Seven Priests Named Regional Deans in the Archdiocese


Seven priests have been appointed regional deans in the archdiocese, the Cardinal’s Office has announced. The appointments became effective Oct. 1.
The new deans and their deaneries are Father John Backes, Dutchess County; Father Brian McCarthy, Northwest Bronx; Father Dennis Nikolic, Orange County; Father Enrique Salvo, South Bronx; Msgr. William Belford, Staten Island; Msgr. Desmond O’Connor, Ulster County; and Msgr. Thomas Sandi, West Manhattan.
The deans are all currently serving as pastors and will remain in those positions.

Father John Backes has served since 2011 as pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish in Pleasant Valley. He was pastor of two other parishes: St. Charles Borromeo, Dover Plains, 2004-2011, and St. Gregory Barbarigo, Garnerville, 1990-2004, where he previously was administrator for a year. He was parochial vicar at Regina Coeli, Hyde Park, 1980-1989, and St. Lawrence O’Toole, Brewster, 1973-1980. He also served as an adviser to the Metropolitan Tribunal. He taught at John F. Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers, 1978-1979. He was ordained in 1973.

Msgr. William Belford has served since 2012 as pastor of St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus parish on Staten Island. Before that, he was vicar for clergy, beginning in 2009, and chancellor of the archdiocese, 2007-2009. He was pastor of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha parish, LaGrangeville and vicar of Dutchess County, 2002-2007. He was pastor of St. Catharine’s, Blauvelt, 1991-2002, and vicar of Rockland County, 1995-2002. He was director of the Office for Parish Councils, 1985-1991. He was parochial vicar of Our Lady of Grace and St. John’s, both in the Bronx, and at Sacred Heart in Suffern. He was ordained in 1974 and named a monsignor in 1995.

Father Brian McCarthy has served since 2015 as pastor of St. Margaret of Cortona-St. Gabriel parish in the Bronx, and was pastor of St. Margaret of Cortona, 2007-2015. In Yonkers, he was pastor of St. Bartholomew, 1997-2004, and administrator of Christ the King, 2004-2007. He served as parochial vicar of four Bronx parishes: St. Barnabas, 1988-1997; St. Joseph, Bathgate Avenue, 1985-1988; Our Lady of Mercy, 1982-1985; and St. John, Kingsbridge, 1975-1982. He was ordained in 1975.

Msgr. Desmond O’Connor has served as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Kingston since last year. Before that, he had been pastor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in LaGrangeville since 2007. He was temorary administrator of St. Denis Hopewell Junction, 2010-2013. He was director of priest personnel, 2002-2007. He was pastor of St. Stephen, Warwick, 1997-2002. He was headmaster of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary, 1993-1997, and procurator and dean of students at St. John Neumann Residence, 1990-1993. He was parochial vicar of St. Mary’s, Wappingers Falls, 1989-1990, and St. Augustine’s, New City, 1980-1987. He was ordained in 1980 and named a monsignor in 1999.

Father Dennis Nikolic has served since 2009 as pastor of St. Joseph’s parish in Middletown. Before that, he had been parochial vicar since his assignment there following his ordination in 2002

Father Enrique Salvo has served since 2017 as pastor of St. Anselm-St. Roch parish in the Bronx, where he previously was administrator for a year. He was vocations director for the archdiocese, 2012-2016. He served as parochial vicar of St. Elizabeth, Manhattan, 2010-2012. He was ordained in 2010.

Msgr. Thomas Sandi has served as pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Manhattan since 2015, and was the administrator there the previous year. He has also served as temporary administrator of Notre Dame, Manhattan, since July. He was pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Shrub Oak, 2003-2014, and was administrator there, 2002-2003. He served as parochial vicar at Holy Family, Staten Island, 2000-2002. He was a U.S. Air Force chaplain, 1976-2000, and retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was parochial vicar of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-St. Benedicta, Staten Island, 1973-1976. He was ordained in 1973 and named a monsignor in 1999.


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