Bishop Edward Malesic returned to Medina County on March 26 to pray the Stations of the Cross with the faithful at historic St. Francis Xavier Parish. The first parish in Medina, it was established in 1860.
He was joined by Father Anthony Sejba, pastor; Father Mike Ausperk, parochial vicar; and Deacon Bob Cavanaugh.
The deacon and two servers walked the perimeter of the church, stopping at each of the 14 stations, while the bishop remained at the altar with Father Ausperk and a narrator at podiums as they prayed and read portions of the stations.
Bishop Malesic read the words of Pope Francis at each station, reminding the faithful that Christ himself prepares us to carry the cross of others. He also tells us not to be afraid of failures. We should follow the example of Jesus, who even when he stumbled with his cross, got up and walked forward again.
As the bishop related, the pope said the death penalty – which was imposed upon Jesus – can never be justified, “no matter how serious the offense,” because there always is a margin of error.
After stations, Father Sejba welcomed the bishop to Medina and presented him with a gift – a candleholder engraved with his coat of arms – and some scented candles from Root Candle Co., longtime Medina business that supplies many churches with liturgical candles. The firm also sells other items.
The bishop mentioned that during his time as a priest and pastor in Pennsylvania, he often purchased candles for his parish from Root Candle.
“I had no idea they were in Medina and here I am,” he quipped.
The visit ended with the bishop greeting parishioners and posing for photos.