The new bishop of the Cleveland Diocese was welcomed to Oberlin Saturday during a Mass celebration at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Bishop Nelson Perez, 56, was officially installed Sept. 5 as the 11th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, home to 185 parishes.
Coming to Cleveland after a five-year stint as the auxiliary bishop of Rockville Center, N.Y., Perez replaces bishop Richard Lennon, who retired last December due to health issues. The appointment marks a seminal moment for the diocese, especially for its Hispanic population.
Perez is often asked is, “What plans do you have for Cleveland?” and responds with a question of his own: “What are the plans of Cleveland for me? I was sent here to become a part of you — not the other way around.”
No agenda in mind, the new bishop has spent his first few weeks in his new home “learning, seeing, listening, and experiencing,” he said before his first interaction with Oberlin parishioners.
Every morning, Perez prays for the people of Cleveland.
“I pray that God will bring strength in challenging moments and keep them from whatever this day will bring them,” he said.
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.