8 June 2012
Bishop William Murphy upon the Appointment of Bishop-elect Robert Brennan and Bishop-elect Nelson Perez as Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
With deep joy I am pleased to share with you the announcement made this morning in the Vatican that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has given the Diocese of Rockville Centre two new auxiliary bishops.
They are Bishop Elect Robert John Brennan priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Bishop Elect Nelson Jesus Perez, priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Bishop Elect Brennan whose parents are here this morning, was born on June 7, 1962, grew up in Lindenhurst, graduated from St John the Baptist Diocesan High School, received his BA summa cum laude from St John’s University, prepared for the priesthood at our Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John McGann on May 27, 1989. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Patrick, Smithtown and then successively Secretary to three bishops: Bishop McGann, Bishop James McHugh and then myself. In 2002 I asked him to be the Vicar General, a post he continues to hold while serving as well as Pastor of St, Mary of the Isle, Long Beach since 2010.
Bishop Elect Perez was born in Miami Florida on June 16, 1961. His parents, David and Emma Perez are Cuban Americans who left Cuba that year and now reside in Florida. Bishop Elect Perez studied at Montclair State College. Prior to entering the seminary, Bishop elect Perez taught at a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico. He then prepared at St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia and was ordained a priest on May 20, 1989. In 1998, Father Perez was named Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II with the title of monsignor. In 2009, he was made a prelate of honor. Bishop elect Perez is currently the Pastor of St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA and has served in various positions in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia including: pastor, Church of Saint William, Philadelphia, PA; founding director for the Catholic Institute for Evangelization, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; adjunct faculty member of La Salle University, Philadelphia; parochial vicar for St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Philadelphia; Assistant director for the Office for Hispanic Catholics, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; and a course instructor at St. Charles Seminary, Church Ministry Program, Overbrook, PA.
I wish to express my fervent thanks to the Holy Father for responding so quickly to my request for two auxiliary bishops to help me pastor this fifth largest diocese in our nation. God has blessed this Diocese with good and holy priests and now two new auxiliary bishops, one a native son, the second, a Cuban American who will bring his many gifts and his Latino language, culture and heritage to enrich this wonderful Diocese.
These two men will be ordained by me on July 25, 2012, the Feast of Saint James the Apostle, whose shrine at Santiago de Campostella in Spain is one of the most historic places of pilgrimage in the Catholic Church. It will take place here at Saint Agnes Cathedral where with great devotion we honor the Roman martyr, Saint Agnes, who watches over and protects this Diocese.
Bishop Elect Brennan will continue to serve as Vicar General. Bishop Elect Perez will serve as Vicar for the Eastern Region succeeding Bishop Peter Libasci who, as you know, is now the Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire. Both will join Bishops John Dunne and Paul Walsh as my closest collaborators in the pastoral care of our Diocese.
Dear friends, this is great news. We thank the Lord and His Blessed Mother. Praised Be Jesus Christ!
CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625