Bishop-elect Robert Guglielmone to lead historic diocese


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y.   24 January 2009 – Pope Benedict XVI today named Rev. Msgr. Robert Guglielmone, 63, to be the new Bishop of Charleston, South Carolina.  The Rev. Msgr. Robert Guglielmoneappointment was announced in Washington, DC today by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.  Bishop-elect Guglielmone succeeds Bishop Robert Baker, who headed the Charleston Diocese before he was named Bishop of Birmingham, August 14, 2007.

Currently serving as rector of the Cathedral of St. Agnes, Bishop-elect Guglielmone will be ordained and installed as the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Charleston on March 25, 2009.

“This is a cause of great joy for all of us who make up the Church of Jesus Christ at Rockville Centre, here on Long Island,” said Bishop William Murphy, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.  “It is a great honor for our Diocese, that one of her priest sons has been called to lead the Diocese of Charleston, an historic Diocese that has contributed so much since its foundation in 1820 when one of the greatest bishops in our history, John England, was named its first bishop.”

Commenting on his appointment, Bishop-elect Guglielmone stated, “I am both humbled and grateful that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI would entrust this awesome ministry to me.  I must admit that I am a bit anxious about leaving Long Island where I have spent almost my whole life.  However, I do trust in the Lord and am very encouraged by the wonderful sense of Southern hospitality I have already experienced.”

The Catholic Diocese of Charleston comprises the entire state of South Carolina with Charleston as its See city.  Founded in 1820 by Pope Pius VII, it is one of the oldest Catholic dioceses in the United States.  There are currently 118 active Catholic parishes and missions across the state and 31 Catholic schools, 27 elementary schools, two diocesan high schools and two private Catholic high schools.

“While we will miss his priestly presence and fraternal care he extended to one and all, we rejoice in this appointment which also shines a light to all the fine priests of this beloved Diocese,” said Bishop Murphy.

In 2007, Bishop-elect Guglielmone was named Rector of the Cathedral of St. Agnes by Bishop Murphy.  Since 2003, Bishop-elect Guglielmone served as diocesan director of clergy personnel, residing at Our Holy Redeemer parish, Freeport.  He was pastor of St. Frances de Chantal parish, Wantagh from 1993 to 2003.  Prior to that assignment, he was director of pastoral formation and dean of seminarians at the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, N.Y.  Pope John Paul II conferred the papal honor of monsignor on him (specifically, Prelate of Honor) in 1996. 

“Bishop-elect Guglielmone is an outstanding example of the kind of priest who make up this Presbyterate, a body of priests outstanding in holiness, love of God, commitment to serve His people and desirous to be “other Christs” for one and all.  The Lord has richly blessed us with holy and zealous priests of whom the Bishop-elect is one outstanding example,” said Bishop Murphy.

Prior to his ordination, Bishop-elect Guglielmone taught distributive education (marketing, management, business, etc.) at Patchogue-Medford High School, Medford, N.Y., from 1968 to 1973.  His first assignment after ordination in 1978 was as associate pastor at St. Martin of Tours parish, Amityville.  His pastoral year was at St. James parish, Setauket. 

Born in New York, N.Y. and raised in Mastic Beach, N.Y., Bishop-elect Guglielmone earned a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John’s University, Jamaica, N.Y. with a minor in business.  He has been active in scouting since his seminary days.  He has been National Scouting Chaplain, New York Chaplain, and is chaplain for the International Catholic Conference on Scouting and the Holy See’s World Ecclesiastical Assistant for Scouting.

Note to Editors: Photos available upon request.


Sean P. Dolan
Diocese of Rockville Centre
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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Cell: 516-510-0473


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 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 133 parishes in 115 towns.  Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions.  There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese.  Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice.  Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 88,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (12/08).