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Bishop Joseph N. Perry serves as Archdiocese of Chicago Episcopal Vicar for Vicariate VI, which includes more than 20 parishes primarily on the ctiy's South Side.

Since 2010, he has been leading the way to ensure sainthood for Father Augustus Tolton, the first recognized priest of African descent in the United States. Cardinal Francis George, OMI, appointed Bishop Perry the Tolton Postulator for the diocesan phase of the cause for sainthood on Jan. 28, 2010.  

Fr. Tolton served the Diocese of Alton (now Springfield, Illinois) and the Archdiocese of Chicago until his death in 1897 at the age of 43. 

Bishop Perry was appointed Titular Bishop of Lead (an historic former see in South Dakota) and Auxiliary to his Cardinal George, former Archbishop of Chicago on May 5, 1998. His episcopal consecration took place June 29, 1998, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.


He was ordained by the late Archbishop William Edward Cousins on May 24, 1975, at St. John Cathedral, Milwaukee. After an 18-month assignment as associate pastor of St. Nicholas Parish, Milwaukee, he was assigned to the Tribunal offices of the Archdiocese. He was sent for graduate studies in canon law at The Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., in 1976.

Bishop Perry's priestly ministry has been spent with ecclesiastical law and education working primarily in the church courts as advocate, then as judge in the court of appeals that services the suffragan Dioceses of Superior, LaCrosse, Green Bay, and Madison, Wis., and as conciliation and arbitration clerk. In 1983, he was appointed judicial vicar for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, a post he held for two six-year terms until his appointment as pastor of All Saints Parish, Milwaukee, in June 1995.


He served as the chaplain of the St. Thomas More Lawyers Society of Wisconsin, an association of lawyers and judges. He also was an adjunct professor of canon law studies at Marquette University Law School (Milwaukee) and Sacred Heart Seminary (Hales Corner, Wis.) until his appointment as bishop.


Bishop Perry served as associate judge in the Second Instance Court of Appeals for the six dioceses in Illinois configured to the Ecclesiastical Province of Chicago 1998-2015. Today, he is an adjunct professor of canon law at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, Mundelein, Illinois.

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