Diocese Appoints 5 Pastors For Parishes to Reopen

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CLEVELAND — Five reopening churches in the Cleveland Catholic Diocese now know who will lead them. 

Bishop Richard Lennon announced pastor assignments for St. Adalbert, St. Casimir and St. Barbara in Cleveland.  St. James in Lakewood and St. John the Baptist in Akron also learned the names of their new pastors on Wednesday.

Dr. Klymiuk Wieczeiski, a parishioner at St. Casimir, was elated at the news. 

“So we consider now to re-open the church as a miracle, because it never happens in the Catholic Church, that anything done by the Bishop is reversed by Rome,” he said.

Bishop Lennon’s decision to close the parishes was met with bitter protests that reached all the way to the Vatican in Rome.  After months of deliberation, the Vatican decided 11 parishes in the Cleveland Diocese should reopen.

Father Eric Orzech, the pastor at St. Casimir in Cleveland, told Fox 8 News, “Parishioners are very excited.  As you know, they’ve staged a rather long and drawn out campaign, and some people have differing opinions on it, but they certainly were very fervent, so this is a very happy day for them, but also a brand new beginning that they are very much looking forward to.”

The appointments go into effect next month.  Each pastor will determine a date for the opening Mass at his church. The Diocese still needs to appoint pastors at six more parishes.

See below for a list of pastors, who will lead the following parishes:

  • Reverend Gary Chmura has been appointed Pastor of St. Adalbert parish in Cleveland effective Monday, 2 July 2012.
  • Reverend A. Jonathon Zingales has been appointed Pastor of St. John the Baptist parish in Akron effective Monday, 2 July, 2012.
  • Reverend Eric Orzech has been appointed Pastor of St. Casimir parish in Cleveland effective Monday, 9 July 2012.
  • Reverend Joseph Hilinski has been appointed Pastor of St. Barbara parish in Cleveland effective Monday, 16 July, 2012.
  • Reverend Joseph Workman has been appointed Pastor of St. James parish in Lakewood effective Monday, 23 July 2012.

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