Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend John Pazak, C.Ss.R., as Eparchial Bishop of the Holy Mary of Protection Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, Arizona.
The Eparchy serves mainly the Ruthenian Catholics of western United States. At the time of his appointment, Bishop Pazak was the Eparchial Bishop of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada, which has its See in the Toronto region. The Holy Father has also appointed Bishop Pazak asApostolic Administrator “sede vacante” of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada — that is, while the See in Toronto is vacant.
Born on August 13, 1946, in Gary, Indiana, Bishop Pazak has been a member of the Redemptorists since 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1972. He has served in a number of pastoral roles in both Canada and the United States. In December 1, 2000, Saint John Paul II appointed him Eparchial Bishop of the Eparchy for Catholic Slovaks of the Byzantine Rite in Canada. As a member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), Bishop Pazak has served on the former Commission for Social Communications of the English Sector (2001-2005), the former Commission for Christian Education of the English Sector (2005-2008), the Catholic and Anglican Bishops’ Dialogue (2008-2016), and the Commission for Justice and Peace since 2014. In October 2015, he was the CCCB delegate to the Santa Martha Group’s Third Conference on Human Trafficking, which was held in Spain.
The Holy Mary of Protection Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix has 19 parishes and missions, with a Catholic population of 2,254 served by 29 diocesan priests, one priest who is member of an institute of consecrated life, eight permanent deacons, and nine religious Sisters and Brothers.