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WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Msgr. James Checchio,49, as bishop of Metuchen, New Jersey, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski, 75, from the pastoral governance of that diocese. Msgr. Checchio is a priest of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey.
The appointment was publicized in Washington, March 8, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect James Checchio was born April 21, 1966, in Camden. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in 1988, and pursued seminary studies at the University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, in Rome, Italy. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Camden on June 20, 1992. He holds a licentiate and a doctorate in canon law from the Angelicum University in Rome.
Assignments after ordination included associate priest, St. Peter Church, Merchantville, New Jersey, 1992; parochial vicar, St. Agnes Church, Blackwood, New Jersey, 1993-1995; associate priest, St. Peter Celestine Church, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 1996; defender of the bond, Camden Diocesan Tribunal, 1997; assistant director of the Office of Public Relations and Communications for the diocese, 1997-1998; secretary of the late Bishop James McHugh, 1997-1998; vice chancellor of the diocese, 1997-2003; director of the Office of Communications, 1998-2003; secretary of Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, 1999; moderator of the curia, 1999-2003; administrator of Holy Spirit Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 2001-2003; episcopal vicar for administration of the diocese of Camden, 2002-2003; vice-rector for Administration, North American College, Rome, Italy, 2003-2006; rector, North American College, Rome, Italy, 2006-2016.
In 2000 he was named Chaplain of His Holiness by Pope John Paul II, carrying the title of monsignor, and in 2011 he was named Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.
Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski was born in Newark, New Jersey, July 4, 1940. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark, on May 28, 1966. On July 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II named him an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was named bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen on January 4, 2002, and installed on March 19, 2002.
Metuchen was established as a diocese in 1981. It comprises 1,425 square miles in the state of New Jersey and has a total population of 1,390,778, of which 639,758 or 46 percent are Catholic.
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Norma Montenegro Flynn
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