Brooklyn’s new auxiliary bishop is returning after years serving in Jamaica

Bishop Neil Tiedemann, who was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn April 29, 2016. Credit: Passionist Province of St. Paul of the Cross.

The Diocese of Brooklyn announced with “thanksgiving to the Almighty God” on Friday that Bishop Neil Tiedemann, C.P., would be returning to his hometown as auxiliary bishop after eight years of service as the Bishop of Mandeville, in central Jamaica.

“I am grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, for translating Bishop Tiedemann for service in the Diocese of Brooklyn,” Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn said April 29.

“The Passionist Fathers in general, and Bishop Tiedemann in particular, minister especially to those who find themselves in the midst of suffering. He has the heart of Christ,” he said.

Born in Brooklyn, New York on March 5, 1948, Bishop Tiedemann grew up attending Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Red Hook neighborhood. It was here that he discerned the priesthood with the Passionists, the congregation founded by the mystic St. Paul of the Cross, Bishop DiMarzio noted.

Father Robert Joerger, C.P., the Passionist Provincial Superior of the Eastern U.S., Canada, and parts of the Caribbean, echoed Bishop DiMarzio’s sentiments in commending Bishop Tiedemann in his new role in Brooklyn.

“Bishop Neil (Tiedemann) knows the ‘smell of his sheep’ and will dutifully assist Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in shepherding the local church of Brooklyn and Queens. The support and prayers of all his Passionist brothers and sisters accompany him,” he said April 29.

“His love for the poor, his zeal for evangelization, and his commitment to Catholic education undoubtedly came to the attention of Pope Francis who appointed this Brooklyn native to his hometown,” he added.

Bishop Tiedemann entered the Passionists in 1970, making his perpetual vows Aug. 22, 1974. He was ordained a priest in Brooklyn May 16, 1975. His first assignment was as as associate pastor of Immaculate Conception parish, during which he also served with Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens.

Later, he served in pastoral work at St. Joseph’s Passionist Parish in Union City, N.J.; Blessed Sacrament Parish in Springfield, Mass.; Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brooklyn; and he served as a missionary in Honduras.

In 2008 Benedict XVI appointed him the third Bishop of Mandeville, which, “though small, tries to do its part to carry out the mandate of Jesus Christ to ‘feed the hungry, clothe the naked and bring good news to all the people,’” according to their website.

“While we know the sadness of those in the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica, West Indies who have lost their beloved Bishop, we also know Bishop Neil (Tiedemann) will always carry them in his heart,” Fr. Joerger said.

Bishop Tiedemann will join a lengthy list of the bishops serving the nearly 1.6 million Catholics in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens under Bishop DiMarzio. His fellow auxiliary bishops are Raymond Chappetto; Octavio Cisneros; James Massa; Witold Mroziewski; and Paul Sanchez.