New Cleveland Catholic Bishop introduced

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has a new bishop.

Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson J. Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, N.Y., as Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.

Bishop-designate Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1983. He taught at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico prior to entering Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, where he earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. In 1998, he was named a chaplain to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II and Prelate of Honor in 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop-designate Perez will be installed as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland at a Solemn Mass on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. Evening Prayer will be celebrated on Sept. 4.

"I am so very happy to be here with you, to learn from you, grow with you, and serve you with pastoral devotion," said Bishop-designate Perez. "Please don't hesitate to say hello, if you see me as I venture out, eager to experience my new home. God bless you, all!"

A news conference is expected at 9 a.m.

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon retired this past December, one month after citing ongoing health challenges in a request for early retirement.

Lennon said he'd been diagnosed with vascular dementia.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland was founded in 1847. Under Lennon's leadership, it was the 23rd-largest diocese in the United States.

The diocese encompasses the counties of Cuyahoga, Summit, Lorain, Lake, Geauga, Medina, Wayne, and Ashland.

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