We were schoolmates in major seminary
Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Most Reverend William C. Skurla, as metropolitan archbishop of the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.
He will be enthroned in Pittsburgh on April 18, 2012.
Skurla was born in Duluth, Minn., on June 1, 1956, the son of the late John and Mavis Skurla. He attended Catholic and public elementary schools and graduated in 1974 from Chisholm High School, Chisholm, Minn.
He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1981 with a concentration in philosophy. He then studied at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Northampton County, receiving a master's of divinity in 1986 and a master's of theology in 1987.
Skurla entered the Byzantine Franciscan community in Sybertsville, Luzerne County, in 1981. He was ordained a priest in 1987 at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Freeland, also in Luzerne county.
He served as pastoral administrator at St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church in Tucson, Ariz., from 1993 until 2002.
He was enthroned as bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys on April 23, 2002 in Phoenix.
In December of 2007 he was appointed bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic and was enthroned at St. Michael Cathedral, Passaic N.J., on Jan. 29, 2008.
Skurla, 55, succeeds Metropolitan Archbishop Basil M. Schott, who died after a short illness in June 2010.
The Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh is the only self-governing Eastern Catholic Church in the United States, meaning it is directly under the authority of the pope rather than a Catholic patriarch in Eastern Europe or the Middle East. It stretches from Erie to Texas and has 58,000 parishioners and 65 priests in 78 parishes.