Pope Francis Appoints Marist Alumnus Auxiliary Bishop for Archdiocese of NY
Rev. Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco ’78 will be ordained Auxiliary Bishop on December 10 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
December 6, 2019—Congratulations go out to Rev. Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco ’78, currently serving as Pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish in Millbrook, who has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York by Pope Francis. His ordination will take place on December 10 in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.
After graduating from Marist, Monsignor Colacicco went on to attend St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers and was ordained a priest in 1982. He also received a Licentiate of Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome in 1992. Monsignor Colacicco has served with distinction in a number of leadership roles throughout the Archdiocese, including parochial vicar, pastor, and administrator. His assignments have included Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck, Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Scarsdale, St. Denis-St. Columba Parish in Hopewell Junction, and Sacred Heart Parish in Newburgh. He has also served as Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal and as priest-secretary under Cardinal John O’Connor.
Ahead of his ordination in at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in December, we asked Monsignor Colacicco about this exciting new chapter in his life.
As Auxiliary Bishop, what will your responsibilities be? What do you want to accomplish?
As an Auxiliary Bishop, my role is to be the eyes and ears of the Archbishop, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in the Upper Counties of the Archdiocese of New York. I will, of course, administer the sacrament of confirmation to our young people, but I will also make pastoral visitations of our parishes and assist our priests in their duties of ministering to people in this area. I look forward to this new role and hope that I will be helpful in encouraging and assisting in the evangelization of our people.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your career as a priest?
Since my youth, I have always wanted to be a parish priest. My heroes were my parish priests, and I wanted to be like them and do what I observed them doing. I have been very fortunate and blessed in being able to do what I had always hoped for and continue to love.
Tell us about your time at Marist.
I was at Marist from 1974-78, and my years there were blessed by good friends and exceptional professors. I received my bachelor’s degree in history with minors in philosophy and Russian studies. (I never intended that last one, but I enjoyed [Associate Professor of Russian and German] Casimir Norkeliunas’ classes very much!) I was a commuter student, so in between classes I would spend time at Gregory House, where a good number of my friends resided. I also participated in the work/study program working in the College’s library, and I was fortunate to work with some great people there.
How have the Marist Brothers’ values of excellence in education, a sense of community, and service to others resonated in your life?
There were still a few Marist Brothers on the faculty during my time at the College, and of course, Fr. Richard LaMorte was our Chaplain. I was always conscious of the fact that the buildings we studied in were built by the hands of the Brothers. We were the fruits of their vision for education and service. Their presence felt as real as the brick and mortar of the place.
How often do you return to campus?
I have been back to campus for various meetings and events, and I am amazed at the transformation! It is just beautiful. I commend the vision and dedication of [President] Dennis Murray, who has brought Marist to this stage of its existence. I am also extremely impressed by the student dining room and all of the selections that are offered – we certainly didn't have anything like that!!
What do you think college students today should be doing to prepare themselves for ethical lives and careers?
It’s a great question. What comes to mind is the word service. I would hope that in our education, on any level, we would strive to equip ourselves to be knowledgeable in a particular area that would help to build up and encourage each other. So many times our efforts are focused on self-advancement and success, but the greatest success is lifting someone else up. I would hope that even in some small way we would plan on careers of service to others. That will bring the greatest happiness to a life well lived.
I always call to mind the simple statement of St. Teresa of Calcutta, “God does not call us to be successful. He calls us to be faithful.” It is my prayer that present-day Marist students will continue the vision of those Brothers many years ago who worked hard to lay one brick upon another in the sure hope that what was being built would endure throughout the ages to the honor and glory of God. May the life and future of every Marist student and alumnus/a bring honor and glory to God.