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Administrator elected to oversee Diocese of Cleveland

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CLEVELAND (CNS) -- Father Donald P. Oleksiak has been elected administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland by the diocese's college of consultors following the appointment of Archbishop Nelson J. Perez as the new leader of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Father Oleksiak, 57, will serve as diocesan administrator until Pope Francis names a successor to Archbishop Perez to lead Ohio's largest diocese.

Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Perez to Philadelphia Jan. 23. He was installed in his new position Feb. 18.

A native of the Cleveland Diocese, Father Oleksiak has served in administrative roles in the diocese for more than a decade. Most recently, he was vicar general and moderator of the curia under then-Bishop Perez. He held the same positions from 2014 until the resignation of Bishop Richard G. Lennon in December 2016.

Father Oleksiak also served as delegate to Bishop Daniel E. Thomas of Toledo during the time he was apostolic administrator of the Cleveland Diocese following Bishop Lennon's resignation for health reasons.

Previously, Father Oleksiak served as director of the diocesan Office of Clergy Personnel. He also was administrator of several parishes. From 2003 to 2005, he served as a parish pastor and from 1989 to 1995 as a parochial vicar at two parishes.

Under canon law, the college of consultors must elect an administrator within eight days of receiving notice of the vacancy of an episcopal see.

An administrator oversees a diocese temporarily until the installation of the next bishop. He has the same authority as a diocesan bishop except for matters that would have long-term effects.

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