ROCKVILLE CENTRE – December 9, 2016 – Pope Francis today appointed Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania, to serve as the fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre.  He succeeds Bishop William Murphy, 76, who has led the Diocese of Rockville Centre since 2001.

bishop-informalThe appointment was made public in Washington, December 9, 2016 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Barres will assume leadership of the Diocese during a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on January 31, 2017 at 2 p.m.  Until that time, Bishop Murphy will serve as Apostolic Administrator.

“It is my deep conviction that he will be a Bishop for all of us without exception,” said Bishop William Murphy in a statement today.  “He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly.  He has a keen sense of parish life and has a special expertise in education.  He has a deep love for the poor and will support Catholic Charities, parish outreach as well as Catholic Hospitals on Long Island.  He will be a good neighbor to our brothers and sisters of the Christian Churches, our Jewish and Muslim friends and the many civic and political leaders with whom he will work in building up Long Island for future generations.  Above all he is a man of prayer, both the prayer of the Church through Eucharist and the sacraments as well as the many devotions of our Catholic tradition, especially the Blessed Virgin and St. Agnes,” said Bishop Murphy.

Bishop Barres was introduced to the diocese as he concelebrated the 7:30 a.m. Mass with Bishop Murphy at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes today.  The Mass will be broadcast on TelecareTV and stream on at 8:30 a.m.  At 10:30 a.m., Bishops Murphy and Barres will appear jointly on Telecare’s news program “Everyday Faith Live,” which will be live streamed at

A press event will be held today with Bishop-designate Barres and Bishop Murphy at the Msgr. Kelly Parish Center at St. Agnes Cathedral at 12:30 p.m.

Bishop Barres has been shepherd of the Diocese of Allentown since July 2009.  In a statement on his new appointment, Bishop Barres said, “I must thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last seven-and-a-half years.  You will all always be in my heart, my memories, my prayers and my Masses as I remember our days of ‘holiness and mission’ together.”