Pope names bishops for Cleveland and Juneau dioceses

On Tuesday, July 11, Pope Francis appointed bishops for the dioceses of Cleveland, Ohio and Juneau, Alaska.

Bishop Nelson Perez. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre

He named Auxiliary Bishop Nelson Perez, Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Centre, NY to be bishop Of Cleveland. He succeeds Bishop Richard G. Lennon, who resigned in December at age 70 citing health reasons.

Bishop Perez, 56, a native of Miami, Fla. was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. He graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a bachelor degree in psychology. He taught for a year at Colegio la Piedad, a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico, before entering St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia to study for the priesthood.

In 2012, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Rockville Centre Diocese. There, he was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services, vice chair of Catholic Charities, and served on the Priests Personnel Board, Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry. He is currently  a member of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and is also chairman  of the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs.

His installation will take place on Sept. 5.

Bishop-designate Andrew Bellisario, CM. Photo ctionsourtesy of the Diocese of Juneau

In addition, Pope Francis appointed Vincentian Father Andrew E. Bellisario as sixth bishop of Juneau. He succeeds Bishop Edward Burns who now heads the Diocese of Dallas since November 2016.

Bishop-designate Bellisario, 60, a native of Los Angeles, has served for the past two years as the Superior of the International Mission of the Vincentians in Alaska and as pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral in Anchorage. He graduated from Saint Vincent’s Seminary High School in Montebello, CA in 1975, and entered the Congregation of the Mission in the summer of the same year.  After completing his novitiate in Santa Barbara, CA in 1976, he attended and graduated from Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Seminary College in Perryville, MO with a B.A. degree in Philosophy, and four years later he received his Master of Divinity degree from De Andreis Institute of Theology in Lemont, IL. He was ordained a priest for the Vincentians, Province of the West, on June 16, 1984.

Father Bellisario has served as Parochial Vicar and Administrator of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church in Montebello, CA; the Pastor of Saint Vincent de Paul Church in Huntington Beach, CA; the Pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Patterson, CA; and the Director of De Paul Evangelization Center in Montebello, CA.  He also served as the Provincial Superior of the Vincentians, Province of the West, and as the Director of the Daughters of Charity, Province of Los Altos Hills.

His episcopal ordination and installation will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

For the USCCB News Release (July 11, 2017), click here.

For the Catholic News Service (July 11, 2017) report, click here.