Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Edward C. Malesic bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. Bishop-designate Malesic takes over the governance of the Diocese of Cleveland from Bishop Nelson Perez who was named the Archbishop of Philadelphia in February 2020. Father Don Oleksiak will continue as administrator of the diocese until Bishop-designate Malesic is installed as the 12thbishop of the Diocese of Cleveland on Monday, Sept. 14 during Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in downtown Cleveland.
Pope Francis appointed Bishop Edward C. Malesic to be the fifth bishop of Greensburg on April 24, 2015. Bishop Malesic was ordained and installed as bishop of Greensburg on July 13, 2015 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral.
Bishop Malesic was born Aug. 14, 1960, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Joseph A. and the late Elizabeth Schatt Malesic. He was reared in Enhaut, which adjoins the factory town of Steelton, near Harrisburg. He is one of four siblings. Two are deceased: Joseph, Jr. and Margaret R. Malesic. His one surviving brother, Robert, lives in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, with his wife Constance. His father, 102 years old, is still quite active and resides near Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Bishop Malesic received the sacraments of initiation at his hometown parish in Enhaut, Pennsylvania, the former St. John the Evangelist Parish, which was a German national parish. His mother was of German descent and his father is of Slovenian descent.
Bishop Malesic is a 1978 graduate of Central Dauphin East High School, Harrisburg, and attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville as a biology major for three years prior to entering the seminary.
In 1981 he was accepted into the seminary program at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where he received a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1983. He continued his theological studies at the Josephinum and was awarded a master of divinity degree in 1987.
Bishop William H. Keeler, then the bishop of Harrisburg, ordained him to the diaconate on May 24, 1986, and to the priesthood on May 30, 1987, at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.
Bishop Malesic served in various pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Harrisburg. He was the assistant pastor of St. Theresa Parish, New Cumberland (1987-89); and the assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, York (1989-92). While in York he also served as the Catholic campus minister of York College of Pennsylvania.
He was appointed to full-time campus ministry in 1992 and served for four years at Millersville University. In 1993 he was also appointed to campus ministry at Franklin and Marshall College in nearby Lancaster.
In 1996, Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo sent him to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Bishop Malesic received his licentiate in canon law in 1998 and served the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Tribunal in various capacities, including auditor, adjutant judicial vicar and secretary for canonical services. He was appointed judicial vicar in 2006, a position he held when he was named bishop of Greensburg. He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America.
He resided at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Harrisburg (1996-2000) and at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg (2000-04). While living in Mechanicsburg, Bishop Malesic also served the spiritual needs of the students of Messiah College in Dillsburg.
On April 1, 2004, Bishop Malesic was appointed to Holy Infant Parish in York Haven as administrator; he was appointed pastor there Dec. 22, 2004. He guided the parish for 11 years and oversaw the relocation and initial construction of a new church and parish center, which was completed in 2016.
In the Diocese of Harrisburg, Bishop Malesic served on the following boards, committees and organizations: the Continuing Formation of Clergy Committee; Seminarian Review Board; Diocesan Presbyteral Council; College of Consultors; Bishop’s Administrative Board; and the Youth Protection Committee of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference (PCC). He also served on the Board of Hospice of Central Pennsylvania.
As bishop of Greensburg, he is a member of the Board of Governors of the PCC. He also serves on the boards of Saint Vincent Seminary and Saint Vincent College (Latrobe), Seton Hill University (Greensburg), and is a member of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania.
He is a member of two USCCB committees: the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance and the Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
On June 29, 2017, Bishop Malesic released his first pastoral letter, “A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope,” in response to the opioid epidemic in the region. In it, he called on the people of the diocese to take action against the opioid scourge and outlined diocesan and parish efforts focused on prayer, education and cooperative actions with social service agencies already engaged in the fight against addiction.
In response to the clergy abuse crisis and the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and in order to increase diocesan transparency and outside oversight, Bishop Malesic established a Safe Environment Advisory Council to assist the Diocese of Greensburg. The advisory council oversaw a series of seven listening sessions around the diocese, each of which was attended by Bishop Malesic and gave parishioners the opportunity to express their feelings about the grand jury report, make observations and offer suggestions.
In February 2019, Bishop Malesic announced details of a Comprehensive Reconciliation Initiative, which includes a Survivors’ Compensation Program, to support survivors of abuse.
On July 1, 2020, Bishop Malesic announced the formation of the Saint Pope John Paul II Tuition Opportunity Partnership (TOP), which was made possible by the single largest donation from a family the Diocese of Greensburg has ever received in one year. The anonymous donation of $2.4 million combined with $1.7 million in existing funds donated by other individuals and businesses make $4.1 million in scholarships and tuition assistance available for the 12 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Greensburg. The funds are for use in the 2020-21 academic year. The announcements were made at separate media events held at five different Catholic schools that day
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland comprises 3,414 square miles that include eight counties in the north-central part of the state of Ohio. It has a total population of 2,774,113 people of which 682,948 or 24% are Catholic.