The Most Reverend Robert A. Brucato was born in The Bronx, New York City, on August 14, 1931, the second son, and middle child, of Anthony and Yolanda (nee Vento). Bishop Brucato was raised in the Northeast Bronx, attended P.S. 97 and Cardinal Hayes High School, and was active in Holy Rosary Parish.
He entered the seminary system for the Archdiocese of New York in September 1949, attended Cathedral College (New York City) and St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie), Yonkers, New York. Cardinal Spellman ordained him a priest on June 1, 1957. After his ordination he served the parishes of St. Charles Borromeo, Dover Plains, New York and St. Anthony’s in West Harrison, New York. He was transferred to St. Ann’s, Ossining, New York until he was commissioned into the United States Air Force on May 13, 1960 as a Chaplain, First Lieutenant. The ensuing twenty-two years the Bishop served at twelve military installations around the world, in the USA, Asia, Europe, as well as the arctic and the tropics. His assignments included Director of Chaplain Services for the Air Forces in Europe, and Cadet Chaplain, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He has a Master’s Degree in Education (1970) with a concentration in psychology and counseling from Our Lady of the Lake College, San Antonio, Texas. In May of 2006, Bishop Brucato was given an Honorary Doctoral Degree, Doctor of Laws from St. John’s University, Staten Island Campus. Upon retirement from the Air Force in June 1982, he served at St. Gabriel’s Parish, Riverdale, New York and as pastor at Holy Rosary Parish, Staten Island and subsequently at St. Benedict’s Parish, Bronx. He also served as Episcopal Vicar for the East Bronx.
In January 1994, Bishop Brucato began his appointment as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York. He was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York on August 25, 1997. On January 1, 1998, Bishop Brucato was appointed Vicar for Pastoral Guidance, with offices at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York. On September 21, 1999, Bishop Brucato was appointed Vicar General of the Archdiocese. During the vacancy of the Archbishropic, due to the Cardinal’s death, he was appointed by the Holy Father as Apostolic Administrator. He was again appointed Vicar General by the newly installed Archbishop. In addition to his appointment as Vicar General, Bishop Brucato is Pastor Emeritus of St. John the Evangelist Church in Manhattan. In June 2006, the Holy Father accepted Bishop Brucato’s retirement letter. However, as a retired bishop he continued to hold the title and faculties of Vicar General, to administer Confirmations, and assist the Cardinal, when requested.
Bishop Brucato’s wake will be held on Monday, November 12th 2018 from 9:00 am to 10:30 am at the O'Connor Residence Chapel, 5655 Arlington Avenue in Riverdale, Bronx, New York. The funeral Mass will follow at 11 am and will be celebrated by his Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York.