GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — Pope Francis has appointed Catholic Diocese of Greensburg Bishop Edward C. Malesic as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland.
The announcement was made at 6 a.m. local time, 12 p.m. Vatican time.
Bishop Malesic takes over from Bishop Nelson Perez, who was named Archbishop of Philadelphia earlier this year.
Bishop Malesic was introduced this morning. He will formally be installed as the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland during mass at St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland on Monday, Sept. 14.
“Every change in my life has come with new blessings and I cannot wait to see what blessings are waiting for me in this new diocese, my new home,” Bishop Malesic said.
According to the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg, it was a call last week from the papal nuncio in Washington, D.C. that let Bishop Malesic know he needed to start packing his bags. The announcement came in his fifth year as head of the diocese.
Those who work with Malesic say the bishop’s organizational and leadership abilities are impressive. But his understanding of his role as a shepherd is his greatest attribute.
Parishioner Ralph Bell told KDKA that Bishop Malesic’s common touch is what set him apart when a Greensburg Central Catholic High School student died unexpectedly last year.
“He was talking to all the parents and talking to all the students, just consoling everyone. What a wonderful man,” Bell said.
However, Malesic’s appointment to Cleveland hasn’t gone unnoticed by people with a Sunday routine involving Mass and the Steelers’ game.
“(The Pope) probably knows a little about the relationship. But knowing the Holy Father, he’s probably smiling a little bit because he knows Bishop Malesic would be the best diplomat to bridge that gap between the Steelers and the Browns,” said Msg. Larry Kulick.
Bishop David Zubik, the leader of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, released this statement of Bishop Malesic’s new appointment:
“What a blessing for the Diocese of Cleveland, although a loss for the Diocese of Greensburg and Pittsburgh with our Holy Father’s appointment of Bishop Edward Malesic to Cleveland. I know Bishop Malesic to be a humble man of God who will guide Catholics closer to Jesus and help to strengthen all communities in his new assignment. For the last five years, Bishop Malesic has been an exceptional pastor to the faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg. He has also been a very good neighbor. He and I have worked together closely and often on many issues of the Church in southwestern Pennsylvania. Bishop Malesic has shown what it means to be a servant leader in the Diocese of Greensburg, giving wise and gentle guidance in difficult times and especially in his outreach to people devastated by opioid addiction. I will miss my friend and co-worker in the vineyard. Many will miss him in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Together with all of the faithful of the Diocese of Pittsburgh and in my own name, we offer Bishop Malesic our sincere congratulations on his appointment as the Bishop of Cleveland. We pray that God will inspire him to lead his new diocese as well as he has led the Diocese of Greensburg.”
Pope Francis named Bishop Malesic to his post in the Diocese of Greensburg on April 24, 2015.