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Diocese of Rockville Centre



July 11, 2017 6 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time


Press Conference from Cleveland at 9:00 AM EDT 

The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis has appointed an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez, as the 11th>Bishop of

Cleveland (Ohio). The appointment was publicized in Washington, July 11, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.


Bishop-designate Perez was born in Miami, Florida, on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez. Bishop Perez 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 of 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.

In June 2012, Bishop-designate Perez was named Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and received Episcopal Ordination on July 25, 2012.

Bishop-designate Perez served as the Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Vicar for Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. While in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he served as pastor of St. William Church in Philadelphia and as pastor of St. Agnes, West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was the founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization, an Archdiocesan center for Adult Faith Formation Development and Lay Ministry Training. In addition, Bishop-designate Perez served as parochial vicar of St. Ambrose in Philadelphia and assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics. He taught courses in religion and psychology as an adjunct faculty member at La Salle University, and has traveled within the United States offering conferences on evangelization, lay ministry, leadership development, retreats and parish days of recollection. While in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Bishop-designate Perez was a member of the Corporate Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services; Vice Chair of Catholic Charities; Priests

Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Advisory Committee for Hispanic Ministry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

As a member of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, Bishop-designate Perez serves as the Chair the Bishop's Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs and former member of the Bishop's Sub-Committee for the Campaign for Human Development. Bishop-designate Perez will be installed as the 11th  bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland at a Mass of Installation on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland. Vespers will take place during the evening of September 4.

Until Bishop-designate Perez's installation as Bishop of Cleveland, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas will continue leading the diocese as its Apostolic Administrator. Bishop Thomas is the bishop of the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio. He assumed leadership duties for the Diocese of Cleveland upon the retirement of Bishop Richard Lennon, who was granted early retirement on December 28, 2016 due to health concerns.

The Diocese of Cleveland comprises 3,414 square miles that include eight counties in northeast Ohio. It has a total population of 2,774,113 people of which 677,219 or 24 percent are Catholic.

Bishop-designate Perez will hold a news conference at the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist at 9:00 AM EDT THIS MORNING. The news conference will be streamed live on  and  


CONTACT:Deacon Jim Armstrong, APR

Executive Director, Communications 216-696-6526 Ext. 3290 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CONTACT:Sean P. Dolan

Director of Communications 
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
(c) 516-510-0473
E-mail:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About The Diocese of Rockville Centre 
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1,455,644 baptized Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.9 million). There are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish in 115 towns. In 2015, 15,957 baptisms, 15,195 confirmations, 15,312 First Holy Communions and 3,267 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 16,047 students in Catholic elementary schools; 11,478 students in Catholic high schools and 4,400 students in higher institutions. There are 47 Catholic elementary schools (43 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese. There are 102,353 students enrolled in religious education programs. Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three health care centers, four homes for the aged, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs. More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system. In 2015, Catholic Charities assisted more than 60,000 people of every faith and background. (12/16).

50 North Park Avenue 
PO Box 9023  Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023  
phone 516.678.5800  
fax 516.594.0984 

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Media Contact Information


Diocese of Rockville Centre
P.O. Box 9023
Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023

Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications

Tel: 516-678-5800, ext. 625
Cell: 516-510-0473
Fax: 516-594-0984
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For emergencies call the cell phone.