CLEVELAND — It was a big day for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
Back in July, Pope Francis appointed Rev. Edward C. Malesic as the next Bishop of Cleveland. On Monday, Malesic was installed as Cleveland's 12th bishop in a special mass at St. John Cathedral in downtown Cleveland.
According to the Diocese of Cleveland, this event was ticketed and seating was severely limited due to COVID-19.
A native of Harrisburg, Malesic was ordained a priest in that city's diocese in 1987, and went on to earn a licentiate degree from the Catholic University of America. He served as a pastor at various churches for nearly three decades before the pope called on him to lead Greensburg as its bishop five years ago.
At Monday's installment, Bishop Malesic addressed difficult topics, like COVID-19, racism, police support and the sex abuse in the church.
On COVID-19, Malesic said despite the limited crowd, and social distancing, he felt the uplifted.
"I take a look at this beautiful cathedral, and I know the holy spirit is filling every nook and cranny."
Addressing racism, Bishop called for healing.
"We will carry the nearly unbearable cross of racism and prejudice together, with Christ, who leads us away from hatred."
He also acknowledged police officers, asking the community to show their support.
"Also let's pray for our good and outstanding police officers who are carrying violence in our community."
Then Bishop Malesic brought up the sex abuse in the Catholic Church, vowing to support victims.
"We also have the cross of abuse in our church. We admit. We are embarrassed by it. We will carry that cross of shame by helping our victims."
You can watch the installation in the player below.
The 60-year-old will now have the responsibility of leading more than 675,000 Catholics in the eight-county diocese.
Here is Malesic's bio, which was posted by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland in July:
Pope Francis named Bishop Malesic as the fifth bishop of Greensburg, which is in Southwest Pennsylvania, on April 24, 2015. His episcopal ordination and installation took place on July 13, 2015 at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg.
Bishop Malesic was born to Joseph A. and the late Elizabeth Schatt Malesic on Aug. 14, 1960 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. One of four children, he was raised in Enhaut, which adjoins the factory town of Steelton, near Harrisburg. His brother, Robert, and his wife, Constance, live in Hummelstown, Pennsylvania. The bishop’s 102-year-old father, who remains quite active, lives near Hershey, Pennsylvania. His other two siblings, Joseph Jr. and Margaret R. Malesic, are deceased.
The bishop is of German descent on his mother’s side; his father is of Slovenian descent. Bishop Malesic received the sacraments of initiation at the former St. John the Evangelist Parish -- which was a German national parish -- in Enhaut. He is a 1978 graduate of Central Dauphin East High School, Harrisburg, and he attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville as a biology major for three years prior to entering the seminary in 1981.
Bishop Malesic earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1983 from the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus. He continued his theological studies there and was awarded a master of divinity degree in 1987.
Bishop William H. Keeler, then bishop of Harrisburg, ordained him to the diaconate on May 24, 1986, and to the priesthood on May 30, 1987, at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.
After ordination, Bishop Malesic served in several assignments in the Diocese of Harrisburg, including as assistant pastor of St. Theresa Parish in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania1987-1989 and assistant pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, York, 1989-1992. He also was the Catholic campus minister at York College of Pennsylvania while serving at St. Rose.
Bishop Malesic was appointed to full-time campus ministry in 1992 and served four years at Millersville University. He also was appointed to campus ministry at Franklin and Marshall College in nearby Lancaster in 1993.
Bishop Nicholas C. Dattilo sent him to study canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1986. After earning his licentiate in canon law in 1998, Bishop Malesic served several years in the Diocese of Harrisburg’s Tribunal in several positions including auditor, adjutant judicial vicar and secretary for canonical services. In 2006, he was appointed judicial vicar, the position he retained until being named Bishop of Greensburg. He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America.
During his tenure at the tribunal, the bishop lived at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Harrisburg 1996-2000 and at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Mechanicsburg 2000-2004. While living in Mechanicsburg, he also served the spiritual needs of students at Messiah College in Dillsburg.
On April 1, 2004, Bishop Malesic was appointed to Holy Infant Parish in York Haven as administrator before being named pastor on Dec. 22, 2004. He guided the parish for 11 years and oversaw the relocation and initial construction of a new church and parish center. The project was completed in 2016.
During his time in the Harrisburg Diocese, the bishop served on several boards, committees and organizations including the Continuing Formation of Clergy Committee; Seminarian Review Board; Diocesan Presbyteral Council; College of Consultors; Bishop’s Administrative Board; and the Youth Protection Committee of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference. He also served on the Board of Hospice of Central Pennsylvania.
As Bishop of Greensburg, is a member of the Board of Governors of the PCC. He also serves on the boards of Saint Vincent Seminary and Saint Vincent College (Latrobe), Seton Hill University (Greensburg), and is a member of Christian Associates of Southwest Pennsylvania.
Nationally, Bishop Malesic serves on two United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees: the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance and the Subcommittee for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.
He released his first pastoral letter, A Pastoral Letter on the Drug Abuse Crisis: From Death and Despair to Life and Hope,” on June 29, 2017, in response to the opioid epidemic in the region. In it, he called on the people of the diocese to take action against the opioid scourge and outlined diocesan and parish efforts focused on prayer, education and cooperative actions with social service agencies already engaged in the fight against addiction.
In response to the clergy abuse crisis and the release of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report and in order to increase diocesan transparency and outside oversight, Bishop Malesic established a Safe Environment Advisory Council to assist the Diocese of Greensburg. The advisory council oversaw a series of seven listening sessions around the diocese, each of which was attended by Bishop Malesic and gave parishioners the opportunity to express their feelings about the grand jury report, make observations and offer suggestions.
In February 2019, Bishop Malesic announced details of a Comprehensive Reconciliation Initiative, which includes a Survivors’ Compensation Program, to support survivors of abuse.
On July 1, Bishop Malesic announced the formation of the Saint Pope John Paul II Tuition Opportunity Partnership, which was made possible by the single largest donation from a family the Diocese of Greensburg received in one year. The anonymous $2.4 million donation, combined with $1.7 million in existing funds donated by other individuals and businesses, make $4.1 million in scholarships and tuition assistance available for the 12 Catholic schools in the Diocese of Greensburg. The funds are for use in the 2020-21 academic year. The announcements were made at separate media events held at five different Catholic schools that day.
The Diocese of Greensburg was established by Pope Pius XII on March 10, 1951. It consists of 3,334 square miles in four counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Total population is 641,041, of which 137,641 are Catholic. There are 78 parishes and 38 parishes in partner configurations in the diocese. The clergy includes 84 diocesan priests, 51 of whom are active; 33 retired priests; 13 international priests and six permanent deacons.