Our Holy Father Pope Francis appointed me apostolic administrator “sede vacante” of the Eparchy
of Parma for the Ruthenians June 17, 2017. The decree was published June 24, 2017 in
I would like at this time to extend my warm greetings to all of you.
I am sending these greetings from my homeland, which is also the homeland of the ancestors of
many of the faithful of the Eparchy of Parma.
At the same time, I am sending these greetings to the land that was the birthplace of my maternal
grandfather and which now should become, according to the decision of the Holy Father, my
The distance between these two countries is not an obstacle in living the common Byzantine spiritual
heritage, which is amplified by our belonging to the Catholic Church.
In this spirit of our Catholicity — this universality, which in Christ reaches beyond all human
boundaries — the words of St. Paul in his Letter to the Galatians resound for all of us today:
“For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized
into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither
slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (3:26-28).
In this spirit of searching for common unity, which is expressed in our liturgical greeting, “Christ
is among us. He is and He shall be,” I am looking forward with joy to our first liturgical meeting.
I cordially invite all of you on Friday, July 21 at 2 p.m. to our Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in
Parma, Ohio, where we will celebrate the Divine Liturgy together with His Excellency, the apostolic
nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, and His Excellency Archbishop
William C. Skurla, Metropolitan of Pittsburgh, from whom I will formally take up the office of
the apostolic administrator of the Eparchy of Parma and to whom I express my thanks already
now for his patience and care.
Through this greeting, I warmly invite all of you, as well as other bishops, priests, deacons, religious
and faithful of our church, to this solemn liturgy, which should be a manisfestation of unity
with the entire Catholic Church.
As I write this, I am still in Slovakia but my thoughts are already with all of you. I am praying for
you. I will try to come to you as soon as possible.
I humbly ask you for prayers because only in unity can we move forward together toward the
Kingdom of God.
God bless you,
Bishop Milan Lach
Apostolic Administrator of Parma