With his ordination just days away, I thought that I would share with you a few observations of my first impressions of Bishop-elect Edward Malesic. These are random thoughts and observations of what I have heard and experienced.
Soon after the announcement from Rome and the press conference here, I sent a brief note of congratulations and welcome to the Bishop-elect, extending the best wishes and prayers of myself, the parish family and the diocese. It was not long afterwards that I received a handwritten and hand addressed note from the Bishop-elect thanking me and expressing his joy at joining us in the Greensburg diocese. I was impressed that in his extremely busy schedule he wrote to me.
As mentioned in a previous post, we recently ordained four permanent deacons on the 14th of June. I know for a fact that the Bishop-elect, without fanfare, called each of the men the night before ordination to wish them well and assure them of his prayers. I understand that he did the same the following week before priesthood ordinations with those three men. A nice touch.
It has been announced that the Bishop-elect has chosen as his residence the vacant rectory of the Church of Saint Paul in the See city of Greensburg. Having been pastor there for over eight years, I can attest that it is a nice house that should serve him well. He announced that following his ordination, he will appoint a group to review what to do with the present Bishop's Residence, which was a bone of contention for some a few years ago. A good move.
On the day of the announcement, the Bishop-elect visited the Pastoral Center, the Cathedral, but also included in his scheduled afternoon visits an unannounced stop at the local Saint Vincent de Paul Store in Greensburg, greeting staff and patrons in a cordial exchange.
A schedule of parish visits has been published that allows him to see a wide area of the Diocese and greet our people. Included in those visits are stops at our one Newman Center, Saint Thomas More University Parish at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) (the Bishop served in a number of campus ministry positions in his priesthood) as well as a number of parishes that have had difficulty in recent years dealing with restructuring and realigning, which shows his care for all God's people (I hope he is allowed to be their Shepherd that evening without getting an earful).
The new bishop's Coat of Arms was announced today, and his motto is "SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS". Over these weeks I have often checked out the web site and Facebook page and the bulletins for Holy Infant's Parish in York Haven, where Bishop-elect Malesic has served as pastor for the last eleven years. Father Ed, as his parish family lovingly call him, by all accounts is much loved and will be greatly missed. It is clear from watching his farewell video and his celebration of liturgy that his episcopal motto is one that he has been living fully for many, many years.
I, for one, look forward to meeting him personally, and working with him in the joyous task of "serving the Lord with gladness" as we shepherd the flock of Greensburg.