Bishop George Martin Kuzma, bishop emeritus of the Eparchy of Van Nuys CA, reposed in the Lord on Sunday, December 7, 2008 at Mount Macrina Manor in Uniontown, Pa.
Bishop George was born on July 24, 1925, the youngest child of Ambrose and Anna (Martin) Kuzma of Windber, Pa. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, after which he began his studies for the priesthood. He attended St. Francis College in Loretto, Pa. and St. Procopius College in Lisle, Ill.
When Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary opened in Pittsburgh, he transferred there and received his collegiate degree from Duquesne University. Upon completion of his studies, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Nicholas T. Elko on Pentecost Sunday, May 29, 1955.
His priestly service included parishes in the Pittsburgh, Detroit and Cleveland areas before his move to the West Coast, where he had always desired to serve. He served as pastor of Annunciation Parish in Anaheim, Calif. from 1972 until his elevation to the episcopacy in 1987. On February 4, 1987, he was ordained to the episcopacy in Passaic, NJ, where he served as auxiliary bishop to Bishop Michael J. Dudick.
On January 15, 1991, Bishop George returned to his beloved West Coast as the second bishop of the Eparchy of Van Nuys. During his tenure there, he worked tirelessly to set the debt-ridden eparchy on firm financial ground and following the devastating Northridge Earthquake he relocated the administrative offices of the eparchy to Phoenix, Ariz.
Upon reaching his seventy-fifth birthday, he submitted his resignation to the Holy Father, in accordance with canon law. His Holiness, Pope John Paul II accepted Bishop George's resignation on December 5, 2000. He resided at Mount Macrina Manor in Uniontown, Pa. until the time of his passing.
Bishop George was preceded in death by his parents, Ambrose and Anna; brothers, John and Andrew; and sisters, Pauline, Mary and Anna. Numerous nieces and nephews and a sister-in-law, Phyllis, survive him.
Funeral services for a departed bishop will be celebrated at ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, 210 Greentree Rd., Munhall, Pa., on Sunday, December 14 and Monday December 15 at 7:00 p.m. Visitation will be held from 3:00 - 9:00 p.m. Sunday and from 1:00 - 9:00 p.m. Monday. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Tuesday, December 16 at 10:30 a.m.
Interment will follow at Mount Macrina Cemetery in Uniontown, Pa. at 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent for the purpose of education of seminarians to: The Eparchy of Van Nuys, 8105 N. 16th, St., Phoenix, AZ 85020.
Vičnaja jemu pamjat!