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Diocese of Rockville Centre


Pope Francis Names Diocese of Allentown Bishop John O. Barres 

As Fifth Bishop of Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – December 9, 2016 – Pope Francis today appointed Most Reverend John O. Barres, S.T.D., J.C.L., D.D., 56, to serve as the fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre. Until today, he was serving as Bishop of the Diocese of Allentown, PA. He succeeds Bishop William Murphy, 76, who has led the Diocese of Rockville Centre since 2001.

The appointment was made public in Washington, December 9, 2016 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop-designate Barres will assume leadership of the Diocese during a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on January 31, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. Until that time, Bishop Murphy will serve as Apostolic Administrator.

“It is my deep conviction that he will be a Bishop for all of us without exception,” said Bishop William Murphy in a statement today. “He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly. He has a keen sense of parish life and has a special expertise in education. He has a deep love for the poor and will support Catholic Charities, parish outreach as well as Catholic Hospitals on Long Island. He will be a good neighbor to our brothers and sisters of the Christian Churches, our Jewish and Muslim friends and the many civic and political leaders with whom he will work in building up Long Island for future generations. Above all he is a man of prayer, both the prayer of the Church through Eucharist and the sacraments as well as the many devotions of our Catholic tradition, especially the Blessed Virgin and St. Agnes,” said Bishop Murphy.

Bishop Barres will be introduced to his new diocese when he concelebrates the 7:30 AM Mass with Bishop Murphy at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes in Rockville Centre. The Mass will air on TelecareTV and stream on at 8:30 AM. At 10:30 AM, Bishops Murphy and Barres will appear jointly on Telecare’s news program “Everyday Faith Live,” which will be live streamed at

A press event will be held today with Bishop-designate Barres and Bishop Murphy:
When: Friday, December 9, 2016, 12:30 PM
Where: Monsignor Kelly Parish Center (adjacent to St. Agnes Cathedral)
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Bishop Barres has been shepherd of the Diocese of Allentown since July 2009. In a statement on his new appointment, Bishop Barres said, “I must thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last seven-and-a-half years. You will all always be in my heart, my memories, my prayers and my Masses as I remember our days of ‘holiness and mission’ together.”

Bishop John Barres
Bishop Barres was ordained a Bishop and installed as the fourth Bishop of Allentown on
July 30, 2009. He was the first priest ordained a bishop within the Diocese of Allentown.
Recognizing that vibrant parishes make a vibrant diocese, Bishop Barres has initiated a pastoral planning process for parishes across the Diocese of Allentown and has called on every parish to establish a Parish Pastoral Council. As shepherd of the Diocese, Bishop Barres has supported efforts of pastors, teachers and parents to strengthen our Catholic schools.

Bishop Barres has guided the Diocese of Allentown in its ongoing pastoral and strategic planning which has resulted in cutting edge efforts to enhance evangelization and pastoral ministries and helped to strengthen the financial condition of the Diocese. The Bishop sees the value of social media in spreading the Gospel message and the New Evangelization. Nationally, Bishop serves on the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and is the USCCB’s Episcopal Liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies.