Most Reverend Richard G. Henning
Auxiliary Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre
Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate
On June 8, 2018, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States announced that Pope Francis had appointed Rev. Msgr. Richard Garth Henning to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. On July 24, 2018 in St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, New York, Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre ordained Bishop-Elect Henning an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop-Emeritus, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Most Reverend Robert Brennan, Vicar General, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Auxiliary Bishop were co-consecrators.
Bishop Henning was born in Rockville Centre, New York in 1964 to Richard and Maureen Henning, the first of five siblings. He grew up in Valley Stream receiving the sacraments of baptism, first Holy Communion, and confirmation at Holy Name of Mary Parish, where he also attended the parish grammar school. In the summers, Bishop Henning spent a good deal of time on a small island in the Great South Bay where his family has gone for generations. There, he developed a lifelong passion for the water, sailing, boating, and kayaking on the bay.
Bishop Henning attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York and counts the Marianists as a major influence in his faith life and commitment to learning. He received a BA and MA in History from St. John’s University, Queens New York and received his training for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington New York. He was ordained in 1992 and served for five years as an associate pastor at the Church of St. Peter of Alcantara, Port Washington. In that assignment, he did extensive pastoral work in the large parish school and ministered to the Spanish-speaking Catholics of that peninsula. In addition to fluency in English and Spanish, Bishop Henning is fluent in Italian and is able to read French, Greek and Hebrew.
In 1997, Bishop McGann assigned then Father Henning to post-graduate studies in Sacred Scripture. He earned a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Doctorate in the same from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.
After his studies, Bishop Henning joined the faculty of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, where he taught scripture for more than ten years. At that same time, he began assisting on the weekends at St. Patrick’s Parish in Bay Shore and later added pastoral work at the Catholic Mission, Our Lady of the Magnificat in Ocean Beach on Fire Island.
In 2012, as part of the partnership for seminary formation among the Dioceses of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn, and the Archdiocese of New York, then Rev. Msgr. Henning was appointed to lead the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception through its transition to the largest retreat house in the Northeast. The Ordinaries of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn and New York also charged him to establish and lead the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of Catholic priests and deacons. Bishop Henning is also noted for his work with international priests serving in the U.S.
Bishop Barres appointed Bishop Henning the interim Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in September of 2017. Since that appointment, he has worked closely with Bishop Barres on projects related to parish evangelization and in Bishop Barres’ call to dramatic missionary growth. On June 29, 2018, Bishop Barres appointed Bishop Henning to lead a new office to help drive dramatic missionary growth in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Bishop Henning will serve as Vicar for Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning.