Christ," said a Dec. 18 statement by Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston. "Our prayerful congratulations are with Bishop Deeley as he goes forward to lead the Diocese of Portland."

Bishop Deeley was born in 1946 in Cambridge, Mass., the fourth of five sons to Irish-immigrant parents. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1973. He was ordained a Boston auxiliary bishop in January 2012.

He was an official of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2004 to 2010. Following his Vatican service, he became the Boston archdiocesan vicar general, a position he has continued to hold since his episcopal ordination.

Bishop Deeley's parish experience includes parochial vicar of St. Bartholomew Parish in Needham, Mass., 1973-78, and pastor of St. Ann Parish in Quincy, Mass., 1999-2004.

His education includes bachelor's degrees from both The Catholic University of America, Washington, and from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also received a licentiate and doctorate in canon law from Gregorian University.

Among his other assignments are secretary of the Boston archdiocesan tribunal, 1978-81; associate judicial vicar of the archdiocese, 1985-89; and judicial vicar, 1989-99.

Bishop Deeley also has been president of the Canon Law Society of America, 2000; spiritual director of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, 1991-99; and archdiocesan chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, 1988-91.

The Portland Diocese covers the state of Maine. It has about 188,000 Catholics out of a population of 1.32 million people. There are 57 parishes and 10 mission churches.