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Sunday 26 September |
Saint of the Day: Sts Cosmas and Damian

Pope Francis names new bishop, John O. Barres, for Long Island


Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/09/16

From the Long Island Catholic, some happy news for my neighbors to the east:

Pope Francis today appointed Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania, to serve as the fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre. He succeeds Bishop William Murphy, 76, who has led the Diocese of Rockville Centre since 2001. The appointment was made public in Washington, December 9, 2016 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Barres will assume leadership of the Diocese during a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on January 31, 2017 at 2 p.m. Until that time, Bishop Murphy will serve as Apostolic Administrator.

Bishop Barres has an interesting background: his parents were both Protestant ministers, graduates of Yale Divinity School, who eventually came into the church via Bishop Fulton Sheen, who baptized their son, John Oliver, in 1960. According to Rocco Palmo, writing on Barres in 2009, the bishop has brought some of that Protestant work ethic with him into his priesthood, and works so hard that he “flirts with exhaustion.”

Friends in Rockville Centre, with its 1.7 million Catholics, seem overjoyed at this appointment

Barres is a member of Opus Dei, and fluent in Italian, French, and Spanish. You can get to know him here, as he talks with Marcus Grodi about his parents conversion. He talks about being called to the priesthood at 33:14, and it’s very moving:

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