Fr John Derek Persaud, Vicar General of the Diocese of Georgetown, Guyana, was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica by Pope Francis on Friday, June 19.
Catholic Standard reported that as soon as Fr Persaud can travel to Jamaica, he will visit Mandeville to meet with the Apostolic Administrator, Archbishop Emeritus Charles Dufour of Kingston, clergy, religious and the faithful to begin preparations for his Episcopal Ordination.
Soon after the announcement, Trinity Television’s Suzanne Dowdy spoke with the Bishop-elect via Zoom. Participating in the call were Bishop Francis Alleyne OSB of Georgetown and Raymond Syms, Editor, Catholic News.
Asked about his initial reaction to the appointment, Fr Persaud said when the Pope’s envoy to the Caribbean, Papal Nuncio Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachukwu told him that it was Pope Francis’ intention to appoint him as Bishop of Mandeville and whether he would accept, he said for him it was not a question of whether he responded ‘yes’ or ‘no’ since all his life he has only said ‘yes’ to God. As General Secretary of the Caribbean Bishops Conference (AEC) he said he had visited all of the dioceses in the conference, and in fact it was at that bishops’ meeting in Mandeville which he attended that he was appointed.
He said while he is moving from his homeland to Jamaica, “I am that kind of person wherever you put me down I make it home and so I am now looking forward to making Jamaica my home and to building relationships with the priests and sisters and lay people who are serving there,” he said.
Bishop Alleyne sent the Bishop-elect every good wish and that he and those entrusted to him would find that way together to allow that part of God’s vineyard to flourish.
About Fr Persaud
Fr John is the third child of John and Sheila Persaud (both deceased) and was born in Queenstown, Georgetown on August 28, 1956. He has five sisters and three brothers.
He did his seminary formation at the Seminary of St John Vianney and the Uganda Martyrs, Mt St Benedict from 1975–1984. He was ordained a priest on July 14, 1985 for the diocese of Georgetown. Following ordination, he served as assistant priest of the Cathedral of Georgetown (1985–1992) and parish priest of the Holy Rosary parish (1992–1997).
He was awarded a licentiate in canon law from the Pontifical Urban University (PUU) in Rome (1997–1999) and then went on to serve as chancellor of his diocese (1999– 2001); parish priest of the Ascension parish (2000–2001); administrator of the Cathedral and vicar general (2001–2012); judicial vicar of the metropolitan tribunal (2012–2014); secretary general of the AEC (2014–2018); and since 2019, vicar general, vicar for the clergy of the diocese of Georgetown, administrator of the cathedral and judge at the East Antilles Tribunal. Fr John speaks English and Italian.