Bishop-elect Larry J. Kulick is a Western Pennsylvania native and a devoted servant to the Lord, best characterized as a “roll up his sleeves and get to work” kind of leader. On Friday, Dec. 18, he was appointed by The Holy Father, Pope Francis, as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Greensburg. Prior to his appointment as Bishop-elect, Monsignor Kulick served as Diocesan Administrator after his predecessor Bishop Malesic was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland in September.
“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. 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,” said Bishop-elect Kulick.
“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,” he continued.
Bishop-elect Kulick is a canon lawyer and recognized by many to be a strategic and energetic administrator, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. With attendance at Mass at 30-40% of pre-pandemic levels, he acknowledges that the pandemic has greatly impacted every form of stewardship. Believing transparent communication with parishioners is imperative; he directed each parish in the Diocese of Greensburg to publish an annual fiscal report simultaneously, for the first time in diocesan history. These reports, issued last month, detailed the impact of COVID-19 on each parish but also illustrated the outreach efforts made by those same parishes to those in need during the pandemic.
Just to highlight a few of these efforts:
- One hundred and ten *new* ministries were created during the pandemic including homebound phone and mail outreach, volunteer cooks who packed and served free takeout meals, and the provision of clothing, coats and canned good drives. Additionally, there were grocery deliveries to the homebound, expanded prayer phone trees, not to mention Virtual Religious Education and Youth Ministry and a nuanced Ministry of Hospitality, consisting of ushers who ensure socially distant seating, volunteers to greet the worshipers, and cleaning crews to sanitize the church and restrooms after each use. To increase connectivity, many parishes boosted or developed new Video Ministries, which often utilize the expertise of volunteer parishioners to stream Mass on YouTube and social media.
- 2,000 of the faithful dedicated their time and talent to operationalize these new ministries.
- All 78 Parishes donated items or facilitated financial assistance for those in need during the pandemic.
- $250,000 of assistance was distributed by parishes in the four counties of the Diocese of Greensburg, as well as an additional $200,000 in COVID-19 relief dollars via Catholic Charities.
- To date, more than 15,000 people were helped by the good people of the Diocese of Greensburg.
- Currently, 44 diocesan parishes are now streaming Mass to the faithful. Bishop-elect Kulick and his team stressed the importance of creating multiple paths to connectivity during the pandemic.
- In November, Kulick announced that in addition to in-person Christmas Masses throughout the Diocese of Greensburg, there also will be streaming and televised Christmas Masses for those who cannot gather.
As the pandemic continued, Kulick was instrumental in establishing a committee to recommence in-person worship, which developed safety protocols for parishes and schools. New evangelization tools including an e-mail 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.
Bishop-elect Kulick is a classic car enthusiast. Parishioners with similar interests and a devotion to their Church have assisted him for many years in bringing hundreds of people to his parish car cruises for a day of summer fun and fundraising. As Pastor of St. James Parish in New Alexandria, then Msgr. Kulick proudly spoke about his lifelong love of one particular car brand – the General Motors Pontiac. He has often displayed one of his most prized automotive possessions, his 1966 Pontiac LeMans, at these car shows! It was in this very car in which he was brought home from the hospital as a newborn. Also, this same car became his 18th birthday present from his grandmother.
Due to his heritage, Bishop-elect Kulick is active in many Slovak cultural and fraternal organizations locally and nationally. He has been a life member of the First Catholic Slovak Union and has served as chaplain for the George Onda District for more than 25 years.
Bishop-elect Kulick was born Feb. 24, 1966, to Larry J. Sr. and Myrna Dolores Coleman Kulick. He is a native of Leechburg, where he was a parishioner of the former St. Martha Parish.
A 1984 graduate of St. Joseph High School, Natrona Heights, Bishop-elect Kulick earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Saint Vincent College in 1988. He attended Saint Vincent Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in systematic theology in 1991 and a master of divinity degree in 1992. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 16, 1992 by Bishop Anthony G. Bosco at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Greensburg.
Bishop-elect Kulick earned a licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 2012.
Bishop-elect Kulick’s pastoral appointments are:
- Parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament Cathedral Parish (1992-95) and Immaculate Conception Parish, Irwin (1995-97)
- Pastor of Church of the Good Shepherd Parish, Kent (1997-2002), St. Joseph Parish, New Kensington (2002-08), and St. James Parish, New Alexandria (2012-present).
Bishop-elect Kulick’s diocesan appointments are:
- Consultant on priestly vocations (1999-2004); co-director of priestly vocations (2004-08); director of clergy vocations (2008-10); co-director of clergy vocations (2010-12), co-director of the permanent diaconate (2012); episcopal master of ceremonies (2008-10); co-episcopal master of ceremonies (2010-12); and acting chancellor (2012-13).
- He was appointed vicar general and moderator of the curia in 2012 by Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt and reappointed vicar-general by Bishop Edward C. Malesic in 2015.
- He was elected diocesan administrator by the College of Consultors, a priest advisory group in the Diocese of Greensburg, on Sept. 15, 2020, the day after Bishop Malesic was installed as Bishop of Cleveland.
- Bishop-elect Kulick also has served on the Priests’ Council and Board of Consultors.
- Bishop-elect Kulick received the title of Monsignor by virtue of his office as vicar general of the diocese on May 21, 2014.
About the Diocese:
The Diocese of Greensburg consists of 78 parishes in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties. There are 86 priests serving the Diocese, which includes 16 international priests. There also are 31 retired priests in the Diocese, as well as 14 permanent deacons. The Diocese also has 12 schools, 10 elementary and two junior-senior high schools.