Pope Benedict XVI appointed Msgr. Lawrence T. Persico, a priest of the Diocese of Greensburg, in western Pennsylvania, as bishop of Erie, Pa., July 31.

Bishop-elect Persico was born in Monessen, Pa., in 1950 and was ordained a priest in 1977. Currently he is vicar general for the Greensburg Diocese and pastor of St. James Parish in New Alexandria. He is also vice president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.

He was named to the Erie Diocese, which has a Catholic population of 223,668 served by 193 priests, 61 permanent deacons and 317 religious, after the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Donald W. Trautman. He had reached the age limit of 75 last year.