Dear Members of the Gannon Community:
It was announced in Rome this morning that Pope Benedict the XVI named the Rev. Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico of the clergy of the Diocese of Greensburg as the tenth Bishop of Erie to succeed Most Rev. Donald W. Trautman, S.T.D., S.S.L, whose resignation was submitted last year following church protocol on his 75th birthday. Bishop Trautman will continue to lead the mission and ministries of the diocese as Bishop Emeritus until Bishop-elect Persico’s installation on October 1. Bishop Trautman will introduce Bishop-elect Persico at a news conference today at 10:30 a.m.
Bishop-elect Persico was born south of Pittsburgh in Monessen, Pa., and was ordained a priest in 1977 for the Diocese of Greensburg, where he was serving as vicar general, moderator of the curia, defender of the bond and advocate of the diocesan Tribunal and acting chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg as well as pastor of St. James Parish. You can read more about Bishop-elect Persico on the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie’s website.
We look forward with great excitement and share the joy of the Diocese of Erie in welcoming our new Bishop. As our Shepherd and the next Chairman of the Gannon University Board of Trustees, Bishop-elect Persico will help to guide the faith and future course of the University.
As we anticipate what is next, we must also recognize the leadership of Bishop Trautman, who has given his heart and service to Gannon and the Catholic schools of the diocese for more than two decades. Bishop Trautman helped secure the future of Catholic education in the diocese. He oversaw the merger of Cathedral Preparatory School and Villa Maria Academy, consolidated schools in St. Marys and the Shenango Valley and developed DuBois Area Catholic Schools. He also expanded the Bishop’s Tuition Assistance Program and the Star Foundation Tuition Assistance Program. Through these efforts, the Diocese of Erie provides more than $1.8 million in tuition assistance for elementary and secondary schools.
Bishop Trautman has served the Catholic faithful of this community, the Commonwealth, and our country through his dedication to the Diocese of Erie and service to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has also served every member of the Gannon community, for which the University has recognized him with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2011 and the Ut Diligatis Invicem award in May of this year.
We thank you, Bishop Trautman, for sharing God’s love with Gannon and our entire community for more than 20 years and we look forward to sharing our future with Bishop-Elect Persico.
Keith Taylor, Ph.D.