PHOENIX — Pope Francis has appointed Bishop John Stephen Pazak as the fifth bishop of the Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Eparchy of Phoenix, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Gerald N. Dino, 76, according to a May 7 announcement from the USCCB. Bishop Pazak currently leads the Byzantine Eparchy of Sts. Cyril and Methodius of Toronto.
Bishop Dino has served the eparchy since his episcopal ordination eight years ago. Bishop Dino was born Jan. 11, 1940, in Binghamton, New York. He was ordained a priest for the Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersey March 21, 1965. He served in various parishes throughout Pennsylvania and New York prior to his episcopal appointment. He was ordained bishop March 27, 2008.
Though the eparchy was headquartered in Phoenix when Bishop Dino arrived, it was still considered the Byzantine Eparchy of Van Nuys, California, where the old headquarters were located. Bishop Dino petitioned the Vatican to change the name of the eparchy to Phoenix in 2009. Bishop Dino has also been an active member of the Arizona Catholic Conference. Most recently, Bishop Dino preached the homily for the statewide Catholic Schools Mass Feb. 3.
Bishop Dino said he is looking forward to retiring and plans to stay in the Phoenix area.
“I’d rather stay in Phoenix than go back to the Northeast and spend my golden years shoveling snow,” he said. “If the new bishop needs me in any way, I’m right here.”
Bishop Pazak was born Aug. 13, 1946, in Gary, Indiana. He was professed a member of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists) Aug. 13, 1965, and was ordained a priest Aug. 27, 1972. He was named Bishop of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto, Canada, in 2000, and ordained bishop Feb. 14, 2001. Bishop Pazak spent most of his priesthood in Canada and is a dual citizen. He will also continue as the Toronto eparchy’s apostolic administrator until a successor is appointed.
Bishop Pazak’s brother and sister-in-law are parishioners at the eparchy’s St. Stephen Cathedral in North Phoenix, and he has visited and celebrated the Divine Liturgy there on several occasions.
“I’m looking forward to coming to Phoenix,” said Bishop Pazak. “I’m looking forward to working with the other bishops in Arizona and New Mexico.”
Referring to the geographical spread of the parishes in his new eparchy, Bishop Pazak said the challenge is to “continue to build up the parishes, especially in this Year of Mercy and spur evangelization through our Byzantine spirituality.”
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of the Diocese of Phoenix said he welcomes Bishop Pazak’s appointment.
“We have been grateful for the close friendship and collaboration with this Byzantine Eparchy and its retiring ordinary, Bishop Gerald Dino, and look forward to continuing that legacy of lively faith and charity in the years ahead. I extend to Bishop Pazak a warm and fraternal welcome,” he said.
Pope Francis also accepted the resignations of Bishop John Kudrick of the Byzantine Eparchy of Parma, Ohio, and of Bishop Sarhad Y. Jammo, 75, from the the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, San Diego, California, which includes two parishes in Scottsdale and one in Gilbert.
Both sees will remain vacant until a successor is appointed. Archbishop William Skurla of the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburg, will serve as apostolic administrator of Parma eparchy. Archbishop Skurla had also served as bishop of the now Phoenix-based eparchy from 2002-07. Chaldean Bishop Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop of the Patriarchate of Babylon, will serve as the apostolic administrator for the Chaldean eparchy.
The appointments were announced in Washington by Msgr. Walter Erbi, charge d’affaires of the Vatican nunciature in Washington.
Bishop Dino said he expects Bishop Pazak’s enthronement to take place towards the end of the summer.
The Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix includes 2,706 persons and embraces all Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Catholics in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico, Alaska and Hawaii. Two parishes are located within the geographical boundaries of the Diocese of Phoenix — St. Stephen Cathedral in Phoenix and St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Gilbert.