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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
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St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful

News of the Diocese

March 21, 2023

 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful
 St. Patrick’s faith in action continues to inspire, bishop tells faithful

SS. Robert and William Church in Euclid was filled with people – including honorees of the Irish American Club East Side and St. Patrick’s Day Parade – for Mass on St. Patrick’s Day.

Bishop Edward Malesic was the main celebrant. Concelebrants included Father John Betters, pastor of SS. Robert and William and nearby St. John of the Cross parishes, and nine other priests. Deacon Ian Kelly assisted the bishop as his master of ceremonies.

Pipes and drums, parade honorees and marching units led the procession into the church.

(See photo gallery above with pictures from the Mass and parade.)

The bishop told those gathered that although he isn’t Irish by heritage, his coat of arms includes shamrocks because he was ordained to the priesthood in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

“No doubt about it, of the entire Church, St. Patrick is a very popular saint in our region,” the bishop said. “So, we gather this morning to celebrate the faith and life of this great man who reminds us that in all we do, even in joyful celebrations, we should ask God to be present to us.”

The bishop expressed his gratitude to the Irish American Club East Side for the invitation to celebrate Mass and for their work in preserving the customs, traditions and, most importantly, the faith of the Irish people throughout our communities. He also offered thanks to Father Betters for his parish leadership and his work with the diocesan Keeping the Faith initiative that is focusing on strengthening elementary education in the diocese.

Since his arrival in Cleveland in September 2020, the bishop said he had heard about the vibrant Irish American community here and recalled how he enjoyed marching with some of the seminarians in last year’s parade.

“I felt immersed in the joy and happiness that permeated the crowds. It was like I became Irish by osmosis,” he quipped.

Despite the parade and celebrations, the bishop reminded the congregation of St. Patrick’s great faith and his awareness of the necessity of sacrifice for others. “Give of yourself that you may receive from God,” he added.

The bishop recapped St. Patrick’s story, noting he was captured in his native Britain as a teenager and sent to Ireland, which then was a pagan country. He spent about six years as a slave herding sheep. During this time, his faith grew. Patrick was able to escape and return to Britain, where he answered a call to the priesthood.

He returned to Ireland and became one of the world’s greatest evangelizers, Bishop Malesic said. “With God’s help, he was able to convert the pagans from their Celtic gods to faith in Jesus Christ by his solid preaching and his virtuous way of life,” he said. “He was a true missionary disciple who brought the multitudes closer to Christ. His evangelistic zeal reminds all of us that, with God, we can do all things. Faith in God can convert an entire island and change us to become better, even more faithful Christians ourselves. We should bring some of St. Patrick’s zeal to our own commitment to re-evangelize our own communities with our faith.”

The bishop said St. Patrick exemplifies how Christian witness can have a pervasive, lasting impact on a culture. “His example of faith in action stands today as an example and inspiration of how we should live our faith – with urgency, maximum determination and great love. We must remain obedient to Jesus,” he added.

The Gospel told the story of the apostles casting nets and catching no fish. Yet, when Jesus instructed them to cast the nets again, they were filled to overflowing.

“This Gospel message and the direction of Jesus was clearly understood by St. Patrick. He was told to lower his nets among the people he was called to evangelize. This same message is relevant in our times today. We must also lower the nets of Christ among the people we walk with,” the bishop explained.

He said the world is filled with dissension, anger and confusion and many people have rejected the faith of St. Patrick. However, we have hope by looking at the example of St. Patrick, “who lowered his nets into a predominately pagan world and transformed it into a place of great Christian faith. His example can inspire us to help permeate our own culture once again with a deep love of God and neighbor that is Christian to the core.”

The bishop encouraged the faithful to share their faith and “to be bold in proclaiming what we have come to know – that Jesus is Lord and God is love and if we abide in love, we also will abide in God.”

He also asked the congregation to pray for peace in the world, noting it has been a little more than a year since the war began in Ukraine. “We pray that through the intercession of St. Patrick, patron of Ireland, and St. Bridget, patroness of Ireland, God softens the hearts of those who wage war and grant a return to peace in our world,” he added.

As we go about our day today, use the example of St. Patrick to inspire your heart to show the face of Christ to all we meet, not just today, but always,” Bishop Malesic said.

After Mass, he greeted people and posed for photos before heading downtown where he joined Auxiliary Bishop Michael Woost, civic officials including Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb and honorees of the United Irish Societies of Greater Cleveland, which sponsor the parade.

Bishop Malesic offered a prayer and blessing over the parade before Grand Marshall Michael Coyne sounded the ceremonial gold whistle to signify the beginning of the parade. The two bishops joined the Bluestone Hibernians and their chaplain, Father Joe Robinson, as they marched along Superior Avenue.

Parade honorees included Coyne; Irish Mother of the Year Bridget Conway; Maureen Cavanaugh, parade inside co-chair; Kevin McDonough, parade outside co-chair; and John Myers, Hibernian of the Year. Jack Murphy was honored as the Irish American Club East Side member of the year.

Click here to view a short video from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on the diocesan Facebook page.

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