Photo Courtesy of PNAC.ORG (Pontifical North American College Website)

Msgr Jim Checchio Appointed Bishop of Central NJ Diocese

Former Rector of Pontifical North American to Be Shepherd of Metuchen’s Some 650,000 Faithful

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Monsignor Jim Checchio, who spent more than a decade as rector of Rome’s Pontifical North American College until five weeks ago, has been named new bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey.
The 49-year-old Camden native succeeds Bishop Paul Bootkoski, who led the diocese for 14 years.
Formed in 1981 after having split off from the Diocese of Trenton, Metuchen is a relatively new diocese, which serves nearly 650,000 faithful, represented in some 90 parishes, in the northern part of Central Jersey’s Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Warren counties.
Ordained a priest in 1992, Jim Checchio would go on to study in Rome. After completing his studies, he returned to his Camden Diocese as secretary to Bishop James T. McHugh, and held various other positions, such as diocesan vice chancellor, communications director, and episcopal vicar for diocesan administration. He also served as administrator and parochial vicar at several southern Jersey parishes.
The bishop-elect is an alumnus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, where he earned a doctorate in canon law in 1998.
In 2003, Msgr. Checchio returned to the NAC to serve as vice-rector, and in 2005, at age 39, he became rector. During his time in the role, he is credited with having overseen a period of great growth and expansion.
According to a statement from the Pontifical North American College, new rector, Reverend Peter Harman said, “Bishop-elect Checchio served the North American College very well over the past twelve years, and it is no surprise that the Holy Father would ask him to serve the Church as a shepherd.”
Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Bishop Bootkoski, who, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, submitted his resignation last year .
 

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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