Bishop Joseph L. Coffey, 60, is one of four auxiliary bishops of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1996, and a bishop in 2019.
He was born in Minnesota and grew up in Philadelphia. He is the fifth of nine children; his father was a physician and served in the U.S. Navy. Both his parents were devout Catholics and daily communicants; he has 46 nieces and nephews and 12 great nieces and nephews.
After graduating from La Salle University in 1982, he taught grade school, worked as a ski instructor in Switzerland and sold cars in Germany and Belgium before entering Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary at age 30.
In 2001, he was given permission by Philadelphia’s Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua for full-time active duty as a Navy chaplain, and has since served in assignments throughout the U.S. and all over the world. He retired from the Navy in May. As an auxiliary bishop, he serves as episcopal vicar for Veteran’s Affairs. He spoke with CWR on July 8th about his life and vocation, as well as some recent events.
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