Parkes, who will be the Diocese’s fifth bishop, will succeed Bishop Robert N. Lynch, who is retiring. Lynch has served as bishop of St. Petersburg since his installation in 1996.
“I am filled with joy that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Parkes as the new bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” Lynch said. “I invite the faithful of our diocese and of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee to join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving and to pray for Bishop Parkes as he transitions to shepherd the people of the Diocese of St. Petersburg.”
Parkes said being offered the position came as a surprise.
“It’s not something you apply for. … It’s not anything you expect,” Parkes said. “That’s why I went down and prayed right afterward.”
Parkes said it’s too early to enunciate any vision for the St. Petersburg Diocese. He said he plans to visit every church and Catholic school and meet as many people as possible in his first months as bishop. While doing so, Parkes said, he plans to listen to people to learn their needs. That will help him formulate a vision.
Parkes, 52, is a native of Mineola, N.Y., who earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Florida State University. He worked in the banking industry in Tampa before entering the seminary.
He attended St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach and the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican City state. He holds a Sacred Theology degree and a Canon Law degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
He has two brothers, Christopher Parkes and Father Stephen Parkes, a priest of the Diocese of Orlando. The Parkes’ parents are deceased.
He was ordained and installed as the fifth bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee on June 5, 2012.
His installation as bishop of the Diocese of St. Petersburg is scheduled for Jan. 4 at St. Jude’s Cathedral, 5815 5th Ave. N.