WASHINGTON (February 19, 2002) -- Pope John Paul II has appointed Very Reverend William Skurla, pastoral administrator of St. Melany Byzantine Catholic parish, Tucson, as Bishop of Van Nuys Byzantine Catholic Eparchy in California.
He succeeds Most Reverend George Kuzma who served from 1990 until his retirement in 2000.
Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
William Skurla was born June 1, 1956, in Duluth, where he attended Catholic and public elementary schools.
He attended Columbia University in New York, and Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton, Pennsylvania, receiving a Masters of Divinity in 1986 and a Masters of Theology in 1987.
He entered the Franciscan community in Sybertsville, Pennsylvania, was solemnly professed in 1985, and ordained to the priesthood in 1987. Following ordination, he served as Vicar of Holy Dormition Monastery in Sybertsville, Secretary of the Custody, Vocation Director and Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscans and the Knights of Columbus. He also edited the community newsletter, Eastern Catholic Vocation Directory.
In 1996, he was incardinated into the Eparchy of Van Nuys. He has been serving as pastoral administrator of St. Melany Byzantine Catholic Church in Tucson since 1993.
The Van Nuys Eparchy, the fourth eparchy of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States, was established on December 3, 1981, and canonically inaugurated on March 9, 1982, with Most Reverend Thomas V. Dolinay as Bishop. It comprised the western parishes of the Parma Eparchy, including the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Its center was Van Nuys, a suburb of Los Angeles, and St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in that city, was chosen for the Cathedral.