Pope Benedict named Fr. Neal J. Buckon, a priest from the diocese of Cleveland, as a new auxiliary bishop of the U.S. Military Archdiocese today.
The Jan. 3 announcement was warmly greeted by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Archdiocese, who called Fr. Buckon an “effective shepherd.” In a Jan. 3 statement, Archbishop Broglio highlighted the bishop-elect's past experience in the armed forces, saying it will “certainly contribute to the richness of the episcopal ministry to which he is now called.”
Bishop-elect Buckon, 57, retired Dec. 31, 2010 after serving as a military chaplain in countries such as South Korea, Germany, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. His last assignment was as the Eighth U.S. Army Chaplain for Current Operations and Catholic Chaplain in Yongsan, Korea.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, he attended local Catholic schools and eventually served in the U.S. Army from 1975 to 1982. He later attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Cleveland and was ordained a priest in 1995.
Archbishop Broglio praised the appointment as “a very concrete sign of the paternal care our Holy Father has for us” and asked for prayers for the new bishop-elect and all of those serving in the Military Archdiocese. Bishop-elect Buckon will be ordained at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on February 22.
He will join Archbishop Broglio, as well as recently installed Bishop F. Robert Spencer, who was also appointed as an auxiliary bishop in May of 2010.
The Archdiocese for Military Services serves more than 220 installations in 29 countries, 153 Veteran's Affairs Medical Centers and all the federal employees serving overseas in 134 countries. Bishop-elect Buckon will help Archbishop Broglio and Bishop Spencer shepherd more than 1.5 million men, women and children.