Ignatius Catanello, Titular Bishop of Deultum and Retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died after a lengthy illness on Monday, March 11.
Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, praised Catanello’s long service to the church. “For 47 years, ‘Bishop Iggy’ as so many fondly knew him as, faithfully served the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn,” said DiMarzio. “I ask the people of the Diocese of Brooklyn to join me as we pray for the repose of his soul. Bishop Catanello’s favorite phrase was, ‘Okay pal.’ I know that he is okay now.”
Catanello lived and served in the Diocese of Brooklyn his entire life. The son of the late Nicholas and the late Mary Catanello and the brother of Deacon Joseph Catanello, he was born on July 23, 1938. He was a parishioner at Most Holy Trinity parish, Williamsburg, where he attended the parish elementary and high school. He studied for one year at the seminary of the Order of Recollects of St. Augustine in Kansas City, Kansas, and then spent three years at Cathedral College, Brooklyn.
Catanello graduated from St. Francis College and attended Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington. He was ordained May 28, 1966, by Archbishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Cathedral in Downtown Brooklyn.
Catanello earned two master’s degrees from St. John’s University and a doctorate in religious studies from New York University. He was an adjunct professor of theology at St. John’s University. He served as an assistant pastor at St. Rita’s in Long Island City, St. Helen’s in Howard Beach, St. Ann’s in Flushing, and Our Lady of Angels in Bay Ridge, the latter in 1987 and 1988.
In June, 1988, he was named an episcopal vicar for Queens South. He was named Prelate of Honor to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II in 1989. From 1991 to 1994, he was principal-rector of Cathedral Prep Seminary in Elmhurst.
St. John’s University honored him twice, with its President’s Medal in 1975 and an honorary doctorate of law in 1989.
Catanello was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Brooklyn on Aug. 22, 1994, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in Sunset Park, by Bishop Thomas V. Daily. As an auxiliary bishop, he served as Vicar for Clergy and Vicar for Consecrated Life and Apostolic Organizations.
Other pastoral work in which Catanello was involved included parish and ecumenical ministry, drug rehabilitation counseling and leadership in clergy associations. He spent nearly a decade as chairman of the diocesan Ecumenical and Interreligious Commission and was president of the Priests Senate.
Pope Benedict XVI accepted the retirement of Catanello in September 2010. Catanello, who was 72 at the time, requested retirement for reasons of health.