Bishop Malesic welcomed in Cleveland

Bishop Malesic welcomed in Cleveland

By Jennifer Miele

Chief Communications Officer 

CLEVELAND — Guests attending the installation of Bishop Edward C. Malesic as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland Sept. 14 were given red masks as they entered the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Red is the liturgical color of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, celebrated that day. 


The masks were also an illustration of how the Catholic Church perseveres during COVID-19. Despite the limited number of guests who were seated three rows apart, Bishop Malesic said his heart was joyful.


“I woke up as Bishop of Greensburg and will go to sleep the Bishop of Cleveland,” Bishop Malesic said.


He was formally welcomed to his cathedral church by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Also in attendance were retired Archabbot Douglas Nowicki of Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe; Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of the Diocese of Erie; Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of the Diocese of Harrisburg; and Archbishop Nelson J. Perez of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, who preceded Bishop Malesic as head of Cleveland diocese. 


Representing the Diocese of Greensburg were Moderator of the Curia Msgr. Larry J. Kulick, pastor of St. James Parish, New Alexandria; Managing Director of Catholic Charities Msgr. Raymond E. Riffle, rector of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish, Greensburg; Judicial Vicar Msgr. William R. Rathgeb; Director of Worship Father Michael J. Sikon, pastor of St. Barbara Parish, Harrison City, and Ascension and Sacred Heart parishes, Jeannette; Chancellor Margaret DiVirgilio; Chief Financial Officer Sheila Murray; Superintendent of Catholic Schools Dr. Maureen Marsteller; Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Miele; Director of Development Michael Lucotch; Bishop Malesic’s assistant, Lisa Ross; Father Tyler J. Bandura, who served as Bishop Malesic’s master of ceremonies and is diocesan vocations director and chaplain of Greensburg Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School; and Tribunal members Father Anthony J. Carbone, pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, Ligonier, Father Richard J.  Kosisko, pastor of Holy Family Parish, Latrobe, and Father Daniel J. Ulishney, pastor of St. John Baptist de La Salle Parish, Delmont, and St. Mary Parish, Export. 


During the Mass, representatives of the Diocese of Cleveland’s College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, deacons, religious men and women, and staff were presented to Bishop Malesic. 


They were part of a small crowd who filled the cathedral with roaring applause when Bishop Malesic was officially installed. 


During his homily, he told the crowd he remembers when he was informed by the apostolic nuncio that Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Cleveland. 


“I remember saying, ‘It’s cold there!’” Bishop Malesic said.


“Anyone who knows me knows I prefer palm trees over pine trees,” he said. “But as a missionary disciple of Jesus Christ, I said yes, and I’m glad I did. I am happy to be here with all of you today.”


He addressed the resolve of the Church during the pandemic. 


“I look at this socially distant congregation and I know the Holy Spirit is still filling every nook and cranny of this beautiful cathedral and filling the hearts of every person watching this from their homes or offices,” Bishop Malesic said. 


He thanked everyone who has welcomed him as a stranger. 


“I hope to become your brother,” Bishop Malesic said. 


“We will carry the cross of COVID-19 together. After this pandemic, our church needs to rise again.”



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