Pope Francis Names Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez as New Bishop of Cleveland; Pope also Names Father Andrew Bellisario as New Bishop of Juneau

July 11, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has namedBishop Nelson Perez, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, as thenew bishop of Cleveland. Pope Francis has also named Father AndrewBellisario as the new bishop of Juneau, Alaska.

The appointments were publicized inWashington, July 11,2017, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio tothe United States.

Bishop Nelson Perez, AuxiliaryBishop of Rockville Centre, was born June 16, 1961, in Miami, Florida, andordained a priest for the Philadelphia Archdiocese on May 20, 1989.

He earned a bachelor of arts degreefrom Montclair State University and master of divinity and master of artsdegrees from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Philadelphia.  In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope JohnPaul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009,he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.    

Assignments after ordinationincluded parochial vicar, St. Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia, (1989-1993);director of the Archdiocesan (Hispanic) Institute for Evangelization,(1993-2002); pastor, St. William Parish, Philadelphia, (2002-2009); and pastor,St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, Pennsylvania, (2009-2012). He also served asassistant director of the Archdiocesan Office for Hispanic Catholics,(1990-1993), and served on the archdiocesan Council of Priests, (2003-2005).

Bishop Perez is a current member ofthe U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Cultural Diversity in theChurch and is also Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

On June 8, 2012, Pope Benedict XVInamed Msgr. Perez an auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Hewas ordained as bishop on July 25, 2012.

Father Andrew Bellisario was born in LosAngeles on December 19, 1955. Father Bellisario is a member of the Congregation of the Mission(Vincentian Fathers and Brothers) founded by Saint Vincent de Paul in 1625.

Bishop-elect Bellisario beganVincentian novitiate studies in Santa Barbara in 1975 at St. Mary's Seminaryand professed final vows at St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville, Missouri in1978. He was ordained a priest in Los Angeles on June 16, 1984.

He earned a bachelor of arts degreefrom St. Mary's Seminary in Perryville in 1980 and later earned a master ofdivinity degree from DeAndreis Seminary in Lemont, Illinois in 1984. 

Assignments after ordinationincluded dean of students, St. Vincent's Seminary, Montebello, California(1984-1986); parochial vicar, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello(1986-1989); administrator, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Montebello(1989-1990); pastor, St. Vincent DePaul Church, Huntington Beach (1990-1995);pastor, Sacred Heart Church, Patterson (1995-1998); provincialtreasurer/consultor, DePaul Center Resident, Montebello ((1996-2002); Director,DePaul Evangelization Center, Montebello (1998-2002); superior, DePaul CenterResidents, Montebello (2001-2002); provincial, Province Leadership, Montebello(2002-2010); director, Daughters of Charity, Los Altos (2003-2015); pastor, OurLady of Guadalupe Co-Cathedral, Anchorage (2014-present); superior, InternationalMissions in Alaska (2015-present).

Thediocese of Cleveland comprises 3,414 square miles and has a total population ofapproximately 2,774,113 people of which 682,948 or 24 percent. are Catholic.

Thediocese of Juneau comprises 37,566 square miles and has a total population ofapproximately 75,000 people of which 10,000 or 13 percent, are Catholic.


Keywords: Pope Francis,Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, auxiliary bishop Nelson Perez,diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, Father Andrew Bellisario, diocese of Juneau,Alaska.

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Judy Keane