Bishop-elect Cheri: God’s song on his heart, lips
Bishop-elect Fernand (Ferd) Joseph Cheri III has been singing most of his life.
When he was just 3 years old, his mother Gladys recalls little Ferd, the first boy among her seven children, belting out a tune in their house on St. Anthony Street in New Orleans.
Bishop Perry’s great calm inspired Bishop-elect Cheri
In 1968, New Orleans Auxiliary Bishop Harold Perry – the Lake Charles native appointed three years earlier as the U.S. church’s first black bishop of the 20th century – met 16-year-old Fernand Cheri III, the high school sophomore who would go on to become the first black bishop from New Orleans.
Of course, neither Louisianan was aware of the historical significance of the encounter.
Cross a gift from Bishop Perry
In the late 1980s, as Bishop-elect Fernand Cheri was concluding a visit to the home of Bishop Harold Perry, the elder priest excused himself, went to his bedroom and returned with a special gift: a pectoral cross given to Bishop Perry by Father Clarence Rivers, a black priest from Cincinnati and pioneer in the 1950s of bringing African-American expressions of culture into the Roman Catholic liturgy.
Bishop’s mom will be there, probably tearing up
If, as St. Paul says, nothing can separate us from the love of God, there is absolutely nothing, God willing, that will keep Gladys Cheri, the matriarch of the Cheri family, from her place of honor inside St. Louis Cathedral on March 23 for the ordination of her son, Franciscan Father Ferd Cheri III, to the episcopacy.
Abp. Aymond: Pope Francis returned our native son
I’m truly grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Father Ferd Cheri, a native son and a Franciscan priest, as auxiliary bishop of New Orleans.
Xavier studies enriched black Catholic experience
“He is a very warm and caring man. He is approachable. He’s jovial. He’s compassionate. Those would be characteristics that best describe Bishop-elect Ferd Cheri,” said Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt, director of the Institute for Black Catholic Studies (IBCS) at Xavier University.