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Pope Name Greensburg, Pennsylvania Vicar General, Chancellor as Bishop of Erie

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Msgr. Lawrence Persico, 61, the vicar general and chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, as the new bishop of Erie, Pennsylvania, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Donald Trautman, 76, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Erie.

The appointment and resignation were publicized in Washington, July 31, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Lawrence Persico was born November 21, 1950, in Monessen, Pennsylvania, to the late John B. Persico and Helen Gush Persico. He attended St. Joseph Hall High School in Greensburg (1965-1969), the Seminary of St. Pius X in Erlanger, Kentucky (1969-1973), and St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania (1973-1977). He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Greensburg on April 30, 1977. He completed a licentiate in canon law at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington in 1982.

Following ordination, he served as associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in Irwin, Pennsylvania (1977-1980), assistant chancellor and chaplain of Assumption Hall in Greensburg (1983-1984), and vice chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg (1984-1989).

Bishop-elect Persico has served a pastor of St. James Parish in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, since 1998, chancellor of the diocese since 1989, and vicar general since 2005. He was appointed to the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference in 1998 and elected its vice president in 2006. He was named a prelate of honor in 2005 and invested as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem in 2010.

Donald Trautman was born June 24, 1936, in Buffalo, New York. He studied at Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, New York, and the University of Innsbruck, Austria, where he completed a licentiate in dogma in 1962. He studied semitic languages at CUA from 1963-1964 and earned a doctorate in Scripture and dogma from St. Thomas Aquinas University in Rome in 1966. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Buffalo on April 7, 1962, and ordained an auxiliary bishop of Buffalo on April 16, 1985. Pope John Paul II appointed him bishop of Erie on June 12, 1990. He was installed July 16 of that year.

The Diocese of Erie has 855,252 persons, with 221,550, or 26 percent, of them Catholic. It covers 13 counties, spanning 9,936 square miles in northwest Pennsylvania.


Keywords: Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio, Diocese of Erie, Diocese of Greensburg, Bishop Donald Trautman, Bishop-elect Lawrence Persico, appointment, retirement, Pennsylvania

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