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Pope Selects Pa. Bishop To Lead Long Island Diocese

Gregory Shemitz
Courtesy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre/Facebook
Bishop Barres interacts with students from St. Agnes Elementary School in Rockville Centre, Long Island, on Friday.

Pope Francis has chosen a new bishop to lead the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island.

Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pennsylvania, will replace retiring Bishop William Murphy, to become the fifth bishop of Rockville Centre, which is home to 1.5 million Catholics.

In an interview on the Diocesan cable channel, Barres, who speaks Spanish, said he was especially excited to work with Latino families who he said bring so much to the church.

Barres was born in Westchester County and is a graduate of Princeton University. He also earned a master's degree in business at New York University and studied theology at the Catholic University of America.

He was ordained a priest in 1989.

Murphy, who is 76, submitted his letter of resignation on his 75th birthday. At a mass that both men celebrated at St. Agnes Cathedral, Murphy called Barres a longtime friend who will be a bishop for all.