A bishop comes back to his roots

A bishop comes back to his roots
Standing with Bishop Dennis Sullivan and Deacon John Werner, Bishop James F. Checchio acknowledges the warm reception of the people at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on June 26. Formerly a priest of the Camden Diocese, Bishop Checchio was recently installed as the fifth bishop of Metuchen. Photo by James A. McBride

Bishop James F. Checchio acknowledges the warm reception of the people at Saint Agnes Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, Blackwood, on June 26. Formerly a priest of the Camden Diocese, Bishop Checchio was recently installed as the fifth bishop of Metuchen.
Photo by James A. McBride

Bishop James F. Checchio came home to the Diocese of Camden on Sunday, June 26, to celebrate Mass in Blackwood, where he served soon after being ordained a priest.

The new bishop celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Hope Parish’s Saint Agnes Church with Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Father Rober Hughes, Vicar General, and many priests of the Diocese of Camden.

A native of Collingswood, Bishop Checchio attended Catholic schools and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Camden in 1992. He served at Saint Agnes 1993-95 and again 2000-03.

He also served the diocese as assistant director of the Office of Public Relations and Communications and secretary for the Bishop James T. McHugh. He was vice chancellor of the diocese from 1997 to 2003, and a year later was named director of the Office of Communications, a post he held until 2003. Among other diocesan positions, he was episcopal vicar for administration of the diocese 2002-03.

He finished a 10-year tenure as rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, and had come back to South Jersey earlier this year when Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Metuchen.

On May 3, he was installed as the fifth bishop of that diocese at South Plainfield’s Church of the Sacred Heart.

During the liturgy at Saint Agnes, his brother priests of the Diocese of Camden presented him with a crozier as a gift.

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A homecoming for Bishop Checchio

On Sunday, June 26 the Diocese of Camden welcomed home the Bishop of Metuchen, James Francis Checchio, for a Mass of Thanksgiving for his Episcopal Ordination, at Our Lady of Hope Parish’s Saint Agnes Church. Born in Camden and raised in Collingswood, he was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Camden in 1992, and this past May was installed as the fifth Bishop of Metuchen. Above right, Bishop Checchio’s parents, Helen and James, attend the Mass. Bottom right, Bishop Checchio with Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General for the Diocese of Camden and longtime friend; left photo is the inscription on a crozier presented to Bishop Checchio for the occasion.

Photos by James A. McBride

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