The world-wide Catholic Church consists of smaller geographical territories called “dioceses” from Latin or “eparchies” from Greek. Every eparchy/diocese is headed by a bishop, a successor to the apostles. The Eparchy of Parma encompasses the geographical area of Ohio (except the eastern border counties), Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. Byzantine Catholics living in those states are members of our local Church of Parma.
Wishing to foster religious life among Byzantine Catholic faithful in the United States, Pope Paul VI issued the decree "Christi Ecclesia" officially establishing the Eparchy of Parma on Feb. 21, 1969.
The new Eparchy of Parma encompassed the states of Ohio (except counties on the eastern border) and all states west of Ohio, including Alaska and Hawaii. His Grace, the Most Rev. Emil Mihalik (1969-1984) became our first bishop.
In 1982, at the request of the American Byzantine hierarchs, the Holy See established the western Eparchy of Van Nuys, reducing the territory of the Eparchy of Parma.
Having grown under the episcopacy of Bishops Andrew Pataki (1984-1996), Basil Schott (1996-2002), and John Kudrick (2002-2016), the faithful now await the appointment of the fifth bishop of Parma.
As we continue through the 21st century, we embrace our past and look toward the future with hope, certain that we are a church empowered by the Holy Spirit “to set hearts on fire” by the way we worship and by the way we live.
His Grace, The Most Rev. John Kudrick (2002-2016)
Bishop John Kudrick was born on Dec. 23, 1947, in Lloydell, Pa., the son of George and Amelia Kudrick (both deceased).
He attended Adams-Summerhill High School, from which he graduated as valedictorian, and attended Saint Francis College in Loretto, Pa., where he received a bachelor of arts in philosophy and in mathematics in 1970.
He entered the Third Order Regular of St. Francis on Jan. 29, 1967, in the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. After graduating from Saint Francis College, he continued his studies for the priesthood at St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, from which he received a master of divinity degree in 1975. He also studied at Indiana University of Pa. and received a master of science degree in mathematics in 1973 and pursued and obtained a master of science degree in computer and information science from The Ohio State University in 1977.
The bishop was ordained to the priesthood on May 3, 1975, and began serving on the mathematics and computer science faculty of Saint Francis University. In 1978, he assumed responsibilities for university computer services.
From 1976 to 1980 he was assistant director of postulants for his Franciscan order. As a Franciscan priest, he also assisted in parishes of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. He became a priest of the archeparchy in 1987 and served in several Pennsylvania parishes – St. Nicholas, Nanty Glo; St. Mary, Windber; SS. Peter and Paul, Jerome; SS. Peter and Paul, Patton; St. Anne, Clymer; Holy Spirit, McKees Rocks; SS. Peter and Paul, Duquesne; and SS. Peter and Paul, Braddock. From 1998 until his episcopal ordination, he served as protopresbyter of the Cathedral of St. John in Munhall, Pa. In 1998, Metropolitan Archbishop Judson Procyk ordained then-Father John as the first archpriest of the Archeparchy.
Following the death of Metropolitan Judson, then Archpriest John was elected administrator of the vacant Archeparchy of Pittsburgh on April 24, 2001, and served in that capacity until the installation of Metropolitan Basil Schott as archbishop on July 9, 2002.
Bishop John was ordained and installed as bishop of Parma on July 10, 2002, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Parma, Ohio. The ordaining bishop was Metropolitan Basil Schott, with Bishop Andrew Pataki and Bishop William Skurla assisting.
On May 7, 2016, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, accepted the retirement of Bishop John and appointed Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as the Apostolic Administrator of the eparchy until a new bishop is selected and enthroned.
His Eminence, The Most Rev. Basil Schott (1996-2002)
Metropolitan Basil was born on July 21, 1939 in Freeland, Pa., the son of the late Mary (Krusko) and Michael Schott.
He spent his early years in northeast Pennsylvania, where he attended St. Mary Byzantine Catholic School in Freeland, and St. Gabriel High School in Hazleton.
Metropolitan Basil entered the Byzantine Franciscans novitiate on Aug. 3, 1958, and was professed on Aug. 4, 1959. He holds degrees in philosophy, theology and pastoral counseling.
Bishop Stephen J. Kocisko, bishop of Passaic, ordained Metropolitan Basil to the priesthood on Aug. 29, 1965.
Immediately prior to his appointment as third bishop of the Eparchy of Parma in 1996, Metropolitan Basil served as hegumen of Holy Dormition Monastery in Sybertsville, Pa.
On May 3, 1996, then-Father Basil was named bishop of Parma. His episcopal ordination and enthronement took place on July 11, 1996, at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Parma, Ohio.
On May 3, 2002, Pope John Paul II appointed then-Bishop Basil to be the metropolitan archbishop of Pittsburgh, succeeding the late Metropolitan Judson Procyk. Metropolitan Basil was enthroned on July 9, 2002. He died on June 10, 2010.
His Grace, The Most Rev. Andrew Pataki (1984-1996)
Bishop Andrew Pataki was born in Palmerton, Pa., on Aug. 30, 1927. Following his elementary and secondary education in the Palmerton Public Schools and Central Catholic High School in Allentown, Pa., he enrolled in St. Vincent’s College, Latrobe, Pa.
In 1944 he began his studies for the priesthood. To continue his studies, he entered St. Procopius College-Seminary in Lisle, Ill., where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in 1948. He began his theological studies at St. Procopius Seminary and completed them at the newly-founded Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh.
The Most Rev. Daniel Ivancho ordained him to the priesthood on Feb. 24, 1952, in the seminary chapel.
After earning the STL degree at the Pontifical Institute for Oriental Studies in Rome, Father Pataki was appointed rector of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.
He was named to the Pontifical Commission for the Revision of the Eastern Code of Canon Law (1973-1978) by Pope Paul VI and also elevated by him to the rank of Prelate of Honor.
He was named auxiliary bishop to the Most Rev. Michael J. Dudick of the Eparchy of Passaic on June 14, 1983, with the Titular See of Telmisso.
Appointed the second bishop of Parma on June 19, 1984, Bishop Pataki served the eparchy until his transfer to the Eparchy of Passaic in 1996. He died on Dec. 8, 2011.
His Grace, The Most Rev. Emil Mihalik (1969-1984)
Bishop Emil Mihalik was born in Pittsburgh on February 7, 1920. After receiving his high school education in his hometown of Brentwood, Pa., a small suburban community south of Pittsburgh, he pursued philosophical and theological studies at St. Procopius College and its Benedictine Seminary. On Sept. 30, 1945, Bishop Basil Takach ordained Emil Mihalik to the priesthood.
Father Mialik served as a priest in a number of parishes throughout the Pittsburgh Exarchate. At the time of establishing the Passaic Eparchy, he was the pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Rahway, N.J., where he was instrumental in the construction of a new modern Byzantine style church and a new parish center.
With the formation of the new eparchy, Father Mihalik was given a number of administrative duties in addition to his pastoral responsibilities. These administrative duties included director of vocations, membership on the matrimonial tribunal, diocesan consultor and finally chancellor of the eparchy.
Archbishop Stephen Kocisko ordained Father Mihalik as Bishop at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Parma, Ohio, and enthroned him as the head of the new eparchy on June 12, 1969.
Sadly Bishop Mihalik’s zealous pastoral work for the new Parma Eparchy ended on Jan. 27, 1984, when he died of lung cancer.