Pope Francis appoints Bishop Parkes as next Bishop of St. Petersburg

Bishop Gregory L. Parkes
Bishop Gregory L. Parkes

ST. PETERSBURG, FL (WFLA) — It was announced Monday Pope Francis has appointed Reverend Bishop Gregory L. Parkes as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Bishop Parkes succeeds the retiring Bishop Robert Lynch, who has served as Bishop of St. Petersburg since his installation in 1996.

“I am filled with joy that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Parkes as the new Bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg. I invite the faithful of our diocese and of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee to join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving and to pray for Bishop Parkes as he transitions to shepherd the people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” Bishop Lynch said.

Parkes served in the Pensacola-Tallahassee area for more than four years. He is no stranger to the Tampa Bay area. He worked in the banking industry in Tampa and attended Christ the King in South Tampa.

St. Petersburg is Florida’s second biggest diocese. Parkes was introduced to members of his new diocese Monday.

“Know that I am very grateful to the Holy Father Pope Francis for this appointment,” he said. “I will spend time visiting our parishes … visiting with our priests … visiting with our staff talking to our people and listening to them … to see where we are and to see where the lord may be calling us to go as a diocese.”

Outgoing Bishop Lynch was the one who introduced Parkes Monday. “May your yes bring you as much joy and happiness as this great diocese has brought to me,” Lynch said.

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