Saint Vincent Seminary will honor Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of Erie, as an Alumnus of Distinction at the annual Alumni Day Mass, to be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, September 29 in the Archabbey Basilica. Very Rev. Edward Mazich, O.S.B., Seminary rector, will serve as homilist at the Mass. Bishop Persico will be the principal celebrant.
Bishop Persico is a 1975 Seminary alumnus. A native of Monessen, Bishop Persico attended diocesan high school seminary at Saint Joseph Hall in Greensburg. He then earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1973 from Saint Pius X in Erlanger, Kentucky before earning his master of divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary. In June of 1980, he was assigned to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he received the licentiate degree in canon law in 1982.
Bishop Persico was ordained a deacon on June 8, 1976 and served as deacon at Holy Family Parish in Latrobe. Following his ordination to the priesthood on April 30, 1977 by Bishop William G. Connare at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, he was appointed parochial vicar of Immaculate Conception Parish in Irwin. On January 20, 1983, Bishop Persico was appointed assistant chancellor, pro-synodal judge of the Tribunal and chaplain of Assumption Hall, the retirement home of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Greensburg. He was named vice chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg on October 2, 1984 and on February 11, 1988, was appointed chaplain of the Benedictine Sisters Monastery of Saint Emma, in Greensburg.
He was appointed chancellor of the Diocese of Greensburg by Bishop Anthony G. Bosco on September 18, 1989. In 1998, he was also appointed pastor of Saint James Parish in New Alexandria, the same year he began service as the bishop’s representative to the administrative board of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.
Bishop Persico was named a monsignor with the title of Prelate of Honor to his Holiness by Pope John Paul II on February 28, 2005. On August 4, 2005, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt appointed him as vicar general, moderator of the curia, acting chancellor and the bishop’s delegate for clergy sexual abuse, while continuing as pastor of Saint James Parish.
He served as vice president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference from 2006 to 2011. He was invested as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jersusalem on October 2, 2010. He was appointed Bishop of Erie by Pope Benedict XVI on July 31, 2012 and ordained Bishop on October 1, 2012 by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia.
Bishop Persico has been a member of the Canon Law Society of America since 1983 and is a member-at-large of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, Order Sons of Italy in America. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Regents of Saint Vincent Seminary.