A look at the career of Nelson Perez, Philadelphia’s next archbishop

Nelson Jesus Perez has been named by Pope Francis to become the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia. Here is a timeline of his ecclesiastical career.

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Overview
May 20, 1989
1989-1993
1993-2002
2002-2009
2009-2012
June 8, 2012
July 11, 2017
Nov. 14, 2017
Jan. 23, 2020
May 20, 1989
Ordination

After obtaining master degrees in arts and divinity at St. Charles Seminary in Wynnewood, Perez is ordained a priest by then-Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua.

Archbishop Anthony Bevilacqua in 1989.
1989-1993
First Parish

Perez’s first assignment is a curate at St. Ambrose Parish in Olney. During this time he also serves as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics.

1993-2002
Hispanic Outreach

Perez serves as founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization. The institute, which was based in Hunting Park, had the mission of developing parish-based evangelization teams in North Philadelphia with a special focus on the Hispanic community. In 1998, he was named as chaplain to Pope John Paul II with the title of monsignor.

A May 17, 1994 clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
2002-2009
Second Parish

Pastor of St. William Parish in Lawncrest, a heavily Hispanic neighborhood.

A Dec. 21, 2003 clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
2009-2012
Third Parish

Pastor of St. Agnes Parish in West Chester.

A Dec. 18, 2009 clipping from the Philadelphia Daily News.
June 8, 2012
A move to Long Island

Pope Benedict XVI names Perez auxiliary bishop of the diocese of Rockville Centre covering suburban Long Island, N.Y. The diocese, the eighth largest in the United States, has 1.3 million Catholics and a growing population of Hispanics.

A Jun. 09, 2012 clipping from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
July 11, 2017
A diocese of his own

Pope Francis names Perez the 11th bishop of Cleveland. Covering eight counties, the diocese has 700,000 Catholics and, like Philadelphia, has had to shutter churches and schools in its urban core.

Nov. 14, 2017
A national role

Fellow prelates at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops overwhelmingly elect Perez to a three-year-term as chairman of the conference’s Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Jan. 23, 2020
A return to Philadelphia

Pope Francis names Perez the 10th archbishop of Philadelphia, replacing the retiring Archbishop Charles Chaput. With 1.4 million Catholics living in the city and its four surrounding suburban counties, it is the fifth largest diocese in the nation. It is also the Metropolitan See of the Ecclesiastical Province of Philadelphia, which includes the dioceses of Allentown, Altoona-Johnstown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Scranton.

MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Newly named Philadelphia Archbishop Bishop Nelson J. Perez, center, waves to the crowd gathered for his introduction at the Archdiocese headquarters on January 23, 2020. Archbishop Charles J. Chaput announced that Pope Francis has named Most Reverend Nelson J. Perez as the 14th Bishop and 10th Archbishop of Philadelphia