Most Reverend Robert J. Coyle, Class of 1982 Appointed Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre

Most Reverend Robert J. Coyle, Class of 1982  Appointed  Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre

On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, the Office of Communications for the Diocese of Rockville Centre issued a press release announcing that Most Reverend Robert Coyle was appointed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis to serve as auxiliary bishop for our very own Diocese. Not only was this fantastic news for the faithful of our Diocese, but for all of us here at St. Mary’s the news is even more exciting because Bishop Coyle is a member of the St. Mary’s High School Class of 1982.

Born in Brooklyn in 1964, Bishop Coyle is the son of Kathryn and Robert Coyle. His family lived in Manhasset, and they were parishioners of the Church of Saint Mary while he attended the High School. He is a product of life-long Catholic education including St. Edward the Confessor for elementary school. He attended Fordham University, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, in 1986 and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington with a Master of Divinity in 1991 and Master of Arts degree in Theology in 1998. He was ordained in 1991 by Bishop John R. McGann at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre.

Commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 3, 1988, he served 24.5 years on active and reserve duty before his retirement from the Naval Reserve on January 1, 2013. As a Navy Reserve Chaplain, Bishop Coyle served as Associate Pastor at St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay from 1991–1996 and St. Patrick’s in Glen Cove, from 1996–1999.

Bishop Coyle served on Active Duty from 1999–2009. He was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa, Japan from 1999–2000, during which time he was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and deployed to Southeast Asia as Landing Force Chaplain. During a three-year assignment aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN75) Aircraft Carrier from 2000–2003, he deployed to the Middle East from 2000–2001 and served in Operation Southern Watch and Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2002–2003. Assigned to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, from 2003–2007, Bishop Coyle reported first as Assistant Command Chaplain before assuming duties as Command Chaplain.

In April of 2005, Bishop Coyle was promoted to the rank of Commander, U.S. Navy. From 2007–2009, he served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN69) Aircraft Carrier and deployed to the Middle East in 2009 for Operation Enduring Freedom.

In August of 2009, Bishop Coyle separated from active duty, returned to reserve status and began his ministry as Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in Mineola. In 2008, he was named by Pope Benedict XVI, a Chaplain to His Holiness, a recognition that carried the honorary title, “Monsignor.” Bishop Coyle is a 4th Degree Knight of Columbus.  His episcopal ordination took place in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on the Feast of Saint Mark, April 25, 2013.

Saint Mary’s High School administrators and students were honored to have Bishop Coyle visit the School on May 15, 2013. While on campus, Bishop sat down with administrators and reminisced about his days at St. Mary’s and how it helped in his formation for life.

Bishop Coyle met with and viewed artwork created by the yearbook staff for the 2013 Mus-Art Festival, which took place the evening before the visit. Bishop noted their talent as they described how their classroom instruction and involvement with the yearbook enabled them to create intricate digital designs. Bishop Coyle enjoyed sharing conversation with them about his journey to becoming a bishop, the significance of the cross and ring he now wears as part of the position.

He also spent a significant amount of time with members of the St. Mary’s High School Campus Ministry Program where he expressed how the fun times, and serious times at St. Mary’s motivated him to serve others, and ultimately help send him on his life journey. The dialogue opened many questions from students including his military career, which he openly responded about seeing the ugliness of war and he stressed his continued prayers for peace. The expressions on the faces of these students listening to his words showed pride knowing that Bishop Coyle was a product of their very own school.

In a statement released by Bishop Coyle, he noted, “I thank God for all of these experiences.  I especially thank the religious, priests, teachers and parishes that formed me over my lifetime.  I am very grateful to the Holy Father, Pope Francis for appointing me to serve the Church on Long Island.  I look forward to assisting Bishop John Barres, Bishop of Rockville Centre, in our pursuit of Dramatic Missionary Growth on Long Island”.

We look forward to welcoming Bishop Coyle back to Long Island, and home to St. Mary’s High School. Bishop will begin his pastoral assignment on April 2 during the Chrism Mass celebrated in St. Agnes Cathedral.