Bishop Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania Named Bishops’ Liaison to Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, Succeeds Cardinal George

December 13, 2013 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania, has been appointed episcopal liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States. He succeeds Cardinal Francis E. George, OMI, of Chicago, who has served as liaison between the U.S. bishops and the Pontifical Mission Societies since 2011.

The appointment is effective January 1. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the appointment.

“I am deeply honored to be asked to serve as the episcopal liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies,” said Bishop Barres. “My late father, Oliver Barres, worked in the Propagation of the Faith’s national office under the direction of Bishop Sheen. From my earliest years I have had a deep appreciation for their work in support of the missions.”

National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Oblate Father Andrew Small, welcomed Bishop Barres as the new episcopal liaison. “Our ‘one family in mission’ looks forward to collaborating with Bishop Barres, who already has such a personal connection to our work, baptized into the Church’s mission by the great Fulton Sheen,” said Father Small. “We thank Cardinal George for his leadership and his efforts on our behalf, and above all for his missionary heart.”

The Pontifical Mission Societies are the pope’s principal agency for pastoral and social outreach in 1,150 mission dioceses in Asia, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and parts of Europe and Latin America. In addition to World Mission Sunday, celebrated on the next-to-last Sunday each October, diocesan mission offices work with the National Office to coordinate education and animation efforts, as well as to gather prayerful and financial support. The Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States include the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, the Missionary Childhood Association, the Society of St. Peter Apostle and the Missionary Union of Priests and Religious. More information is available online:
Bishop Barres was born September 20, 1960, in Larchmont, New York, and was baptized by Bishop Fulton Sheen, then-head of the Propagation of the Faith in New York. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Princeton University and a master’s degree from the New York University Graduate School of Business Administration. He holds degrees in systematic theology from The Catholic University of America and a licentiate in Canon Law and a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wilmington on October 21, 1989, and went on to serve as vice-chancellor and then chancellor of the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware. Pope John Paul II named him a “Chaplain to His Holiness” in July 2000 with the title of “Monsignor.” Pope Benedict XVI named him a “Prelate of Honor” in 2005. He was ordained a bishop and installed as fourth bishop of Allentown on July 30, 2009. He was the first priest ordained a bishop within the Diocese of Allentown.
Keywords: Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, Bishop John O. Barres, Diocese of Allentown, Cardinal Francis E. George, OMI, Chicago, Father Andrew Small, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, USCCB, U.S. bishops, liaison, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, mission dioceses, World Mission Sunday, collection

Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206