History will be made at 2 p.m. Sept. 14 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist when Bishop Edward Malesic is installed as the 12th bishop of Cleveland.
The installation liturgy is a ticketed event. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, capacity in the cathedral is severely limited. However, the Mass can be viewed via livestream on the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland website. The broadcast will be archived for on-demand viewing after the Mass concludes.
The livestream is presented by the Sisters of Charity Health System, whose ministries in Cleveland include St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Regina Health Center, Light of Hearts Villa, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and Joseph’s Home.
Bishop Malesic, 60, comes to Cleveland after serving five years as bishop of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. He was named to his new post on July 16 by Pope Francis. Bishop Malesic succeeds Archbishop Nelson Perez who was elevated to archbishop of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Pope Francis in February. Previously, Archbishop Perez led the Cleveland Diocese for 2½ years.
Although the size of the celebration will be scaled down due to the pandemic, the event will follow the ancient rite of the bishop installation ceremony.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States who represents Pope Francis; Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, metropolitan of the Province of Cincinnati; and Father Don Oleksiak, diocesan administrator for the Cleveland Diocese, will formally welcome Bishop Malesic to his cathedral church. Father Sean Ralph, cathedral rector, will present Bishop Malesic with a crucifix. The bishop will sprinkle himself and those around him with holy water before the procession moves to the sanctuary.
The rite of canonical installation includes reading of the apostolic letter of appointment by Archbishop Pierre, presentation of the letter by Bishop Malesic to the Diocesan College of Consultors and Vincent Gardiner, diocesan chancellor.
Next, Bishop Malesic will be led to the cathedra -- the bishop’s chair -- by Archbishop Pierre and Archbishop Schnurr, where he will receive the pastoral staff, or crosier, from Archbishop Schnurr. The crosier is a symbol of the bishop’s ministry as leader of the Church in the eight counties of the Cleveland Diocese: Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne.
Once seated in the cathedra, Bishop Malesic formally takes up his ministry as leader of the Cleveland Diocese.
Representatives of various constituencies in the diocese will greet the new bishop. These include the College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council, deacons, religious men and women, certified lay ecclesial ministers, members of the bishop’s staff and the lay faithful. After this, the Mass resumes.
Bishop Malesic, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was ordained to the priesthood on May 30, 1987, at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg. He served in various pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Harrisburg including as 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. In 1996, he was sent to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He 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. In 2015, Pope Francis appointed him the bishop of Greensburg.
Visit dioceseofcleveland.org for more information on Bishop Malesic and his installation.