What exciting news it was to hear that Pope Francis recently named Fr George D Gallaro as bishop of the Eparchy of Piana degli Albanesi in his native Sicily. This eparchy serves those originally of Greek descent who later immigrated to Sicily and retained their Byzantine Catholic liturgical and spiritual heritage.
Father George was ordained bishop on 28 June 2015 in the Cathedral of Saint Demetrius the Great-Martyr in Piana degli Albanesi.
Bishop George has served for the past ten years in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh as a resident professor of Canon Law and Ecumenism in the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh. During this time he also served in the Archieparchial Matrimonial Tribunal assisting countless people in their marriage issues. He always insisted that the law of the Church be at the service of the people of God. He also served for a time in parochial ministry, taking care of St Andrew the Apostle Church in Gibsonia Pa. A prolific writer, Bishop George penned frequent columns for the various eparchial newspapers on numerous timely subjects of interest to all.
What is lesser known to the faithful not involved in the academic communities, Bishop George was also a highly respected member of various international Canon Law societies, attending conferences and seminars around the world, publishing academic papers, delivering major addresses and serving as consultant to countless hierarchs in countries too numerous to mention.
On a local and more personal level, we here at St Stephen Church have been blessed to have Fr George serve the Divine Liturgy many times, both as a visitor and also as a substitute when Fr John was incapacitated. He has endeared himself to our community with his genuinely warm personality, his quick wit and easy-going presence.
We will certainly miss him, and we wish him well as he begins his new ministry among the people in Sicily.
May God grant to his servant, Bishop George, many years! Eis polla eti, Despota!