Bishop Anthony G. Bosco, who retired as bishop of Greensburg in 2004, died peacefully July 2 at his home after 61 years of priesthood and is being mourned by the people of his diocese.

"It was with deep sadness that I learned of the death of Bishop Emeritus Anthony G. Bosco last night," Greensburg's current bishop, Lawrence E. Brandt, said July 3.

"He was a faith-filled, humble servant of the Lord who loved his priesthood and the church. He served the people of Greensburg with joy as their shepherd for 17 years."

Bishop Brandt continued, saying that Bishop Bosco did not cease ministering after his retirement, even saying Mass "at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral as recently as this past Saturday. He loved the Mass and the Eucharist."

"We met often for private luncheons and other occasions, and I always appreciated his friendship and wisdom."

Bishop Bosco was raised in Pittsburgh, and was ordained a priest of that city's diocese in 1952, months before his 25th birthday. He was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop of the Pittsburgh diocese in 1970, and in 1987 became the third bishop of Greensburg, a city on the south-eastern edge of Pittsburgh's metro area.

As bishop, he ensured that children in Greensburg would receive the sacrament of Confirmation at the same time as First Communion, instituting the restored order of these sacraments.

He was deeply committed to the Second Vatican Council's call to the laity, doing much to catechize his people and bring them to a profound involvement with the local Church. Bishop Bosco created Greensburg's department of evangelization and faith formation

He promulgated a program for parish leadership and collaboration among parishes, and "Journey of a Lifetime," which focuses on Catholic education and faith formation as a lifelong process, and in 2001 wrote a pastoral letter on the link between the Eucharist and service.

In 2000, he launched a capital campaign which raised more funding for the diocese than he had even hoped, ensuring a stable future for his diocese.

Even as a priest he appreciated the importance of new media, working with a local radio station during Vatican II, and hosting a television program. He also taught at Seton Hill University and at the University of Dayton.

Funeral arrangements for the late bishop are still being finalized.

Bishop Bosco's death "is not only a great loss for the people of the Diocese of Greensburg, whom he loved, but it is great loss for the national and universal church that he served so faithfully for more than six decades," reflected Bishop Brandt.