NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)Pope Francis named Bishop Robert Brennan to lead the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn.

He’s the eighth man to lead the Diocese, which encompasses 1.5 million Catholics in Brooklyn and Queens.

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As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, the incoming and outgoing Bishops of the Diocese of Brooklyn celebrated Mass together at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph’s.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio is stepping down after serving nearly 18 years.

“It’s a long time to be in one place. It’s like a generation,” DiMarzio said.

Replacing him in leading the Diocese’s 1.5 million Catholics is Bishop Robert Brennan, a New York native who grew up on Long Island. Brennan, who has served as the Bishop of Columbus since 2019, says getting the call from the Vatican to come home was overwhelming.

“I pledge to serve you with every bit that I have,” he said.

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DiMarzio submitted his resignation in 2019, when he turned 75, as required by canon law.

On Wednesday, the Vatican formally accepted the resignation, weeks after it exonerated DiMarzio of sex abuse allegations dating back half a century ago. His still faces civil lawsuits.

“I think that investigation was second to none and found there was no evidence of any kinds of abuse,” DiMarzio said.

Among the issues Bishop Brennan hopes to tackle include rebuilding trust and attracting people back to the church. In a Diocese with a large Hispanic population, his ability to speak Spanish is already exciting many Catholics.

“It’s really meaningful for my parents and everyone that there is a Spanish speaking bishop now, because I can connect with him,” said student Paloma Hernandez.

Through those connections, Brennan hopes to renew the church’s vitality.

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He will be installed on Nov. 30 at the Co-Cathedral of St. John.

Christina Fan