The selection of Rev. Fernand J. Cheri, III, OFM for ministry as a Bishop was announced a noon (Rome-time) on Monday, January 12, 2015.
Bishop-elect Fernand J. Cheri, III, OFM, more informally known as "Ferd", is a member of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Order of Friars Minor based in St. Louis, Missouri.
He is was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on January 28, 1952 and raised in that city and local Church. His preparation for ordination to the priesthood occurred in the archdiocesan seminaries of New Orleans. Bishop-elect Cheri received his Masters of Divinity degree from Notre Dame Seminary and a Masters of Theology degree from Xavier University of Louisiana. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New Orleans on May 20, 1978.
Bishop-elect Cheri served in several parishes in the Archdiocese of New Orleans before becoming campus minister at Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois. He also taught at St. Augustine High School and served as assistant campus minister at Xavier University. He is a nationally renowned archivist of Black religious music and has written several articles and books on Black Catholic worship and liturgy. He is a revivalist who preaches across the country drawing his strength and testimony from God's Word in Scripture, "My grace is enough for you, for in weakness power reaches perfection." (2 Cor 12:9)
Bishop-elect Cheri ministered as a priest in the Archdiocese of New Orleans until he began his Postulancy with the Franciscans in 1991. He entered the Franciscan Order as a novice on June 29, 1992 and made Solemn Profession four years later on August 17, 1996.
Bishop-elect Ferd has spent the years since his Solemn Profession as a Pastor and Guardian, as a member of the Provincial Council, in Campus Ministry at both the High School and University levels, as the Director of Sacred Heart Province’s Office of Friar Life and as one of his Province’s Vocation Directors.
His ordination as Bishop will be celebrated at St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 23, 2015 at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.
Bishop-elect Cheri will be introduced to the community and the media today at an 11:00 a.m. news conference at the Archdiocesan Chancery in New Orleans.
The Franciscan Friars of the Sacred Heart Province and their brothers throughout the Order of Friars Minor congratulate Bishop-elect Fernand J. Cheri, III, O.F.M. and offer him their heartfelt prayers. God bless him and his ministry as a Bishop.