It is a joy for me to welcome Bishop Perez to our Parish of St. Leo the Great for the first time, especially as we celebrate our Parish’s 70th Anniversary this year. After he celebrates the 4pm Mass, he will look forward to meeting you in Lux Hall where refreshments will be served. Since you will have an opportunity to introduce yourself to the Bishop after Mass, I would like to share some information about him which is on the website for the Diocese of Cleveland (www.dioceseofcleveland.org/bishopperez/):
Bishop Nelson J. Perez was born in Miami, Florida on June 16, 1961 to David and Emma Perez. He is the brother of the late Dr. David Perez & Louis Martin Perez. Raised in West New York, NJ, 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.
Bishop Perez has served as Parochial Vicar and as Pastor at several Parishes. He also served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics & as founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization. His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia. Bishop Perez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In 1998, he was named Chaplain to His Holi- ness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor. In 2009, he was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed Reverend Monsignor Nelson J. Perez Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in New York on June 8, 2012. He was ordained a bishop on July 25, 2012 in Saint Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, NY by Bishop William F. Murphy.
He served as the Episcopal Vicar for Hispanic Ministry, overseeing fifty-four parishes with pastoral ministry to Hispanics, Formation Programs, and Ecclesial Movements.
As a part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Perez serves as a member of the Bishops’ Standing Committee on Cultural Diversity & chair of the Bishops’ Sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs.
In the year that Bishop Perez has been with us in Cleveland, I have appreciated his constant presence with the People of God in our Diocese. He is known for his kindness, his joy and his pastoral sensitivity. We are grateful to God for his leadership and example in our Diocese. We pray for him at every Mass we celebrate here at St. Leo’s. We thank him for blessing our community this weekend with his presence.
I hope you all enjoy this Labor Day weekend & encourage you to join us for Mass on Monday morning at 9am.