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 CNS Story:

FRANCISCANS-PERRY May-22-2013 (200 words) xxxi

Friars Minor elect U.S. Father Michael Perry to lead order

By Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) -- The Order of Friars Minor has elected U.S. Franciscan Father Michael Perry, 58, as the new worldwide head of the order.

Father Perry, who has served as the order's vicar general since 2009, will complete the six-year term of Spanish-born Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, who in April was appointed to the No. 2 post at the Vatican's Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

The special election was May 21 in Rome. The minister general's term runs until 2015.

In 2008, less than a year before his election as vicar general, Father Perry was elected provincial of the Franciscans' St. Louis-based Sacred Heart Province.

Father Perry had worked on African development for Catholic Relief Services, as an international policy adviser for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and as head of the Africa desk at Franciscans International at the United Nations. He spent 10 years as a pastor, teacher and development director for Franciscan programs in Congo.

A native of Indianapolis, Father Perry holds a doctorate in religious anthropology, a master's of divinity in priestly formation and a bachelor's in history and philosophy. He entered the Franciscans in 1977 and was ordained a priest in 1984.

END


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