Bishops Barres and Perez at the Convocation of Catholic Leaders in Orlando last week.
DATE: July 11, 2017
RE: Pope Francis’ Appointment of Bishop Nelson J. Perez as the Bishop of the
Diocese of Cleveland
FROM: Most Rev. John O. Barres, bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre
It is with “the Joy of the Gospel” that the People of God of the Diocese of Rockville Centre receive the news that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Nelson J. Perez the Ordinary of the Diocese of Cleveland (Ohio).
Bishop Perez is a compassionate and loving pastor who as Vicar of Eastern Long Island and Hispanic Ministry in the Diocese of Rockville Centre shepherded the People of God with both the spirit of the Divine Mercy and the New Evangelization.
Bishop Perez’ great strength, pastoral insight and support of the People of God in our parishes was drawn from his years as a dedicated pastor of parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He experienced every joy, sorrow and challenge a parish pastor experiences and our priests understood that he knew them and supported them.
With his background in counseling, the depth of his prayer life and liturgical life, and his joyful and charismatic personality, Bishop Perez brings both the Joy and Laughter of the Gospel into every room he enters.
Bishop Perez’ national leadership in Encuentro V has been inspirational and has expanded his vision about how to support culturally diverse missionary disciples in every area of the United States of America.
One special moment with Bishop Perez among many was a bus ride we shared in September 2015 at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. We were on the way to see Pope Francis at St. Charles Seminary when Bishop Perez told me the story of his near fatal car accident on Long Island as a relatively new auxiliary Bishop and the process of his rehabilitation.
His experience of the Cross brought him an even deeper faith, pastoral compassion and trust in God’s will working in his life. It was one of the most powerful and inspiring personal moments I have ever experienced with a brother Bishop.
We the People of God of the Diocese of Rockville Centre give God thanks for the ministry of Bishop Perez and we rejoice today with Pope Francis, Bishop Perez, his dear parents and family, and the People of God of the Diocese of Cleveland.