Pope Francis has named Bishop John O. Barres, up until now bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania, as bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, and has accepted the resignation of Bishop William F. Murphy from the pastoral governance of that diocese.
The appointment was made public in Washington on December 9.
John Barres was born in Larchmont, New York, on September 20, 1960. He received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1988, and a licentiate in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America, where he also received his seminary formation at its Theological College. Additionally, he holds a licentiate in Canon Law and a doctor of sacred theology degree from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome. He obtained a B.A. in English literature from Princeton University and an M.B.A. in management from New York University’s School of Business Administration in 1984.
He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, on October 21, 1989.
Assignments after ordination included: associate pastor at Holy Family Church in Newark, Delaware, until 1992, and associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington,1992-1996. After further studies in Rome, he returned in 1999 and began serving as vice-chancellor and then chancellor of the Diocese of Wilmington. He has additionally served on various diocesan boards and committees.
Pope John Paul II named him a “Chaplain of His Holiness” in July 2000 with the title of Monsignor. Pope Benedict XVI named him a “Prelate of Honor” in November 2005.
On May 27, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Allentown. He was installed as the fourth bishop of Allentown on July 30, 2009.
Bishop William F. Murphy, 76, was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston on December 16, 1964. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Murphy as Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on June 26, 2001. He was installed as the Fourth Bishop of Rockville Centre on September 5, 2001.
The diocese of Rockville Centre comprises 1,198 square miles. It has a total population of 2,908,917 people of whom 1,455,644, or 50%, are Catholic.