Pope Francis today appointed Bishop Robert Deeley, who has been an auxiliary bishop of Boston for the past year, as bishop of the Diocese of Portland, which serves the state of Maine.
“As I prepare to serve the faithful of the Diocese of Portland as their
new bishop and shepherd, I wish to offer my gratitude first to our Holy
Father Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and responsibility
and to Cardinal Seán O’Malley, who has taught me much of what it means
to be a faithful shepherd through his word and example,” Bishop Deeley
said in a Dec. 18 statement.
“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 succeeds Bishop Richard Malone, who was appointed Bishop of Buffalo in May, 2012.
“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’.”
Bishop Deeley, who is 67, was born in Cambridge, Mass. to Irish
emigrants. Following high school, he attended minor seminary in Jamaica
Plain, and later studied philosophy at Catholic University of America,
where he graduated in 1968.
He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome,
and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1973. He
served in parishes and on the archdiocesan tribunal, serving as judicial
vicar from 1989 to 1999, and served as president of the Canon Law
Society of America in 2000.
Bishop Deeley worked in Rome at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the
Faith from 2004 to 2011, when he returned to Boston as vicar general
and moderator of the curia.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Boston in November, 2012, and was consecrated Jan. 4 of this year.
Cardinal Archbishop Seán O'Malley of Boston said that “Pope has blessed
the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Portland” in
appointing Bishop Deeley as their shepherd, affirming him in particular
for his guidance of a pastoral planning initiative in the archdiocese.
“The Archdiocese of Boston will greatly miss Bishop Deeley’s leadership
that follows from a deep love for the Church … the Bishop’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. Our prayerful congratulations are with Bishop
Deeley as he goes forward to lead the Diocese of Portland.”
Bishop Deeley's Mass of Installation will be said Feb. 14, 2014, at Portland's Immaculate Conception cathedral.