Parish continues Bishop’s tradition

Parish continues Bishop's tradition

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The annual car show is a celebrated tradition at St. James Parish in New Alexandria, and this year, new pastor Father Tyler J. Bandura is excited to take the wheel.

The ninth annual event is scheduled for noon-4 p.m. Sept. 12, with registration at 11 a.m. The tradition was started by Bishop Larry J. Kulick, a classic car enthusiast, when he served as pastor for eight years before being appointed the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg.

“This has been an event that has brought people together from all around the Diocese who have an interest in showing off their antique cars and those that are a little newer,” Father Bandura said. “It’s an opportunity to come and spend time with others who share that common interest in these beautiful automobiles.”

Almost immediately upon his arrival in February, parishioners started asking Father Bandura whether the car show would continue.

“Of course we are (continuing), since it’s been such a success in the past,” Father Bandura said. “One of the wonderful things I’ve sensed about this parish is the energy and enthusiasm, certainly around this event, because it does bring so many people together. That’s something that’s important to the people of St. James.”  

Among the trophies awarded will be the Pastor’s Pick. Father Bandura admitted that he is not a car expert.

“I don’t know how much credibility we can put in the new Pastor’s Pick,” he joked. “Maybe we need to bring Bishop Kulick back and make it the Bishop’s Pick for the top car.”

Father Bandura is excited for his first car show as pastor.

“I will be there walking around, checking out the cars, offering the support and gratitude to those who come and support us at St. James,” he said. “I was told that Bishop Kulick was very involved in the food preparation. I’ll have to make sure I step up and make sure I’m involved with the food preparation, too.”


Because the car show is such a beloved event at St. James Parish, it was no surprise that parishioners used their vehicles to congratulate then Bishop-elect Kulick in January.

He celebrated his final Mass as pastor Jan. 31. It was followed by a “goodbye drive-through,” offering the faithful a chance to chat with him before he was ordained and installed as Bishop Feb. 11.

Among those who came to the drive-through were Matt and Jen Mincucci and their daughter Stella, 6, along with Jen’s mother, Mary Kiley, who have known the Bishop for many years. The Mincuccis are parishioners of Our Lady of Grace Parish, and Kiley is a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish, both in Greensburg.

Bishop Kulick presided over Matt and Jen’s wedding at the cathedral in 2001 and the burial service of their infant son Cooper, who died at just 28 days in 2009.

 “He’s been a part of everything in our life,” said Jen Mincucci. “From birth until death, he’s done it all for us. He’s just so important to us.”

“We’re really excited for him,” Matt Mincucci added. “It’s almost like he’s family to us.”

Parish secretary Loretta Oken was instrumental in putting together the “goodbye drive-through” for the Diocese’s most celebrated car buff, since a traditional farewell celebration was not possible due to COVID-19.

“He’s just been a joy to work with and for,” Oken said. “Just how wonderful it is for us that he is now our shepherd.”

Bishop Kulick was touched by the day’s events.

“The Mass was very, very beautiful and representative of what I have always seen and found in the parish
over the last eight years, and that’s the generosity and the kindness and the support of the people of St. James,” he said.


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