Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, N.J. and named Father Kevin J. Sweeney, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as his successor.
Bishop Serratelli is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope. Bishop-elect Sweeney, 50, will be the eighth bishop of Paterson.
The resignation and appointment were announced in Washington, D.C. April 15 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect Sweeney is fluent in Spanish, having studied the language extensively in programs in the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
He is expected to begin his ministry in the Diocese of Paterson later this year. The date for his episcopal ordination has not been scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Until that time, Bishop Serratelli will serve as apostolic administrator of the diocese. A native of Newark, N.J., the now-retired bishop was named to head the Paterson Diocese in 2004. Before that, he was an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark for four years.
A native of Queens, Bishop-elect Sweeney grew up in St. Luke’s parish in Whitestone, and attended Cathedral Prep from 1984 to 1988 and was a star on the high school seminary’s baseball team. While his dream of playing professionally never materialized, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2013.
On June 28, 1997, he was ordained for the Brooklyn Diocese by the late Bishop Thomas V. Daily.
In 2004, Bishop DiMarzio named Father Sweeney diocesan vocations director, a position he held until 2010. During this time, he also served as the first director of the Pope John Paul II House of Discernment.
In January 2010, he was appointed to his current assignment as pastor of St. Michael’s parish in Brooklyn. —CNS