Most Reverend Sean Patrick O'Malley, OFM Cap., has become a widely admired figure in the area since becoming the sixth bishop of Fall River in August, 1992. Spiritual leader of nearly 400,000 Catholics in 109 parishes in southeastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, he prepared for the priesthood at St. Fidelis Seminary and Capuchin College in Washington, DC. He was professed in 1965 in the Capuchin Order, dedicated to the traditions of St. Francis of Assisi, and in 1970 was ordained a priest in the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He has a master's degree in religious education, and a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese Literature, from the Catholic University of America, where he taught from 1969 to 1973.
He has worked extensively with Hispanic, Portuguese, and Haitian communities. He was ordained Coadjutor Bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in 1984, and a year later became ordinary of the Caribbean diocese. An active member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and the U.S. Catholic Conference, Bishop Sean has served on numerous committees. In 1998, the Holy Father appointed him to the Special Assembly for Oceania of the Synod of Bishops, held at the Vatican. He has also served as Apostolic Visitator for several seminaries in Central America and the Caribbean.