John Barres

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
John Oliver Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Diocese Rockville Centre
Appointed December 9, 2016
Installed January 31, 2017
Predecessor William Murphy
Ordination October 21, 1989
by Robert Edward Mulvee
Consecration July 30, 2009
by Justin Francis Rigali, William Francis Malooly, and Michael Angelo Saltarelli
Personal details
Born (1960-09-20) September 20, 1960 (age 57)
Larchmont, New York
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Bishop of Allentown (2009-2017)
Alma mater Princeton University
New York University
Catholic University of America
Motto Holiness and Mission
Styles of
John Oliver Barres
Coat of arms of John Oliver Barres (Rockville Centre).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

John Oliver Barres (/ˈbærɪs/ BARR-iss; born September 20, 1960) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. On January 31, 2017, he was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York, succeededing Bishop William Murphy. He formerly served as Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Early life and education[edit]

The fifth of six children, John Barres was born to Oliver and Marjorie (née Catchpole) Barres in Larchmont, New York.[1] His parents were Brethren ministers[2] who met each other at Yale Divinity School and later converted to Catholicism in 1955; his father wrote of their conversion in the book One Shepherd, One Flock.[3] Barres was baptized by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.[3]

He attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, before studying at Princeton University, where he obtained a B.A. in English literature, and at New York University's School of Business Administration, where he earned an M.B.A. in Management (1984).[1] He received a Bachelor of Sacred Theology in 1988, and a Licentiate in systematic theology from the Catholic University of America, and received his seminary formation at its Theological College.[1] He studied at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, earning a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1998 and a Doctorate in Spirituality in 1999.

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Barres was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert Mulvee on October 21, 1989. He served as an associate pastor at Holy Family Church in Newark, Delaware, until 1992, and at St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington from 1992 to 1996.[3] He then returned to the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, where he earned a doctorate in theology in 1999; his thesis was entitled "Jean-Jacques Olier's Priestly Spirituality: Mental Prayer and Virtue as the Foundation for the Direction of Souls."[3]

Upon his return to the United States in 1999, Barres became vice-chancellor for the Diocese of Wilmington's coordinator of institutional chaplains.[1] In 2000, he was named diocesan chancellor and a Chaplain to His Holiness.[3] He was also made an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness in November 2005. He served on various diocesan boards and committees, as well as the Administrative Board of the Maryland Catholic Conference, the Board of St. Francis Hospital, and the Board of the Cathedral Foundation.[3]

In addition to his duties as chancellor, he briefly became pastor of Church of the Holy Child in Wilmington in May 2009.

He is a member of the Roman Catholic organization Opus Dei.

Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania[edit]

Coat of Arms as Bishop of Allentown

On May 27, 2009, Barres was appointed the fourth Bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania, by Pope Benedict XVI.[4] He succeeded Bishop Edward Cullen, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in March 2008, and received his episcopal consecration on July 30, 2009, at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena. Justin Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, was the principal consecrator, and Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington and Michael Saltarelli, Bishop emeritus of Wilmington, were the principal co-consecrators. As Bishop of Allentown, Barres was the spiritual leader of over 276,000 Catholics in the Lehigh Valley and Berks County.[4] He is also Allentown's first diocesan bishop who did not previously serve the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In addition to his native English, he is fluent in Italian, French, and Spanish.

On December 13, 2013, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), named Bishop Barres to succeed Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., who had served since 2011, as the Episcopal Liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States.[5]

Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Rockville Centre, New York, on December 9, 2016.[6]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Edward Peter Cullen
Bishop of Allentown
Succeeded by
Alfred Andrew Schlert
Preceded by
William Murphy
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Succeeded by