Pope Francis Appoints Robert J. Brennan as 12th Bishop of Columbus
The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has appointed the Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, as the 12th Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Columbus and has accepted the resignation of the Most. Rev. Frederick F. Campbell.
As required by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the pope on reaching the age of 75. As such, Bishop Campbell submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis last year.
"I thank all the clergy and faithful that I have had the pleasure to lead during my tenure here in Columbus,” Bishop Campbell said. "I am sure the people of our Diocese will welcome Bishop Brennan to Central Ohio and extend to him all of the courtesies and prayerful support I have enjoyed. Each bishop brings his own specific talents and gifts to their ministry, and I have every confidence that Bishop Brennan will use his special gifts to serve as a good and faithful shepherd of our Diocese. I ask all to pray for Bishop Brennan as he begins this new journey.”
“It makes me incredible happy to walk this journey with you, to lead the Church of Columbus, to serve as your Pastor,” Bishop Brennan said. “I look forward to walking the journey with you as your pastor sharing the ‘Joy of the Gospel’ and the ‘Splendor of Truth.’ And if we can laugh, and sing, and raise our voices in praise of God along the way, then all the better. I am already praying fervently for the Church of Columbus every day. May I humbly ask your prayers for me.”
The Most Rev. Robert J. Brennan was born June 7, 1962, in the Bronx, New York. The oldest of five children, Bishop Brennan has two brothers, two sisters, and 14 nieces and nephews. He was raised in Lindenhurst, New York, where his parents still reside. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School and Saint John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, New York, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and computer science from Saint John’s University, Queens, New York.
He studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York, and was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre by the Most Rev. John R. McGann on May 27, 1989. He was first assigned to the Church of Saint Patrick in Smithtown, New York, and was later appointed Secretary to the Bishop. He was named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, with the title of monsignor, in 1996.
In 2002, he was named vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and in 2010 he was named pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Long Beach, New York, a post he held until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop in 2012. He served on the board of directors for Catholic Health Services of Long Island, the Bishop’s Advisory Committee for Catholic Education, as well as several other diocesan boards. He also served as chaplain for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County and says Mass regularly for the Dominican Sisters of Amityville. Bishop Brennan speaks Spanish and works closely with the Latino community. He often celebrates Mass in Spanish, including Mass in the Nassau County Correctional Facility.
The Most Rev. Frederick F. Campbell, D.D., Ph.D., is a native of Elmira, New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and foreign language from Saint Lawrence University, Canton, New York, and obtained his master’s degree and doctorate in history from The Ohio State University. Prior to entering the seminary in 1976, he served as a history professor at the Pontifical College Josephinum and as an assistant professor of history at California State College in San Bernardino.
After studying at the Saint Paul Seminary, Saint Paul, Minnesota, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis by the Most Rev. John R. Roach on May 31, 1980. Campbell served as an associate pastor and pastor in the Archdiocese until Pope John Paul II named him Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 1999. He was appointed the 11th Bishop of Columbus October 14, 2004, by His Holiness Pope John Paul II. He was installed at Columbus’ St. Joseph Cathedral on January 13, 2005.
In July 2002, Bishop Campbell became rector and vice president of the Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity of the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul. He also served as chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Diaconate from 2004 to 2006. Among his many community involvements, Bishop Campbell sits on the boards of Ohio Dominican University, Mother Angeline McCrory Manor, the Catholic Foundation, the Kinder Women’s Care Center, and the Pontifical College Josephinum, where he is the Vice Chancellor.
The formal installation of Bishop Brennan as Bishop of Columbus has been scheduled for Friday, March 29, at St. Joseph Cathedral. In the interim, Bishop Campbell will serve as apostolic administrator of the Diocese until the official transfer of authority to Bishop Brennan.