Axios, Bishop Robert of Parma!

Bishop Robert Pipta enthroned Nov. 8 in the Eparchy of Parma

Pictured are: Bishop Francois Beyrouti, Bishop Nil Lushchak, Metrropolitan Archbishop William Skurla, Bishop Robert Pipta, Very Rev. Dennis Hrubiak and Bishop Kurt Burnette.


By David Mayernik Jr., Editor

Metropolitan Archbishop William C. Skurla ordained Bishop Robert M. Pipta as the sixth bishop of the Eparchy of Parma during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Nov. 8 at Holy Resurrection in Euclid, Ohio.

Pope Francis appointed him Bishop of Parma Aug. 31 and Nov. 8 — the Feast of St. Michael — was chosen as his day of enthronement. He succeeds Bishop Kurt Burnette, who had been serving as Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Parma in addition to his duties as Bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic and Apostolic Administrator of the Eparchy of Phoenix and the Exarchate of Toronto.

Archbishop Wiliam served as principal consecrator and Bishop Nil Lushchak, Apostolic Administrator of Mukachevo-Uzhgorod, and the Most Reverend Kurt Burnette, Bishop of The Eparchy of Passaic, served as co-consecrators. Cardinal Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America, was also present.

In attendance were 15 other archbishops and bishops, 92 priests and deacons, as well as 300 faithful, and a 76-person choir.

Bishop Robert is a priest of the Eparchy of Phoenix and had been serving as the rector of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. since May 1, 2014.

Bishop Robert was born in April 1967 in Anaheim, Calif., earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music at the University of California, Irvine in 1990 and was a member of Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Anaheim from shortly after its founding in 1969.

He served at the altar from the age of six and served as a weekday cantor during his college years. He attended the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius from Sept. 1990 until his priestly ordination on April 21, 1994. As a priest of the Eparchy of Van Nuys (now Phoenix) he served Saint Stephen Pro-Cathedral (now Cathedral) in Phoenix, Arizona as parochial vicar from May 1994 until August 1997.
He then served as administrator of Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church in Las Vegas, Nevada until February 2004. He served as the pastor of Holy Angels Church in San Diego, Calif. until April 2014. He has served on the Intereparchial Liturgy and Music Commissions and had served as Eparchial Vocations Director for more than 19 years.

Cardinal Christophe said Bishop Robert has been prepared well for his new ministry.

“Your ministry as a priest has formed you in loving service to the people of God.”

In his homily, Most Rev. John Michael Botean, DD, Bishop of the Romanian Eparchy of St. George in Canton, Ohio, said he reflected on words from the Gospel reading — “I watched Satan fall from the sky like lightning from the sky” — as Bishop Robert was kneeling before the Holy Table.

“There was something about that moment…somehow there was a dagger in the heart of evil.”

Bishop John, who has been a bishop for 27 years, said there are three “huge” duties in the life of a bishop: to teach, to sanctify and to govern; sometimes referred to as the “power” to perform those duties.

He suggested perhaps the correct word is not “power” but “capacity.”

“This is a gift, it’s not a talent,” he said. “I suggest to you that you take to heart these three duties of a bishop and look at them, perhaps, from a new angle.”

A reception and dinner followed the ordination at the Cleveland Marriott East in Warrendale, Heights, Ohio.