Written by Dick Russ
When news reached us here at The Rock that Bishop Milan Lach, SJ, had been
transferred from his See in Parma to Bratislava in his homeland of Slovakia, we
were both happy for His Grace, yet sad that our frequent and always blessed face-
to-face encounters with him would come to an end.
Bishop Milan was a regular visitor to the studios of Cleveland Catholic Radio, and
never missed an appointment to tape a program such as Table Talk , on which he
appeared several times a year. Whether it was a longer form program, or a
session to record prayers and greetings, we were always greeted with a joyful
embrace, and left with his powerful Apostolic blessing.
We remember well Bishop Lach’s initial visit, soon after his appointment as
Eparch of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma some 5 years ago. At 43, he
was one of the youngest bishops in the world, and his energetic approach to the
possibility of introducing himself to the area, and expanding his ministerial reach
over the radio was in line with his relative youth.
He had come to the U.S. with the reputation of a being a media-savvy bishop,
who grasped modern means of communication, including the value of reaching
people through social media. We’re grateful that he considered AM 1260 The
Rock to be one of his primary partners in evangelization.
Bishop Lach, his somewhat limited English at the beginning notwithstanding,
made himself very well understood. His messages were clear and always
underlined with the fact that it was his job as a bishop to lead as many souls to
heaven as he could, and that it was our responsibility to follow Christ and live the
Gospel message in every way, every day.
As his fluency quickly grew, his radio programs became more imbued with both
the charisms of his Jesuit formation, and the rich treasury of Eastern Catholic
theology, including the depths of the Holy Trinity, Mariology, and the various
feasts, saints, and rhythms of the Byzantine Catholic liturgical year. Offering these
to a largely Roman/Latin Catholic audience, they seemed to fulfill well the
exhortation of Saint Pope John Paul the Great that the Church should “breathe
with her two lungs!” ( Ut Unum Sint, 25 May 1995 . )
All of us at AM 1260 The Rock pray that Bishop Milan Lach’s ministry back in
Slovakia as Auxiliary Bishop of Bratislava will be as fruitful there as it has been for
us here in Northeast Ohio, and that God willing, we’ll someday know again who’s
walking through the radio station door just by the familiar sound of a joyful voice
proclaiming, “Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!”
Dick Russ is a founding board member of St. Peter The Rock Media and the host of AM 1260 The Rock’s “Table Talk”