Bishop Elect Henning - Rockville Centre Screenshot

United States: Pope Appoints Two New Auxiliary Bishops

Washington and Rockville Centre

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Pope Francis on June 8, 2018, named two new auxiliary bishops to American dioceses:
Appointed as auxiliary bishop of Washington, is Msgr. Michael William Fisher, of the clergy of the same archdiocese, currently episcopal vicar for the clergy and secretary of the “Ministerial Leadership”, assigning him the titular see of Tronto.
Appointed as auxiliary bishop of Rockville Center, is Msgr. Richard G. Henning, of the clergy of the same diocese, currently rector of the “Seminary of the Immaculate Conception”, director of the “Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of clergy” in Huntington, New York, and episcopal vicar for the Central Vicariate of the diocese, assigning him the titular see of Tabla.
Msgr. Michael William Fisher
Monsignor Michael William Fisher was born on March 3, 1958, in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the eldest of five children, two sisters, and two brothers. As a youth, he played Little League baseball, and wrestled, and was active in the Boy Scouts where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Monsignor Fisher recalls always working, starting as an eight-year-old paperboy for The Baltimore Sun. Monsignor Fisher attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute high school and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting at the University of Maryland in 1984.
With his business and accounting degree, Monsignor Fisher worked as a comptroller for a psychiatric practice in Bethesda. Feeling compelled to discern a vocation to the priesthood, he entered seminary at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1986. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal James A. Hickey at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on June 23, 1990.
Upon ordination, Monsignor Fisher was assigned to Sacred Heart parish, La Plata. He was appointed pastor at Holy Family parish in Hillcrest Heights in 1995 and then pastor at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg in 1999. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness, a distinction that comes with the title of “Monsignor,” by Pope John Paul II in 2005. Later that year, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick appointed him Vicar General for the Apostolates, where he oversaw the archdiocesan ministries for education, ethnic ministries, social justice and service, parish life and youth ministry. In 2006 Cardinal Donald Wuerl appointed him Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership, a position he has held for the last twelve years. In this role, Monsignor Fisher oversees the recruitment, formation, and care of the clergy for the archdiocese.
Over his nearly thirty years in priestly ministry, Monsignor Fisher has served on various boards and committees of the archdiocese, including, College of Consultors, Priest Council, Administrative Board, Priest Retirement Board, Clergy Personnel Board, Deacon Review Board, Deacon Council, Needy Parish Committee, Forward in Faith Committee. He also serves as an Ecclesiastical Counselor to the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. Much of Monsignor Fisher’s ministry has involved the continuing education of priests, particularly in aiding new pastors in their roles and the planning and implementation of ongoing clergy training via convocations and retreats.
Monsignor Fisher attributes much of his call to the priesthood to the love and sacrifices of his parents and family, the constant prayers of a grandmother, the encouragement and example of wonderful priests, and a life-long desire to serve and leave this world a better place. Monsignor Fisher’s family has roots across Maryland and Washington D.C.: his father was a Baltimorean and his mother was a Washingtonian, and extended family reside throughout the region
In his spare time, Monsignor Fisher loves to read and study history, especially American and Church history. He enjoys camping and hiking in the mountains and touring historical sites. He once attempted to plant an orchard on a few acres of land in the North Mountains of West Virginia. Msgr. Fisher is a life-long Baltimore Orioles fan, but he will root for the Washington Nationals …when they don’t play the O’s!
Msgr. Richard G. Henning
“I am grateful to His Holiness, Pope Francis, for the call to serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” said Bishop-elect Henning.  “I am also grateful to Bishops Barres and Murphy for their encouragement and mentoring.  This is a moment of deep reflection and the humble acknowledgment of my dependence upon the grace of God and my joy in His service.”
Since 2002, Bishop-elect Henning has served on the faculty of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.  In 2012, he was named Rector of the Seminary and Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of clergy for the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  Bishop-elect Henning assists on weekends at Saint Patrick’s Church in Bay Shore and administers the summer mission church, Our Lady of the Magnificat at Ocean Beach in Fire Island.
Bishop-elect Henning was born in Rockville Centre and grew up in Valley Stream.  His home parish is Holy Name of Mary, Valley Stream.  He is the eldest of five children of Richard and Maureen Henning.  A product of Catholic education, Henning attended Holy Name of Mary School and is a 1982 graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola.  He then attended St. John’s University, Queens graduating in 1986, before studying for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington.  Bishop-elect Henning was ordained on May 30, 1992, at St. Agnes Cathedral by Bishop John McGann, bishop of Rockville Centre.  Bishop-elect Henning also earned a master’s degree in history from St. John’s University in 1988.  He went on to earn his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.  In 2007, he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from The University of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Angelicum, Rome.  Recently, he has directed the Parresia Project, a grant-funded initiative working to improve reception processes for international priests serving in the U.S.  Bishop-elect Henning is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and is also able to read French, Greek and Hebrew.
In addition to English, he knows Spanish, Italian and French.

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Jim Fair

Jim Fair is a husband, father, grandfather, writer, and communications consultant. He also likes playing the piano and fishing. He writes from the Chicago area.

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