Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez

Pope Francis announced May 24 from the Vatican that he has accepted the retirement of Most Reverend Michael J. Fitzgerald, Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia. As required by the Code of Canon Law for all bishops, Bishop Fitzgerald petitioned the Vatican for retirement in anticipation of his 75th birthday, which he marked earlier this month. Although officially retired, Bishop Fitzgerald will continue serving the Church of Philadelphia in a pastoral capacity.


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I invite all of the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Church in Philadelphia to join me in expressing prayerful congratulations to Bishop Fitzgerald on the occasion of his retirement. We rejoice in thanksgiving for the gift of his ministry as a priest and bishop. It has spanned more than four decades and impacted countless lives in deeply positive ways.

Throughout the years, Bishop Fitzgerald generously sowed seeds of deep love for the Lord with the zealous heart of a missionary disciple. With great faith, fidelity, charity, and humility Bishop Fitzgerald has worked tirelessly for the good of souls and to build up the Kingdom of God in our region. It has been a great joy for me to work with him closely for many years and I am grateful for the wise counsel he has provided during my time as Archbishop.

On behalf of our entire local Church, I extend best wishes to Bishop Fitzgerald as he enters into a new season of ministry and pray that his retirement will be filled with peace, joy, and happiness.

Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D.
Archbishop of Philadelphia