Finding Faith: Bronx Bishop uses rap to draw faithful to church

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Espaillat of the Archdiocese of New York has just become the youngest Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop in the United States.

The 45-year-old is also the first Dominican to be elevated to that rank in the New York Archdiocese.

"I've tried to reach out to those that don't come to church," Bishop Espaillat said. 

You might say Bishop Espaillat uses some "unique" methods to reach the faithful. The Auxillary Bishop for the Archdiocese of New York likes to rap.  

Get breaking news alerts in the free FOX5NY News app!  |  Sign up for FOX 5 email newsletters

"It's what I grew up with and what I know and I speak to the young people with what I know," Bishop Espaillat said.

His passion sometimes disappointed his superiors while he was studying at the seminary. His church is Saint Anthony of Padua Church in the Bronx.


Timothy Cardinal Dolan presided over Bishop Espaillat's ordainment. 

"I'm not doing anything that Jesus himself wouldn't have done," Espaillat said. "Jesus reached out to the poor, to the marginalized, this is Pope Francis's message to the poor." 

He believes his mission is to help those living on the margins, something he sees too much of in his community.

Espaillat celebrates Mass in both English and Spanish. 

He also reaches out to his community with  his popular podcast "Sainthood in the City." His group of hosts tackles real -life problems. He says he felt calling early in his life but didn't really answer it until another priest encouraged him to pray about it.

 His says the secret to reaching those in need is pretty simple "as long as you are real- your authentic real- if you show respect to them, and they feel like you got em."