CNA Staff, Oct 30, 2020 / 04:43 pm (CNA).- The Diocese of Brooklyn announced Friday the retirement of Octavio Cisneros from the office of auxiliary bishop. The Cuban-born bishop will remain in ministry as pastor at a local parish.
Cisneros had turned 75 in July. Diocesan bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignation to the pope upon reaching age 75. Pope Francis accepted Cisneros’ resignation Friday.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn voiced gratitude for Cisneros.
“I am grateful to Bishop Cisneros for his willingness to serve and was honored to ordain him and consecrate him as an auxiliary Bishop on June 6, 2006,” said DiMarzio in a statement.
“He will remain as pastor at the Church of the Holy Child Jesus & St. Benedict Joseph Labre in Richmond Hill, Queens, and will continue to serve as Vicar for Hispanic Concerns. We thank Bishop Cisneros for his years of Diocesan leadership and are grateful he will continue to serve the Diocese in Brooklyn and Queens.”
In an Oct. 30 statement, Cisneros expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve as a bishop and for the dedication of Pope Francis to the clergy.
“I am most grateful to Pope Benedict and Bishop DiMarzio for giving me the fullness of the priesthood in 2006 so that I can help minister as auxiliary bishop, which has been rewarding and fulfilling for me,” he said.
“I am thankful to Pope Francis for his continued support of our bishops. He is an inspiration for all of us. I have lived a very happy priesthood in the Diocese of Brooklyn for 49 years and look forward to continuing my priestly ministry.”
Cisneros was born in 1945 in Las Villas, Cuba. During high school in 1961, he moved to the United States as part of Operation Peter Pan, an undercover Catholic program that brought 14,000 unaccompanied minors to the U.S. from Cuba as political refugees during the rise of Fidel Castro.
In 1971, he was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Brooklyn. He served at several local parishes before being appointed as the rector of Cathedral Seminary Residence in Douglaston and the Episcopal Vicar in the Brooklyn East Vicariate. Pope John Paul II named Cisneros a Prelate of Honor in 1988.
Cisneros worked with the Bishop’s Committee on the Liturgy and the Pastors’ Advisory Committee, the Northeast Catholic Center for Hispanics, and the “Instituto Nacional Hispano de Liturgia.” He has served as the president of the Conference of Diocesan Directors for the Spanish Apostolate and on the board of governors for the Immaculate Conception Seminary.
On October 30, Cisneros celebrated a special Mass with the Cuban-American community at Our Lady of Sorrows parish. There, he presented a statue of Our Lady of Charity to Pastor Manuel de Jesús Rodríguez.
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