NEWTOWN >> Saint Andrew Catholic Parish, in Newtown, will welcome the new Archbishop of Philadelphia, Archbishop Nelson Pérez, when it celebrates Mass at 10:30 a.m. at the main church on Sunday, March 1.
The largest parish in the archdiocese, both geographically and by number of parishioners, the priests, deacons, teachers, students and all parishioners said they are looking forward to meeting His Excellency, Archbishop Pérez.
Born in Miami, Archbishop Pérez grew up in Northern New Jersey. He is of Cuban ancestry and speaks fluent Spanish and English. He graduated from Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood.
Archbishop Pérez served as a priest and pastor in various churches in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He taught at LaSalle University and the seminary. He was the founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization and was assistant director of the archdiocesan Office for Hispanic Catholics. He served as an auxiliary bishop of Rockville Center, New York and as the 11th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.
Pérez, 58, is the first archbishop in 50 years to be installed as head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese while still younger than 60 years old. He is the first archbishop who is a native priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Archbishop Pérez and Monsignor Michael C. Picard, the pastor of Saint Andrew Catholic Parish, are close friends. Monsignor Picard was chosen to greet the new archbishop, as a representative of all of the pastors in the archdiocese, at the installation at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul on February 18.
The church is expecting standing room only at the 10:30 a.m. Mass as the parish welcomes the new shepherd of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The entire parish is humbled that Archbishop Pérez has chosen to visit the congregation.