Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez was appointed the 14th Bishop and 10th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Pope Francis on January 23, 2020 following more than two years as Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.
Born in Miami, Florida (1961), Archbishop Pérez was raised in West New York, New Jersey, and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Montclair State University (1983). He entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he earned Master of Divinity (1988) and Master of Arts in Theology (1989) degrees.
Archbishop Pérez was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 20, 1989 and was assigned parochial vicar of Saint Ambrose Parish where he was stationed for five years. He concurrently served as Assistant Director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics (1990-93) before serving as the founding Director of the Institute for Evangelization (1993-2002).
He was named Chaplain to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor in 1998. His service in Philadelphia through 2012 included being pastor of two parishes and as a faculty member at both Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary and La Salle University. He taught courses in psychology, religious studies, and developmental psychology.
Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez
Archbishop of Philadelphia
In 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named him a Prelate of Honor. Three years later, Pope Benedict appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Rockville Center, New York. In that assignment, he served as Episcopal Vicar for the Eastern Vicariate overseeing 36 parishes. In that role he also had administrative responsibility and for Hispanic Ministry, formation programs, and ecclesial movements in 54 parishes.
He participated in or led multiple councils, committees, and boards for the Diocese of Rockville Centre before his appointment to lead the Diocese of Cleveland in 2017. For the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Pérez serves on several committees and chairs the USCCB’s Standing Committee on Cultural Diversity. In November 2018, he began a three-year term as the bishop liaison for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM). Rooted in Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation “The Joy of the Gospel,” #24, Archbishop Pérez’s pastoral vision can be summarized as: “Church on Mission: Proactive, Involved, Supportive, Fruitful, and Joyful.”
Bishop Robert J. Brennan was born on June 7, 1962, to Robert and Patricia Brennan in the Bronx, New York. The oldest of five children, Bishop Brennan has two brothers and two sisters, 14 nieces and nephews and three great-nephews and niece.
He was raised in Lindenhurst, New York, where his parents still reside. Bishop Brennan attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Lindenhurst, and St. John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, New York. He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and computer science from St. John’s University, Queens, New York.
Bishop Brennan studied for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York, was ordained a priest in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, on May 27, 1989, by Bishop John McGann, and was first assigned to the Church of St. Patrick in Smithtown. In 1994 he was appointed Secretary to the Bishop, working in this capacity for three bishops: the late Bishop John McGann, the late Bishop James McHugh, and Bishop William Murphy. He resided at St. Agnes Cathedral and served at the parish during those years.
Most Reverend Robert J. Brennan
Bishop of Columbus
In 2002 he was named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In 2010 he was appointed him pastor of the Church of Saint Mary of the Isle, Long Beach.
On July 25, 2012, he was ordained as Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Leaving his position as pastor in Long Beach at that time, he resided in the parish of Our Lady of Peace in Lynbrook.
Bishop Brennan’s strength lies in parish pastoral activity. Even while in Diocesan work, he has been afforded the opportunity to engage in many elements of parish life, in both the parishes where he resides as well as in a variety of parish settings. This work has included catechetical ministry, Catholic schools, pastoral care for the sick, and youth ministry.
While at the Cathedral Parish of St. Agnes, Bishop Brennan came to know the Latino community in the parish and began to study Spanish. He says this opened new doors in parish ministry and has given him the chance to come to know and love the Latino community on Long Island. A particular focus of his episcopal ministry has been in service to this community of some 400,000 Catholics. He speaks of the vibrancy of their faith as a source of inspiration.
While at Rockville Centre, Bishop Brennan has served on the Board of Directors for Catholic Health Services as well as various diocesan boards and committees. He has served as chaplain for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County. He serves on the Board for the Institute for Catholic Schools at his alma mater, St. John’s University. He served in several capacities on the Catholic Faith Network including serving as one of the co-hosts
of the award-winning program Insight.
With the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Brennan served as a member of the Committee for Catholic Education, the Administrative Committee, and the Priorities and Plans Committee.