Archdiocese of Philadelphia Installs New Archbishop

Archbishop of Philadelphia Nelson J. Pérez waves to the congregation, as he walks out in the procession after his Installation Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Basilica on February 18, 2020. Credit: Associated Press.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has installed a new Archbishop to oversee the region. This is the first new appointment to the office since 2011.

Approximately 2,000 people attended Mass Tuesday afternoon at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. They witnessed in person the installation of new Archbishop Nelson J. Perez.

Former Archbishop Charles J. Chaput submitted his letter of resignation to Pope Francis in late January. He turned 75 years old last September, the age at which all archbishops must resign.

Pope Francis then appointed Perez to the position on the same day, January 23, 2020. He serves more than a million Catholics throughout the region, including Lower Bucks.

Perez spoke at the special Mass. He thanked his predecessor for making “steadfast” decisions.

“He’s a man of great, great faith. Incredible faith. He’s a man who proclaims the truth of the gospel and of our faith with courage. And the Archdiocese of Philadelphia owes this man an incredible debt of gratitude for who he was, is, and will continue to be.”

Perez was ordained a priest in Philadelphia in 1989. He served in various positions in the city until 2009, when he went to West Chester through 2012.

Born in Miami, Florida in 1961, Perez most recently served as a bishop in the Diocese of Cleveland for seven years. He is the first Hispanic cleric to hold the position of archbishop in 212 years of the archdiocese’s history.