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Diocese Of Brooklyn Welcomes New Bishop Robert Brennan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- He was born in the Bronx, raised on Long Island, and now he is the eighth bishop of Brooklyn.

Robert Brennan was installed Tuesday as the leader of 1.5 million Roman Catholics in the city's two most-populous boroughs.

It was a joyful ceremony at a historic Prospect Heights church, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported.

Three ceremonial taps with a hammer on the cathedral door were part of a pomp-filled welcome for Brennan, who displayed an ornate letter from Pope Francis naming him bishop of Brooklyn and Queens.

"I must admit, coming back this way, there is something familiar, even comfortable," Brennan said.

Brennan is a Bronx native who most recently served as bishop of Columbus, Ohio.

He's widely seen as a genial pastor and talented church administrator. His fidelity to Christ and his church was displayed in his episcopal motto, "Thy will be done," words from the "Lord's Prayer."

"It's a reminder of what you need to do, so it's a reminder to me always to seek God's will and to try the best that I can to do God's will," Brennan said.

A crowd of 1,500 filled the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph for the ceremony, including the bishop's parents, Patricia and Robert, a retired NYPD officer.

"It is a very special opportunity because they got to see him become a priest, and then a monsignor, then an auxiliary bishop and now he's the bishop of Brooklyn," nephew Tom Brennan said.

The band from Bishop Brennan's high school alma mater, St. John the Baptist in West Islip, performed outside, while Timothy Cardinal Dolan presided inside. His eminence told Aiello the new bishop will ease into the job.

"The old saying is for the first year you only change your socks. You just stop, look and listen for a year and you're going to do fine," Dolan said.

Representatives from the rich mix of ethnic groups in Brooklyn and Queens greeted the bishop. Mass in this diocese is offered in 33 languages.

Brennan speaks Spanish, which is so important with Hispanics an increasing force in Brooklyn and Queens. At age 59, he's likely to preside here for at least the next 15 years.

He replaces Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, who held the post for 18 years.

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