Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez to Speak at Villanova University’s 181st Commencement

Archbishop Nelson J. PérezImage via the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

VILLANOVA, PA — Villanova University announced that Philadelphia Archbishop the Most Reverend Nelson J. Pérez, D.D., is set to grace the stage as the commencement speaker for the Class of 2024. The ceremony, marking the university’s 181st commencement, is scheduled for May 17 at 2:30 p.m. in the iconic Villanova Stadium, with plans to move indoors to the Finneran Pavilion should weather conditions demand it.

In addition to his role as keynote speaker, Archbishop Pérez will be honored with the degree of Doctor of Sacred Letters, honoris causa, recognizing his significant contributions to the community and the church. Appointed as the 14th Bishop and 10th Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia by Pope Francis in January 2020, Archbishop Pérez brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to education and community engagement to the podium.

Archbishop Pérez’s connection to the Philadelphia area runs deep, with over twenty years dedicated to serving its communities. A graduate of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, where he earned two master’s degrees, Archbishop Pérez was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1989. His extensive service includes roles as parochial vicar, pastor, and educator at institutions like LaSalle University and Saint Charles Seminary.

Beyond his local commitments, Archbishop Pérez has played a pivotal role in fostering relationships with Latino communities throughout the region, advocating for proactive, involved, supportive, fruitful, and joyful church missions. His leadership extends nationally, having served in several capacities within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including as Chair of the Bishops’ Standing Committee on Cultural Diversity and other significant roles.

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Notably, Archbishop Pérez’s ecclesiastical honors include being named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope John Paul II in 1998 and Prelate of Honor by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, further cementing his status as a respected figure within the Catholic Church.

The Villanova community eagerly anticipates the insights and inspiration Archbishop Pérez will share, drawing from his rich background in faith, community service, and education. The university’s 181st commencement promises to be a memorable event, celebrating the achievements of its graduates while looking forward to the guidance and wisdom of a distinguished leader such as Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez.

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