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MIHALIK, EMIL J.

MIHALIK, EMIL J. (6 Feb. 1920-27 Jan. 1984) was the founding bishop of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Catholic Eparchy of PARMA.

Born to William and Mary Jubic Mihalik in Pittsburgh, PA, Emil attended public school in his hometown before entering St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle, IL. Following studies he was ordained in Trenton, NJ, 21 September 1945, by Bishop Emil Takach.

After ordination, Mihalik served as a parish priest in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. In 1968 he was appointed chancellor of the Eparchy of Passaic.

On 21 February 1969 the Vatican announced formation of the Eparchy of Parma, carved from the western portion of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. The new diocese encompassed most of Ohio and included 24 other states, west to California, Hawaii, and Alaska. Mihalik was named founding bishop. He was ordained bishop and installed 12 June 1969, in the diocese's new Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Snow and Broadview roads in Parma.

Organizing and providing new churches and priests for the far flung diocese was Mihalik's first priority. As bishop he added eighteen new parishes, relocated several others, ordained twenty-three priests, and granted bi-ritual faculties to twenty others, and brought the Byzantine Nuns of St. Clare to the diocese.

In 1982, because of the eparchy's growth, the Vatican split off the thirteen western-most states into a new Eparchy of Van Nuys, CA. That same year architectural reconstruction of the cathedral church was begun.

Funeral services for the bishop were held in the partially renovated cathedral on 1 March 1984. His body was then transported to CALVARY CEMETERY at Mt. St. Macrina, Uniontown, PA, where he was buried next to the bishop who had ordained him.