Father Joseph L. Coffey, a Philadelphia-area native, has been named by Pope Francis as a new auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, overseeing Catholic priests serving as chaplains around the world.
Bishop-elect Coffey’s most recent assignment was as assistant chief of staff for religious ministry, Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, Calif.
He graduated from Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor in 1978, and from La Salle University in 1982. After college, he spent time as a grade-school teacher, ski instructor in Switzerland, and in the automobile industry in Belgium and Germany. He then attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and graduated with a master of divinity degree. He was ordained in 1996 and assigned as an associate pastor to St. Katherine of Siena parish in Philadelphia.
While still in seminary, Father Coffey was given permission to enter the U.S. Navy Chaplain Candidate Program. He served in the Navy Reserves and then became full-time active duty as a navy chaplain in September of 2001. His assignments have spanned the globe, from Cape May to Japan to the Arabian Gulf to Afghanistan.