The date for Bishop-elect Gregory Parkes’ episcopal ordination has been set for June 5, with the time and location to be announced soon. On March 20 Bishop John Noonan announced that Pope Benedict XVI named Fr. Gregory Parkes, Vicar General and Chancellor for Canonical Affairs, to become the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, making Father Parkes the first priest in the Diocese of Orlando’s 44-year history to be appointed a bishop. Bishop-elect Parkes also serves as pastor of Corpus Christi parish in Celebration.
“The call from the nuncio did not surprise me and I am joyous for Bishop-elect Parkes,” Bishop Noonan said. “I am also at a loss because he has become a trusted adviser.”
Bishop-elect Gregory Parkes was born in Mineola, NY and attended St. Rose of Lima School in Massapequa, NY. He has two brothers, Christopher and the Very Rev. Stephen Parkes, V.F., who serves as pastor of Annunciation Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs. Their parents, Ronald and Joan, are deceased.
After attending earning an associate’s degree from Daytona Beach Community College and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University in 1986, Bishop-elect Parkes worked as a branch manager and loan officer for Barnett Bank of Tampa before attending St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, FL from 1993-1996. He attended Pontifical North American College in the Vatican City State from 1996-2000 and received degrees from Pontifical Gregorian University in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) in 1998 and Canon Law (J.C.L.) in 2000.
Bishop-elect Parkes was ordained a priest of the Orlando diocese by Bishop Norbert Dorsey at St. James Cathedral on June 26, 1999. He served as Parochial Vicar of Holy Family Catholic Church from 2000-2004 before serving as Parochial Administrator/Pastor at Corpus Christi parish beginning in 2005.
Bishop Noonan noted that in addition to his ministries as Pastor of Corpus Christi, Vicar General and Chancellor for Canonical Affairs, Bishop-elect Parkes also serves as Defender of the Bond for the Tribunal, and as a member of the College of Consultors, Diocesan Finance Committee, Priest Placement Board, Presbyteral Council, Incardination Committee and on the Board of Trustees of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.
Upon the announcement of the Bishop-elect Parkes’ appointment, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of the Archdiocese of Miami stated, “Bishop-elect Parkes served me well in a variety of capacities when I was the Bishop of Orlando. The Holy Father has made an excellent choice in Bishop-elect Parkes: he is a good priest and a holy man. I am confident that he will serve the people of Pensacola-Tallahassee well whom I have grown very fond of during my year as their Apostolic Administrator. “
In an interview with The Florida Catholic, Bishop-elect Parkes said, “I think it is important to have desire to serve God’s people with humility and with love, and to do all things for God’s glory. Certainly, a bishop needs to be a man of prayer and a man of the Church, but above all he should be a person who desires to serve God’s people with humility and with love.”
“We pray for Bishop-elect Parkes during this time of transition and ask the Lord to bless him as Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee,” said Bishop Noonan.
For a link to the announcement from the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, click here.