St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Rockland has welcomed Father Jim Bocchino as a transitional priest.

Bocchino assumed the 18-month appointment Feb. 16.

"The job of the transitional priest is to help the parish through the tasks to assist them in calling upon a new pastor," said Bocchino.

"I am here to help them figure out who they are as a parish and who they want to be," he said. "Self-understanding and truth talking play a big role," said Bocchino.

"This parish is full of great people who do vital ministry in the community," said Bocchino.

Bocchino graduated from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. and was ordained to the diaconate in 1984. Ordained to the priesthood in March 1985, he worked as the assistant at St. Mary's Church in Portsmouth, R.I. until October 1987, at which time he was called as rector of All Saints' Memorial Church in Providence where he served for 21 years before resigning in November 2008 to do full-time interim work for the Diocese of Rhode Island.

He then served for 22 months as the interim rector at St. John's Church in Barrington, R.I. and 28 months as the interim rector at Christ Church in Westerly, R.I.

Bocchino has served on many diocesan committees and commissions, recently finishing terms as the vice president of Diocesan Council and the Presiding Judge and President of the Ecclesiastical Trial Court. He is currently serving his second term as a member of the Standing Committee. He has also been very active in the youth ministry of the Diocese of Rhode Island.

Prior to his ordination, Bocchino had a varied work experience. He worked as a police officer, an accountant, and managed his family's ice cream business. He also was a member of the Rhode Island Army National Guard for seven years and the United States Naval Reserve for three years.

Bocchino resides in Rhode Island and commutes home once a month to visit his wife, Barbara, who is a math teacher in North Providence, R.I. He has three stepchildren.

He is an avid reader and also enjoys refinishing furniture and singing. The couple enjoy bicycling, kayaking and hiking, and spend most of their vacation time in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, where they have a home and plan to retire some day.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be contacted at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at bbirmingham@courierpublicationsllc.com.