CLEVELAND Pope Francis has named Bishop Nelson J. Perez, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre, N.Y., as Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, which encompasses Summit County.
The appointment was publicized this morning in Washington, D.C., Tuesday by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-designate Perez was born in Miami, Fla., on June 16, 1961, to David and Emma Perez. 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 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.
In June 2012, Bishop 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, Bishop Perez served as pastor of St. William Church in Philadelphia and as pastor of St. Agnes, West Chester, Pa. 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 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 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.