Catholic Diocese of Cleveland

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Byzantine Catholics rejoice as the 5th bishop of Parma is enthroned

“God grant him many years! God grant him many years!  God grant him many blessed years!”  The response was repeated throughout the enthronement Bishop Milan Lach, S.J. as the fifth bishop of the Byzantine Ruthenian Eparchy of Parma.

Enthronement, in the Eastern rite, is the ceremony in which the bishop of the eparchy takes his throne inside his cathedral similar to the installation of a bishop in his cathedral’s chair in the Western rite.

About a dozen bishops from across the United States and Eastern Europe including Bishop Nelson Perez, bishop of Cleveland as well as Bishop Neil Buckon, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese for Military Services and native of Cleveland, concelebrated the June 30 liturgy at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Parma.

Following an entrance procession preceded by deacons, priests and bishops, Bishop Lach entered the cathedral with Archbishop Skurla, metropolitan of the Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Metropolitan Church and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Congratulations to Bishop Lach and the entire Eparchy of Parma on today’s enthronement. It is a great day of joy and celebration for the Church. -Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez

The enthronement used the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom which filled the cathedral with a mixture of songs and prayers.  The use of the trikirion, three candles representing the Holy Trinity, the dikirion, two candles representing the dual nature of Christ and incense accented the festive liturgy.

Archbishop Pierre read the letter of appointment sent by Pope Francis after which Bishop Lach showed the document to the clergy and faithful present.  Notable throughout the liturgy was Bishop Lach’s smile which greeted his clergy, staff and representatives from parishes of the eparchy following his enthronement.

During his homily, Archbishop Skurla, recounted the history of the Eparchy of Parma as well as Bishop Lach’s ministry.  He reflected that the phrase “God grant him many years” has more meaning as Bishop Lach will not be eligible to retire for another 31 years in until 2049.  At age 44, Bishop Lach is one the 20 youngest bishops in the Catholic Church.

In his remarks near the end of the liturgy, Bishop Lach said that today is not about himself, but rather a feast for “all of us, a feast for the Church.” And while he referenced his family, some who were present for the liturgy, Bishop Lach concluded his reflection noting that “you are all my family.”

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