Reverend Michael Balash has been appointed Director of the Office of Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown by Bishop George V. Murry, S.J. The appointment is effective September 17, 2012.
The purpose of the Director’s position is to serve the Diocese of Youngstown by working to enable the people of God to better celebrate the presence of Christ in worship and sacraments. The Director advises and serves as a resource to the diocesan bishop on liturgical matters; serves as chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, implementing liturgical policies and recommendations generated by that Commission; aids in preparing and coordinating diocesan liturgical celebrations (ordinations, Rite of Election, Chrism Mass, Easter Triduum, Christmas, Confirmation celebrations at the Cathedral and other diocesan celebrations); facilitates ongoing development of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults; offers consultation and in-service to parishes in the areas of worship, sacraments and Christian Initiation; executes the process of formation of lay leaders of prayer; assists diocesan offices in the preparation of liturgical celebrations sponsored by those offices; among other duties.
Father Balash was ordained June, 20, 1987. He previously served as associate pastor at St. Michael Parish in Canton and St. Patrick Parish in Kent. Following additional studies at the University of Notre Dame, Father Balash served as pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish in Ashtabula, St. Joseph Parish in Mantua and currently at St. William Parish in Champion. He will continue his pastorate at St. William in addition to his new assignment. Father Balash also served as Dean of Ashtabula County Deanery.
Father Balash has served as a member and secretary of the diocesan Priests’ Council and as a member of the Diocesan Board of Religious Education. He has been a member of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission since 1999. On the national level, Father Balash serves on the National Board of Directors of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical commissions as co-representative for Ohio and Michigan, as a member of the executive committee and currently as Treasurer of that organization.