During his annual Christmas speech in December 2019, Pope Francis gifted Epicoco’s book, “Someone to Look To: For a Spirituality of Witness,” to members of the Roman Curia.
Epicoco has been a priest of the Archdiocese of L’Aquila since 2005. He was a university chaplain in the archdiocese when the area was hit by the devastating 2009 earthquake which killed more than 300 people.
Last year, he oversaw the publication of an Italian-language book, “St. John Paul the Great,” featuring Pope Francis’ reflections on his Polish predecessor.
Pope Francis began a major reform of Vatican communications in 2015. The dicastery is responsible for overseeing all of the Vatican media operations, including Vatican News, Vatican Radio, L’Osservatore Romano, and the Vatican publishing house.
In July 2018, the pope named Paolo Ruffini, then director of the Italian bishops' television network TV2000, as the department’s first lay prefect.
Ruffini’s appointment followed the departure of Msgr. Dario Viganò, who stepped down after he was discovered by media to have altered an image of a letter from Benedict XVI. Viganò continues to work in the communications department in an advisory role.