Bishop Edward Malesic enjoys spending Fridays in Lent visiting parishes in the Diocese of Cleveland to pray the Stations of the Cross and enjoy a fish fry. (See photo gallery above.)
His travels took him to St. Joseph Parish in Avon Lake on April 8, the last Friday for his weekly Lenten visits.
“It has been an amazing experience here at St. Joseph’s,” the bishop said after concluding Stations of the Cross in the church. He explained that the Stations are a special Lenten devotion he has prayed since his teenage years, adding there is something about the retelling of Jesus’ Passion and death that touches him.
“Jesus said to pick up your cross and follow him, not to stay where you are and complain. He is leading us somewhere,” the bishop said. “The Stations let us know that the cross is still being carried, especially by people in Ukraine right now.”
He explained how important it is to move forward, not to stand still or to move backwards. “Always go forward,” he emphasized. “The cross is significant. Never be ashamed of it. God loves us that much that he was willing to send his Son to spread his arms and die for us on the cross.”
The bishop thanked the St. Joseph Parish community for filling him up both physical and spiritually.”
Prior to praying the Stations, he stopped at the parish’s popular fish fry. Father Ron Wearsch, pastor, guided the bishop through the kitchen and take-out areas before they headed to the school gym where he enjoyed a sample of the various entrees offered, including salmon, perch, walleye, shrimp, cabbage and noodles, green beans and homemade tomato bisque soup. Father Wearsch, who has culinary training and worked in restaurants before entering the seminary, works with his brother and other parish volunteers to help prepare the weekly fish fries.
Click here to see a video of the St. Joseph fish fry.