Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia and has appointed Bishop Nelson J. Perez of Cleveland as his successor.

Archbishop Chaput, who has headed the Philadelphia Archdiocese since 2011, turned 75 last September, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. Bishop Perez, 58, was installed as the 11th bishop of Cleveland Sept. 5, 2017.

The resignation and appointment were announced in Washington Jan. 23 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

“I am deeply grateful to the Holy Father for this appointment and his confidence in me. It is with great joy tinged with a sense of sadness that I accept the appointment – joy that I will be returning to serve the archdiocese in which I was ordained to the priesthood, where I served as the pastor of two parishes and where I held several leadership positions within the archdiocese, and sadness that I will be leaving an area and the incredible people in Northeast Ohio I have come to love deeply,” said Bishop Perez. “I will never forget the kindness and hospitality of the people of the Diocese of Cleveland. They will remain in my heart and prayers always. As change is an ever-present part of life, I now turn my attention southeastward as I look forward to my return to Pennsylvania to shepherd the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.”

Archbishop-elect Perez’s Mass of Installation will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Bishop Perez, 58, was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. He served there for many years at the parish level with a focus on ministry to Hispanic Catholics before being named an Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2012.

In July 2017, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Perez to serve as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland

Among his accomplishments during his tenure as Bishop of Cleveland, Bishop Perez launched an initiative to develop a strategic plan aimed at strengthening Catholic education in the diocese. He implemented changes in elementary religion teaching focused on St. John Paul’s Theology of the Body curriculum. In a move to ensure that youth and young adults are fully involved in the life of the local Church, Bishop Perez put into place initiatives such as a special “think tank” to make recommendations on youth and young adult engagement the diocese. He invited missionaries from The Culture Project, an organization of young adults dedicated to teaching other young people about the virtues of chastity and human dignity, to bring their ministry to the diocese.

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