CLEVELAND — Bishop Richard Lennon, who served as the 10th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, died on Tuesday at the age of 72, according to the diocese.
He was installed as the 10th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland on May 15, 2006 after Pope Benedict XVI named him to the leadership position over nearly 800,000 Catholics in eight counties of Northeast Ohio on April 4, 2006.
A native to the Boston area, Lennon graduated from Catholic high school and attended Boston College before entering St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.
The Most Rev. Nelson J. Perez, the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland who succeeded Lennon, called his predecessor a man with a great love for the church.
“In his service to the diocese, Bishop Lennon showed a deep dedication to the faithful governance of the diocese and a tremendous love of the Church and the people he shepherded. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”
During his time as a bishop, he was determined that the presence of the church remain in every setting where consolidation would reduce the number of parishes.
On Dec. 28., 2016, Pope Francis granted Bishop Lennon early retirement status, accepting resignation from governing the diocese. Lennon made the request for early retirement in a letter to the pope in late November of that year, citing his ongoing health issues as a reason for retiring.
Funeral arrangements are still pending.