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Catholic Diocese Of Cleveland Names Oleksiak Diocesan Administrator

Rev. Donald Oleksiak
Rev. Donald Oleksiak is the first diocesan administrator in the 173 year history of the Diocese of Cleveland.

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has named Rev. Don Oleksiak as diocesan administrator until Pope Francis names a successor for Nelson Perez, now the Archbishop of Philadelphia after more than two years as Bishop of Cleveland.

Perez's appointment to Philadelphia was effective as of Tuesday; Oleksiak's is effective immediately.

Oleksiak is the first diocesan administrator in the 173 year history of the Diocese of Cleveland.

Following the retirement of Bishop Richard Lennon in December 2016, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Daniel Thomas of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo as apostolic administrator.

"An apostolic administrator is appointed by the Holy Father, not elected in the local diocese, is always a bishop and has the same powers as a diocesan bishop,” according to a statement from the diocese.

The 57-year-old Oleksiak was instead elected by the College of Consultors, which the Diocese of Cleveland describes as eight priests "whose normal role is to advise the diocesan bishop, especially regarding major transactions. The College of Consultors is obliged to elect a diocesan administrator within eight days of receiving notice of the vacancy of an episcopal see," or bishop's jurisdiction.

Oleksiak was ordained as a priest in 1989 and has served in administrative roles for the past 10 years, according to the diocese. He most recently served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for Bishop Perez. He served in the same role under Bishop Richard Lennon, from 2014 to 2016.

“In addition, Fr. Oleksiak has been administrator for several parishes including St. Patrick Parish in Thompson, Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Garfield Heights and St. Peter in Loudonville,” according to a press release from the diocese. From 2003 to 2005, Oleksiak was pastor of St. Monica Parish. He served as parochial vicar at St. Bernadette Parish in Westlake from 1994 to 1995 and at St. Joseph Parish in Strongsville from 1989 to 1994.

Glenn Forbes is supervising producer of newscasts at Ideastream Public Media.