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Why Catholic? Meet Bishop Edward C. Malesic
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Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy

News of the Diocese

February 15, 2024

Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy
Mass, ambo blessing highlight bishop’s visit to Assumption Academy

Bishop Edward Malesic originally was scheduled to visit St. Albert the Great at Assumption Academy in Broadview Heights last November, but a snowstorm forced its postponement.

“I am happy to be with you, even if it took a while to come out and see all of you,” the bishop told students, faculty and guests who gathered Feb. 12 in the Church of the Assumption for Mass. “Thanks for the invitation to be with you today and thanks to Mr. (Ed) Vittardi and Principal (Rick) Kaliszewski and to all of you who are making me very welcome here this morning. This is a great school because I see you are great kids.”

The bishop said he was going to bless the new ambo in the church, explaining it is also called a pulpit. “It’s where we proclaim God’s word at Mass. God’s word is found in the Bible. For us it is sacred writing or sacred Scripture. Someone I knew always called the Bible God’s love letter to us.”

(See above for a photo gallery from the event.)

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, tells the story of creation and answers the question of who made us (God), the bishop said. “God created us and God loves us. Even when we sin, like Adam and Eve did, God still loves us.”

In the day’s Gospel, the bishop said the Pharisees came to argue with Jesus, who “sighed from the depth of his spirit.” He compared that to the students arguing with their parents. In the end, Jesus won the argument with the Pharisees, the bishop said. “Jesus always wins any argument we have with him. And remember, Jesus is God. God always wins an argument.”

He said God invites us to ask him questions, but he cautions that we shouldn’t argue with God because he is “more powerful, more intelligent and quicker than we will ever be. Don’t come to God with an attitude and never give God any lip,” the bishop said.

He told the students that the first reading is a love letter from God, who is speaking to them from the Bible, heart to heart. The letter of James is one of his favorite Bible passages, the bishop said, noting that James understands that life isn’t always easy. He also said to “be joyful when you encounter various trials.”

The bishop related this to the students having a difficult day – perhaps a tough math test, having their feelings hurt or something going wrong at home and being punished. “James said we should see these things as a test of our faith,” he said. In fact, he said we should consider it all a joy when encountering various trials because the testing of faith produces perseverance.

“Tests and trial can make you stronger. Tests and life’s hardships can make you stronger, if you use them well. When we have a bad day, our faith is stretched because we must believe in God all the more. Even on our worst day, God still loves us,” the bishop said, adding that this is what has gotten him through many difficult times. “I know that God loves me no matter what. God loves you no matter what.”

There can be difficult times when it may seem God isn’t on their side, he said, noting this is a test of faith – and that’s one test they don’t want to fail. “Never give up on God because God will never give up on you,” he added.
He encouraged the students to do their best on their tests and when life gets hard, to have faith and believe that God loves them.

Reflecting on another section of James’ writings, he said, “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you,” which he said is one of his favorite Scripture passages.

“That’s what we want in our Scriptures and that is what God says to us – it is God’s love letter to us – and that is why this ambo (also called a pulpit) is so holy toi us. It is sacred because God speaks to us at Mass from this special piece of furniture. And we will bless it to set it apart as the place where God speaks to us,” the bishop said.

He also told the group that one of the most-repeated lines in the Bible is John 3:16, which he described as the very heart of God’s love letter to us: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him, might not perish but might have eternal life.”

The bishop said everyone wants the best for the young people, including their parents who sent them to a Catholic school, their teachers and all the volunteers. “And that is why we are able to not only educate your minds – which you will need to succeed in the world with good jobs someday, but also we want to form your souls – because we want you to be saints someday.”

He also noted that the Word they heard from the pulpit is Jesus who is coming to them again and will feed them from the altar.

“Let’s give thanks to God in all things – even when we are put to the test – because God wants our faith in his son to grow and grow and grow until we hear him say to us, ‘I love you.’ And when we come to the altar, we will know that we are receiving him.”

After Mass, the bishop greeted students and toured the school. He also stopped by to see volunteers who were making pierogi that will be frozen and used for the parish’s Lenten fish fries.

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