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A new bishop who’s “not afraid to get down from the pulpit and get along with the sheep”

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 07/13/15

From The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 

Growing up Catholic near Harrisburg, Edward Malesic found church “quite boring and uninspiring.” No one thought he would become a priest, and he wasn’t sure he would remain a Catholic. Elect_official_3x5_webBut thanks to some surprising influences — a Mormon science teacher, some evangelical Protestant girlfriends, a Gideon’s Bible — he started on a journey to the priesthood and today’s ceremony of ordination at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral as bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg. Father Malesic will become spiritual leader of 144,000 Roman Catholics across Westmoreland, Armstrong, Indiana and Fayette counties. He welcomes the task but recognizes its challenges. Like many Northeastern dioceses, the Catholic population in the Greensburg Diocese is aging and shrinking even faster than the overall population. Vital statistics such as baptisms and confirmations are also down. “Numbers don’t concern me too much,” Father Malesic said. “There are people out there we can preach to, whether it’s a small or a big population. … We have to let people know we have good news.” He was born Aug. 14, 1960, in Harrisburg and raised in nearby Enhaut, one of four siblings widely separated by age. Music was important to the family, and he learned organ and piano. But while older siblings went to Catholic schools, he went to public ones and graduated from Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg. “The whole thing of him becoming a priest was a surprise,” said his older brother, Robert. Father Malesic said a high school science teacher impressed him as a devout Mormon who was strongly committed to his faith, family and science. The future bishop also enjoyed the lively, contemporary worship services at the evangelical churches of the girls he dated. Attending Lebanon Valley College, Father Malesic was handed a Gideon’s Bible one day. He read it avidly and concluded that he was committed to Christ, but not necessarily Catholicism. He would regularly play organ at Masses and asked himself, “Do I know enough about the Catholic Church to leave it?”

Read on to learn more about the path he took. And catch this quote from a deacon:

“He’s an extremely spiritual guy, but he’s also very people centered,” said Joe Kramer, a deacon at Holy Infant. “He’s not afraid to get down from the pulpit and get along with the sheep.”
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