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Pope Francis names new bishop for Diocese of Greensburg

Screenshot 2020 12 18 at 114536 Bishop-elect Larry J. Kulick of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. / Diocese of Greensburg.

Pope Francis appointed Friday a new bishop of Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

The pope named Msgr. Larry J. Kulick Dec. 18 as the sixth bishop of the diocese founded in 1951.

Kulick, a 54-year-old canon lawyer, has served as diocesan administrator since Sept. 15, when he was elected to the post by the diocese’s College of Consultors.

He took up the role following the July 16 appointment of Bishop Edward C. Malesic, the fifth bishop of Greensburg, to lead the Diocese of Cleveland.

In a statement on the website of Greensburg diocese, the bishop-elect said: “I would like to express my gratitude to the Holy Father for his confidence and trust in appointing me as bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg. Western PA has always been my home.”

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“I feel honored to be able to serve as bishop in the diocese where I was born, raised, educated, ordained and have served my entire life.”

The website described Kulick as “a strategic and energetic administrator, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” which has reduced Mass attendance to 30-40% of normal levels.

It said that in a first for the diocese, he had required all of Greenburg’s 78 parishes to publish an annual fiscal report simultaneously.

The website also noted that Kulick had overseen a committee for the return of safe in-person worship in the diocese.

“New evangelization tools including an email and text message alert system, online and printed resources for worshiping at home, and both live and premiered social media events helped to bring many people closer to the Church,” it said.

Kulick was born in Natrona Heights, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 24, 1966. 

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He gained a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Saint Vincent College, and a master’s degree in systematic theology and a master of divinity degree at Saint Vincent Seminary, in the city of Latrobe. 

He was ordained a priest on May 16, 1992, by Bishop Anthony G. Bosco, the third bishop of Greensburg, at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in the city of Greensburg.

He obtained a licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America in 2012. That same year, he was appointed pastor of St. James Parish, New Alexandria, where he has served to the present day. 

Also in 2012, Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt, the fourth bishop of Greensburg, appointed him vicar general and moderator of the curia. 

Kulick was given the title of monsignor in 2014 and was confirmed as vicar general by Malesic in 2015.

The bishop-elect is a classic car enthusiast who has held fundraising summer car shows. They have featured his prized 1966 Pontiac LeMans, the car in which he was brought home from hospital after his birth. 

In recognition of his heritage, Kulick is an active supporter of Slovak cultural and fraternal organizations.

Greensburg diocese consists of parishes in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana, and Westmoreland counties. The diocese has 86 priests, including 16 international clergy, as well as 12 schools, 10 elementary and two junior-senior high schools.

Bishop-elect Kulick said: “Two things that define the people of Western PA, which were also crucial in my upbringing and formation, are a strong faith and a strong work ethic.” 

“As I begin my episcopal ministry, I know we have a great deal of work to do in caring for our community of faith in a post-pandemic world.”

“Working with each other, I believe the Church and its people can continue to be of great assistance to those who are in spiritual and physical need.”

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