(Cleveland) - Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson J. Perez of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.
Bishop Perez, 56, is a native of Miami, Florida. He attended seminary in Philadelphia, and was ordained as a priest 28 years ago.
Bishop-designate Perez served as the Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Vicar for Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. While in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Bishop Perez served as pastor of St. William Church in Philadelphia and as pastor of St. Agnes, West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was the founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization, an Archdiocesan center for Adult Faith Formation Development and Lay Ministry Training. In addition, Bishop Perez served as parochial vicar of St. Ambrose 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 United States 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; Priests Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
As a member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Bishop Perez serves as the Chair of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs and is a former member of the Bishop’s Sub-Committee for the Campaign for Human Development.
Bishop Perez succeeds Bishop Richard Lennon, who retired due to complications from dementia. Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Diocese of Toledo will continue to serve as administrator of the Cleveland Diocese until Bishop Perez is installed.
The Cleveland diocese covers eight counties, with a total population of 2.7 million, 677,000 - or 24 percent - of whom are Catholic.
(Photo courtesy Diocese of Cleveland)