The relatively small crowd inside Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Pa., erupted with applause on Feb. 11, after newly ordained Bishop Larry J. Kulick was ordained and installed. Despite COVID-19, the faithful of the Diocese of Greensburg celebrated the much-anticipated event. Thousands watched the live stream and left hundreds of comments wishing him blessings.
During his remarks, Bishop Kulick recalled the very moment in his life that ultimately lead to his Episcopal Ordination: becoming an altar server at the age of 9 at St. Martha’s Parish in Leechburg.
“Serving at the altar brought me great joy, it fostered a wonderful prayer and devotional life, it placed me in many opportunities to see the important spiritual needs of people and the solace that they received in and through the Church and her sacraments,” Bishop Kulick said. “It taught me discipline and respect, and most importantly, it taught me that discipleship was intrinsically tied to service. And that it takes family, Church and community working well together to respond to God’s invitation to serve.”
God’s invitation now includes Bishop Kulick as the chief shepherd of the Diocese of Greensburg. He is the first priest ordained in the diocese to serve as its bishop.
His Excellency, The Most Reverend Nelson Jesus Pérez, D.D., Metropolitan Archbishop of Philadelphia, served as Principal Consecrator. His Excellency, The Most Reverend Edward Charles Malesic, J.C.L., Bishop of Cleveland, and His Excellency, The Most Reverend Lawrence Eugene Brandt, J.C.D., Ph.D., Bishop Emeritus of Greensburg, served as Co-consecrators.
“This all started with me,” said Archbishop Perez, referring to the chain of events that led to Bishop Kulick’s ordination. Archbishop Perez was the Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland before being appointed to lead the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, his hometown. Bishop Malesic followed Archbishop Perez and became the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland in September. The Greensburg vacancy is now filled with Bishop Kulick’s ordination and installation.
“We are all bishops of the Church, shepherds chosen by God to feed his flock,” Archbishop Perez said.
Archbishop Perez recognized Bishop Kulick’s parents – Larry and Myrna Kulick – as he presented the homily.
“Little did you know when he was running around the house doing who knows what – that that little kid would become the Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg,” Archbishop Perez said.
The celebration took place in the presence of His Excellency, The Most Reverend Archbishop Christophe Pierre Titular Archbishop of Gunela, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. He presented the Papal Bull from his Holiness, Pope Francis, announcing the appointment of Bishop-elect Kulick.
“The Holy Father has chosen you to be an instrument, he’s asking you to be an organ of Christ, the Good Shepherd,” Archbishop Pierre said. “A shepherd dedicates himself not 50 or 60 percent, but in all he has. Unless a shepherd risks, he does not find. He has to take the risk demanded by love, the love of those He has placed in your call.”
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance at the Mass was limited to Bishop Kulick’s immediate family and a small number of clergy and members of the Diocesan leadership team. Family members in attendance included the bishop’s parents, his aunt and uncle, Anthony and Donna Krasowski, and his sisters and brother, Lisa Blake, Lori O’Shea and Erik Kulick.
The episcopal ordination and installation was telecast on The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and live streamed on the diocesan website, www.dioceseofgreensburg.org, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Bishop Kulick spoke often of being humbled at the honor bestowed upon him.
“(I) do not take this responsibility lightly or without the full knowledge that in order to accomplish this I need God’s grace and your assistance,” Bishop Kulick said. “I look forward to our time together and beginning my episcopal ministry in the wonderful four counties of our beloved Diocese which we know so well.”
Bishop Kulick has chosen as his motto, “Christus Est Veritas,” Christ is the Truth. He chose it to emphasize the importance of catechesis and evangelization and the fact that eternal truth comes from Jesus Christ.
It is from that motto that Bishop Kulick closed his remarks.
“Christ is the Truth. Let us seek the truth, know the truth and love the truth,” Bishop Kulick said.
(Photo by Mary Seamans, The Catholic Accent.)
(Article and photo reprinted with permission from The Catholic Accent, the publication of the Diocese of Greensburg.)
By Paul Paterra, Special to The Witness