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New Bishop to Lead Diocese of Rockville Centre

December 12th, 2016

Most Rev. John O. Barres, STD, JCL, DD, has been named the new bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, with the retirement of Most Rev. William Murphy. Bishop Barres officially will assume the leadership of this diocese on January 31 at a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes. In the interim, Bishop Murphy, who has led the Long Island diocese since 2001, will serve as apostolic administrator.

“It is my deep conviction that he will be a bishop for all of us, without exception,” said Bishop Murphy. “He has a deep love for the poor and will support Catholic Charities and parish outreach, as well as Catholic hospitals on Long Island.”

A native of New York’s Westchester County, Bishop Barres was baptized in 1960 by the celebrated Archbishop Fulton Sheen. After a seminary formation at Catholic University of America’s Theological College, he was ordained a priest in 1989. Consecrated a bishop in 2009, he since has led the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The motto for his episcopal coat of arms is “Holiness and Mission.”

Bishop Barres earned a bachelor’s in sacred theology and a licentiate in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America. Subsequently, he was awarded his licentiate in canon law and doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Also, Bishop Barres holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Princeton University and a master’s in business administration (management) from New York University’s Graduate School of Business Administration.

Formed in 1957, the Diocese of Rockville Centre comprises 133 parishes across Nassau and Suffolk counties. In addition to other ministries, the diocese sponsors Catholic Health Services of Long Island (CHS), which includes six hospitals, three nursing homes, hospice, a home nursing service and a community-based multiservice agency for individuals with special needs.

For more information on Bishop-designate Barres visit