January 22, 2019

Statement of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. CAP. on the Appointment of Reverend Joseph L. Coffey as Auxiliary Bishop-elect for the Archdiocese of Military Services, USA

It was announced today in Rome that Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Joseph L. Coffey a bishop. Bishop-elect Coffey is a long-serving chaplain in the United States Navy with the rank of captain. He will serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, following his episcopal ordination.

Today marks a moment of great joy for our local Church. This appointment by the Holy Father continues a long and generous tradition of episcopal service to the Universal Church by priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. It also demonstrates Pope Francis’ confidence in Bishop-elect Coffey, who has served with faithful devotion for many years.

Bishop-elect Coffey was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1996. While a parish priest, he became a chaplain for the United States Naval Reserve. In 2001, he was assigned as a full-time military chaplain with the United States Navy and has spent the vast majority of his priesthood ministering to the men and women serving our country around the world. I’m proud of his faithful service to our Church and our country.

As Bishop-elect Coffey prepares to begin his episcopal ministry, I offer him heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the priests, deacons, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. I’m confident that he will carry out his duties with great energy, compassion, zeal, and fidelity and I pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen him as a successor of the Apostles.

Archbishop Timothy Broglio and all of God’s people in the Archdiocese of Military Services, USA are receiving a gift from the Holy Father in the person of Bishop-elect Coffey.

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia


Editor’s Note: In March 2017, Bishop-elect Coffey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding service while serving as Battle Force Command Chaplain on board the USS George Washington and USS Ronald Reagan during the period August 2017-September 2016. Additional information about that award can be found at http://archphila.org/archdiocesan-priest-awarded-meritorious-service-medal-for-outstanding-service-as-a-united-states-navy-chaplain/.



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