Most Reverend John O.Barres assumed leadership as the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre during a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes to a sold-out crowd on Jan. 31. A New York boy born and bred, he has assumed leadership of Long Island’s diocese.
“As your shepherd, as the success of the apostles, I am so honored and humbled to be able to lay my life down in your service,” said Barres. “I so much look forward to being inspired by the holy and missionary priests, religious…and entire People of God of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.” The appointment of Barres by Pope Francis on Dec. 9, 2016 and in the interim Bishop William Murphy serve as Apostolic Administrator.
“It is my deep conviction that he will be a Bishop for all of us without exception,” said Murphy. “He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly. He has a keen sense of parish life and has a special expertise in education. He has a deep love for the poor and will support Catholic Charities, parish outreach as well as Catholic hospitals on Long Island. He will be a good neighbor to our brothers and sisters of the Christian churches, our Jewish and Muslim friends and the many civic and political leaders with whom he will work in building up Long Island for future generations. Above all he is a man of prayer, both the prayer of the Church through Eucharist and the sacraments as well as the many devotions of our Catholic tradition, especially the Blessed Virgin and St. Agnes,” said Murphy.
Barres was born in Larchmont, NY, on Sept. 20, 1960. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Princeton University and an MBA in management from NYU’s Graduate School of Business Administration in 1984. 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 Theological College. He holds a licentiate in canon law and a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
Barres was ordained a priest in 1989 in Wilmington, DE. He served as associate pastor of Holy Family Church in Newark, DE, and St. Elizabeth Church in Wilmington. Pope John Paul II named him a Chaplain of His Holiness in July 2000 and he became Monsignor. Pope Benedict XVI named him a Prelate of Honor in November 2005 and appointed him Bishop of Allentown in 2009. He serves on the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and is the Episcopal Liaison to the Pontifical Mission Societies.