The Most Rev. Richard G. Henning became the ninth Bishop of Providence on May 1, 2023 after being appointed coadjutor Bishop of Providence with right of succession by Pope Francis on November 23, 2022. Bishop Henning has been active in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and on projects related to parish evangelization and dramatic missionary growth.
Prior to being named Coadjutor Bishop of Providence on June 8, 2018, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States announced that Pope Francis had appointed Rev. Msgr. Henning to be an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. On July 24, 2018 in St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, New York, Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre ordained Bishop-Elect Henning an auxiliary bishop of
the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop-Emeritus, Diocese of Rockville Centre and Most Reverend Robert Brennan, the Bishop of Brooklyn, were co-consecrators.
Bishop Henning was born in Rockville Centre, New York in 1964 to Richard and Maureen Henning, the first of five siblings. He grew up in Valley Stream receiving the sacraments of Baptism, first Holy Communion, and Confirmation at Holy Name of Mary Parish, where he also attended the parish grammar school. In the summers, Bishop Henning spent a good deal of time on a small island in the Great South Bay where his family has gone for generations. There, he developed a lifelong passion for the water, sailing, boating, and kayaking on the bay.
Bishop Henning attended Chaminade High School in Mineola, New York and counts the Marianists as a major influence in his faith life and commitment to learning. He received a BA and MA in History from St. John’s University, Queens New York and received his training for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington New York. He was ordained in 1992 and served for five years
as an associate pastor at the Church of St. Peter of Alcantara, Port Washington. In that assignment, he did extensive pastoral work in the large parish school and ministered to the Spanish-speaking Catholics of that peninsula. In addition to fluency in English and Spanish, Bishop Henning speaks Italian and is able to read French, Greek and Hebrew.
In 1997, Bishop McGann assigned then Father Henning to post-graduate studies in Sacred Scripture. He earned a Licentiate in Biblical Theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and a Doctorate in the same from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.
After his studies, Bishop Henning joined the faculty of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, where he taught scripture for more than ten years. In 2012, as part of the partnership for seminary formation among the Dioceses of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn, and the Archdiocese of New York, then Rev. Msgr. Henning was appointed to lead the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception
through its transition to the largest retreat house in the Northeast. The Ordinaries of Rockville Centre, Brooklyn and New York also charged him to establish and lead the Sacred Heart Institute for the ongoing formation of Catholic priests and deacons. Bishop Henning is also noted for his work with international priests serving in the United States.
Bishop Barres appointed Bishop Henning the Episcopal Vicar for the Central Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in September of 2017. Since June of 2021, Bishop Henning has served as the Vicar for Clergy and the Vicar for Pastoral Planning.