July 11, 2017

We welcome Bishop Nelson J. Perez, 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland

Statement from Thomas J. Strauss, president & CEO, Sisters of Charity Health System:

Today, Pope Francis named Bishop Nelson J. Perez, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. The Sisters of Charity Health System and all of our ministries warmly welcome Bishop Perez. 

Chair of CSA Health System Ministries Sister Judith Ann Karam CSA and the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine give thanks to God for calling Bishop Perez forth as spiritual leader in these times of healing and great need.  

We look forward to introducing him to our ministries, which include two Catholic hospitals, two elder care facilities, three grantmaking foundations addressing the root causes of poverty, and six health and human services outreach organizations in Ohio and South Carolina. In the Cleveland Catholic Diocese, our ministries include: St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Regina Health Center, Light of Hearts Villa, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Building Healthy Communities and Joseph’s Home. Also, Catholic Community connection is a joint venture with the Diocese.

The Sisters of Charity Health System and all of the sponsored entities were founded by the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine (CSA). The first CSA sisters in America served as the first public health nurses in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1851, they began an enduring legacy of responsive ministry, creative stewardship and an ongoing quest for social justice that lives on today.

Together as Catholic ministries devoted to healing individuals, families and communities, we at the Sisters of Charity Health System greatly look forward to coming to know and work with our new Bishop in service to the Church and community we serve. 

Announcement from the Cleveland Catholic Diocese:

POPE FRANCIS NAMES BISHOP NELSON PEREZ AS 11TH BISHOP OF THE DIOCESE OF CLEVELAND 

July 11, 2017

CLEVELAND – The Diocese of Cleveland has a new bishop. Pope Francis named Bishop Nelson J. Perez, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. A press conference announcing his appointment will be streamed live at 9 a.m. today from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland on the Diocese of Cleveland website.

Bishop-designate Perez’s appointment was announced at 6 a.m. today in Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

All are welcome to attend the noon Mass today at St. John Cathedral. Toledo Bishop Daniel Thomas, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland, will be the main celebrant and Bishop-designate Perez will be the homilist.

Bishop Perez, 56, is a native of Miami, Florida.

He will be installed as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland at a solemn Mass on Sept. 5 at St. John Cathedral. Evening prayer will be celebrated on Sept. 4.

“I am so very happy to be here with you, to learn from you, grow with you and serve you with pastoral devotion,” said Bishop-designate Perez. He said he welcomes interaction with those in the Diocese of Cleveland.

“Please don’t hesitate to say hello if you see me as I venture out, eager to experience my new home. God bless you all,” Bishop-designate Perez said.

Until the new bishop is installed, Bishop Thomas will continue to lead the Diocese of Cleveland. He assumed leadership duties for the Diocese of Cleveland on Dec. 28, 2016, when Bishop Richard Lennon was granted early retirement due to health concerns.

“In Bishop Nelson Perez, the Diocese of Cleveland is receiving a faithful, enthusiastic and joyful shepherd for Christ and his Church,” said Bishop Thomas. “With his warm personality, Bishop Perez will endear himself to all who meet him. Bishop Perez will find in Cleveland a true spiritual home filled with dedicated and devoted people, a family of faith that I am grateful to have had the privilege to serve. I personally look forward to working with Bishop Perez in announcing the Gospel in Northern Ohio,” Bishop Thomas added.

Bishop-designate Perez earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Montclair State University and taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, prior to entering Saint Charles Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he earned master of divinity and Master of Arts in theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. In 1998, he was named a chaplain to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II and Prelate of Honor in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.

In June 2012, Bishop Perez was named auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He received episcopal ordination on July 25, 2012.

Since then, Bishop-designate Perez has served as episcopal vicar for the Easter Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and vicar for Hispanic ministry for the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

While in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he was pastor of St. William Parish in Philadelphia and pastor of St. Agnes Parish in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was the founding director of the Catholic Institute of Evangelization, an archdiocesan center for adult faith formation development and lay ministry training.

In addition, Bishop Perez served as parochial vicar of St. Ambrose Parish in Philadelphia and assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics. He taught courses in religion and psychology as an adjunct faculty member at La Salle University and has traveled within the U.S. offering conferences on evangelization, lay ministry, leadership development, retreats and parish days of recollection.

While in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Bishop Perez was a member of the corporate board of directors for Catholic Health Services; vice chair of Catholic Charities; served on the Priests Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, he chairs the Bishops’ Subcommittee for Hispanic Affairs and is a former member of the Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Campaign for Human Development.

The Diocese of Cleveland consists of 3,414 square miles that includes eight counties in Northeast Ohio. Total population is 2,774,113 people, of which 677,219, or 24 percent, are Catholic.

 

Announcement from the United States Council of Catholic Bishops:

POPE FRANCIS NAMES AUXILIARY BISHOP NELSON PEREZ AS NEW BISHOP OF CLEVELAND; POPE ALSO NAMES FATHER ANDREW BELLISARIO AS NEW BISHOP OF JUNEAU

July 11, 2017

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson Perez, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, as the new bishop of Cleveland. Pope Francis has also named Father Andrew Bellisario as the new bishop of Juneau, Alaska.

The appointments were publicized in Washington, July 11,2017, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, was born June 16, 1961, in Miami, Florida, and ordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese on May 20, 1989.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Montclair State University and master of divinity and master of arts degrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.  In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.    

Assignments after ordination included parochial vicar, St. Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia, (1989-1993); director of the Archdiocesan (Hispanic) Institute for Evangelization, (1993-2002); pastor, St. William Parish, Philadelphia, (2002-2009); and pastor, St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, Pennsylvania, (2009-2012). He also served as assistant director of the Archdiocesan Office for Hispanic Catholics, (1990-1993), and served on the archdiocesan Council of Priests, (2003-2005).

Bishop Perez is a current member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and is also Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

On June 8, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Perez an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He was ordained as bishop on July 25, 2012.

Father Andrew Bellisario was born in Los Angeles on December 19, 1955 and is a senior Vincentian, who was previously the head of the society's Los Angeles providence.

Bishop-elect Bellisario began Vincentian novitiate studies in Santa Barbara in 1975 at St. Mary's Seminary and professed final vows at St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville, Missouri in 1978. He was ordained a priest in Los Angeles on June 16, 1984.

He earned a bachelor of arts degree from St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville in 1980 and later earned a master of divinity degree from DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois in 1984. 

Assignments after ordination included dean of students, St. Vincent's Seminary, Montebello, California (1984-1986); parochial vicar, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello (1986-1989); administrator, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello (1989-1990); pastor, St. Vincent DePaul Church, Huntington Beach (1990-1995); pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Patterson (1995-1998); provincial treasurer/consultor, DePaul Center Resident, Montebello ((1996-2002); Director, DePaul Evangelization Center, Montebello (1998-2002); superior, DePaul Center Residents, Montebello (2001-2002); provincial, Province Leadership, Montebello (2002-2010); director, Daughters of Charity, Los Altos (2003-2015); pastor, Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral, Anchorage (2014-present); superior, International Missions in Alaska (2015-present).

The diocese of Cleveland comprises 3,414 square miles and has a total population of approximately 2,774,113 people of which 682,948 or 24 percent, are Catholic.

The diocese of Juneau comprises 37,566 square miles and has a total population of approximately 75,000 people of which 10,000 or 13 percent, are Catholic.

 

 

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