GREENSBURG, Pa. (CNS) — Greensburg’s new bishop said he is “humbled and honored” to serve as the diocese’s sixth bishop and does not take “this responsibility lightly.”
Bishop Larry J. Kulick said he also knows full well that “to accomplish this, I need God’s grace and your assistance.”
“This is a diocese that is our home, a diocese that we love and a diocese that is filled with so many wonderful clergy, consecrated religious men and women, and tremendously gifted and generous laity,” he said. “I look forward to our time together and beginning my episcopal ministry in the wonderful four counties of our beloved diocese.”
The 3,300-square-mile diocese covers Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Bishop Kulick made the comments during his Feb. 11 episcopal ordination and installation Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg.
Philadelphia Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez was the principal consecrator. Bishop Edward C. Malesic of Cleveland, who was Greensburg’s bishop until his appointment to head the Ohio diocese July 16, 2020, and retired Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt of Greensburg served as co-consecrators.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, presented the papal bull announcing Pope Francis’ Dec. 18, 2020, appointment of Bishop Kulick to head the diocese.
Out of an abundance of caution and concern for the health and safety of the faith community amid the pandemic, attendance at the Mass was extremely limited and by invitation only. Congregants included the new bishop’s immediate family and a small number of clergy and members of the Diocesan leadership team.
However, the diocesan community could participate in the celebration by viewing the Mass on the diocesan website, its Facebook page and YouTube Channel. The Mass also was broadcast on EWTN.
“Today, we gather together and give thanks to God for the gift of our lives and vocations, for the gift of our faith, for the gift of God’s grace, for the gift of the church he established and continually provides for in all times and in all seasons — through the centuries,” Bishop Kulick said.
“In one generation after another, united in one spirit, we pledge anew our common baptismal promise to serve God faithfully in his church and proclaim the good news of salvation to all,” he said.
Noting it was the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and the World Day of the Sick, he said: “We seek the intercession of our Blessed Virgin Mary, that healing, strength and peace may come to all who are experiencing any type of sickness or illness especially all of those who have been effected in any many during this time of pandemic.
“We pray for the physical healing of those effected by this terrible virus,” he continued. “We pray for all who care for the sick, that they may continue to be strengthened as they carry out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy to those afflicted, and we remember in a special way all those we have lost from this disease. May they find eternal rest and peace.”
The day also was one of joy and gratitude, he said. “We thank God for providing for the needs of this diocesan church,” he said.
Bishop Kulick is a native of Leechburg, Pennsylvania, and is the first native son and priest of the diocese to be appointed bishop for the Diocese of Greensburg.
Prior to his appointment as bishop, he served as diocesan administrator after Bishop Malesic was installed as Cleveland’s bishop in September 2020.
“Western Pennsylvania has always been my home. I feel honored to be able to serve as bishop in the diocese where I was born, raised, educated, ordained and have served my entire life,” said Bishop Kulick.
“Two things that define the people of western Pennsylvania — which were also crucial in my upbringing and formation — are a strong faith and a strong work ethic,” he said.
“As I begin my episcopal ministry, I know we have a great deal of work to do in caring for our community of faith in a post-pandemic world,” he added. “Working with each other, I believe the church and its people can continue to be of great assistance to those who are in spiritual and physical need.”
When he was named Greensburg’s bishop, a diocesan news release described him as “a devoted servant to the Lord, best characterized as a ‘roll up his sleeves and get to work’ kind of leader.”
Bishop Kulick is a canon lawyer “and recognized by many to be a strategic and energetic administrator, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the diocese said.
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