Chaput told the press that he described his ideal successor last year to the apostolic nuncio to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
"I asked for a successor who would care for and guide our people, speak the truth with conviction and charity, and live a faithful witness to Jesus Christ," Chaput recalled.
"He [Perez] was enthusiastically supported and very well loved by the people he served as pastor. And for good reason," Chaput said.
"He's a good man, a man of deep Catholic faith, with the skills, character, and warmth that will make him an exceptional leader here in Philadelphia. He is exactly the man with exactly the abilities our Church needs."
Perez admitted he is grateful to come back to the place of his ordination.
"Once a Philadelphia priest, always a Philadelphia priest," he said on Thursday. "You carry it kind of inside you."
Regarding his predecessor, "I am concerned of the shoes I have to fill," Perez said. He noted that even after he left Philadelphia, he and Chaput would text and email each other, and that the archbishop had been a "mentor and brother bishop" to him.
When he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre in 2012, Perez said he visited Chaput at his residence. The archbishop disappeared into another room and came back to Perez with a pectoral cross.
"He put it around my neck and he said 'you are now my brother bishop,'" Perez reflected on Thursday. "And ever since then, he's been such a great support."
At Thursday's press conference, Perez wore the pectoral cross Chaput gave him.
Chaput had to make tough decisions for the good of the archdiocese and the Church, Perez said, "many times like a father has to do in a family."
"He made calls that today, have placed the archdiocese in a way better place," he said. "In particular we need to thank God and praise God for this man."
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As the son of Cuban immigrants, Perez has had a longtime focus on Hispanic ministry, leading Hispanic ministry efforts in Philadelphia, Rockville Centre, and on the national stage, as the former chair of the U.S. bishops' sub-Committee for Hispanic Affairs.
Perez also helped lead the V Encuentro process for the USCCB, a national gathering of more than 3,000 Hispanic Catholic leaders that outlined evangelization priorities for the U.S. Church.
The most pressing issue for the Hispanic Church in the U.S., he told CNA, is reaching second- and third-generation immigrants who are culturally but not linguistically Hispanic. Studies have shown a decline in religious practice with each succeeding generation of immigrant Catholic families.
"We have to create a pastoral style that is Hispanic in culture and nature, but in the English language," he told CNA.