20 FEBRUARY 2018

Pope Francis Appoints Auxiliary Bishop for Diocese of Rockville Centre
• Returns Native Son Bishop Robert Coyle back to Long Island

Bishop Robert CoyleROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – February 20, 2018 – Pope Francis today appointed Most Reverend Robert J. Coyle, 53, to serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre (  Until today, Bishop Coyle was serving as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Half of the United States, Archdiocese for the Military Services. 

The appointment was made public in Washington, February 20, 2018 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Coyle will begin serving the People of God of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on April 2, 2018. 

“I am extremely grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Francis for assigning us Bishop Coyle,” said Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop, Rockville Centre.  “I am also truly grateful for Bishop Coyle's pastoral service and for his leadership to the young men and women who defend our great country.  Bishop Coyle will assist me and auxiliary bishops Robert Brennan and Andrzej Zglejszewski in the pastoral ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.”

“Today, I humbly accept the appointment to serve the People of God on Long Island as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre,” said Bishop Coyle.  “Years back there was a spirit campaign with the expression, ‘I'm a Long Islander and proud of it!'  I again can say that here as a native son  I look forward to assisting Bishop John Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, in our pursuit of Dramatic Missionary Growth on Long Island.”

Bishop Robert J. Coyle
Back in February 2013, Pope Benedict XVI appointed then Rev. Msgr. Coyle to serve as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of the Military.  At that time, Msgr. Coyle was serving as pastor of Corpus Christi parish in Mineola.  The son of Robert and Kathyrn Coyle, Bishop Coyle was born in Brooklyn in 1964.  He is the product of a life-long Catholic education and was ordained to priesthood by Bishop John R. McGann in 1991.  He then served as associate pastor of the parish of Saint Dominic, Oyster Bay and then in the parish of Saint Patrick, Glen Cove.  Bishop Coyle served 24.5 years on active reserve duty before his retirement from the Naval Reserve on January 1, 2013.  Serving as a chaplain in the U.S. Navy brought Bishop Coyle to the Middle East to serve on an aircraft carrier and to Norfolk, Virginia to care for the spiritual needs of sailors and their families. 

During a three year assignment aboard the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, Bishop Coyle deployed to the Middle East and served in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He then served as chaplain to the young men and women studying at the Merchant Marine Academy in King's Point.  While assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, Pope Benedict named him a chaplain of honor with the title of Monsignor in 2008 in recognition of his outstanding service caring for the spiritual needs of Catholics and others of all faiths in the U.S. Navy. 

As auxiliary bishop, Bishop Coyle will join Bishop Robert J. Brennan, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop and Bishop Andrzej Zglejszewski, Auxiliary Bishop, Western Vicariate in assisting Bishop Barres to serve the sacramental, spiritual and pastoral needs of the 1.4 million Catholics residing in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1,524,639 baptized Catholics* (total population in both counties is approximately 2.9 million). There are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish in 115 towns. In 2016, 17,114 baptisms, 14,026 confirmations, 14,626 First Holy Communions and 3,134 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 14,708 students in Catholic elementary schools; 11,642 students in Catholic high schools and 3,425 students in higher institutions. There are 47 Catholic elementary schools (43 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese. In 2017, there are 115,000 children in parish Faith Formation programs taught by 12,000 volunteer catechists. The diocesan School of Missionary Disciples has 175 participants.  In 2017, more than 3,215 families gave witness to a committal service at 3 diocesan and 20 parish cemeteries. Several hundred families also acted in faith of the resurrection with choosing a selection of graves, crypts and cremation niche spaces as well as memorials for their family's future in our diocesan sacred grounds. Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three health care centers, four homes for the aged, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs.  More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system.  Catholic Charities provides Care With Dignity…Life With Hope to the poor, isolated, vulnerable, and disadvantaged on Long Island. Since its founding in 1957, the agency has grown to a position of leadership as one of the largest human service providers in the region with services that include: mental health care, chemical dependency treatment, veterans services, maternity services, food and nutrition services, immigration services, health insurance enrollment, senior services, affordable housing for seniors, services for people with physical and developmental disabilities, or a combination of these. In 2016, more than 600 staff members and 400 volunteers provided nearly 1.5 million face-to-face services to 55,955 people of all faiths and backgrounds from 60 service sites in Nassau and Suffolk counties. The single largest outreach to the People of God on Long Island is through the diocesan media outlets. The diocese maintains vibrant Facebook, Twitter and Instagram platforms. Telecare, the diocesan television station broadcasts 24/7/365 to over 1.5 million homes; The Long Island Catholic Magazine, the official diocesan print publication is mailed 10 times per year toover 12,000 subscribers; the weekly LICatholic E-newsletter is emailed to 8,000 recipients. The diocesan website averages approximately 18,000 unique visitors each month; Fe Fuerza Vida, the official Diocesan Spanish-language newspaper has a circulation of 11,000 and is printed ten times each  year. (10/17) *As of 2016

Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
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