By Emily Drooby
On Monday, Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros spent time reminiscing over a photograph of Retired Auxiliary Bishop Rene Valero.
Bishop Valero passed away on Sunday, March 10.
Bishop Valero was born in West Harlem in 1930, to parents who were immigrants from Caracas, Venezuela. Bishop Valero would go on to become the Diocese of Brooklyn’s first auxiliary bishop of Hispanic heritage.
Bishop Cisneros, who is the Vicar for Hispanic Concerns, Diocese of Brooklyn, said, “He’s a giant in the Diocese of Hispanic ministry and I’m sure all of us are going to miss him.”
Bishop Valero accomplished many things during his life. In 1962, he earned a masters from Fordham University School of Social Service.
Bishop Valero went on to spend 12 years at Catholic Charities, notably working for the Office of Aging.
Bishop Valero also held the position of pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church, in Jackson Heights and was picked to direct the Catholic Migration Office.
While Bishop Valero will be known for his great accomplishments, Auxiliary Bishop Cisneros and Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, say he will also be remembered for his joy, his wit, and for his humility.
Bishop Chappetto, said, “Very, very kind, very witty and very entertaining, he always had good stories he always had a lot of joy to share with us.”
While Bishop Cisneros, added, “He was always available to the people. I happened to be his secretary during confirmations, he always had time for the families, not just the boy or girl that was being confirmed, the parents, the grandparents, he was always available to them. What a great example to all priests and to bishops of his availability, his gentleness, his humility.”
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio also released a statement on Bishop Valero’s passing, writing, “…it is certain that Bishop Valero’s legacy will live on in Brooklyn and Queens for many years.”
The Vigil Mass for Bishop Valero will be held on March 19th at 7:30 pm at Blessed Sacrament. Bishop Chappetto will be celebrating the mass.
The funeral will be on Wednesday, March 20th at 10:30 AM at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston.