St. Barnabas taps the Rev. James Kulway as sixth pastor

by Laura Bednar

After meeting with Edward Malesic, bishop of Cleveland, on March 24, Rev. James Kulway was appointed as the sixth pastor at St. Barnabas Catholic Church.

Kulway joined the parish in 2020 as the parochial vicar, which he said is a temporary position on a four-year rotation. In that post, he assisted the former pastor Rev. Ralph Wiatrowski.

When Wiatrowski took medical leave last year, Kulway became the parish administrator, running the parish on a temporary basis. Wiatrowski retired at the beginning of this year. Kulway’s role as pastor is a six-year renewable term and involves leading the parish in a “shepherding role, governing role and pastoral role” he said.

According to a parish press release, Kulway “has been a guiding light through the ups and downs in recent times and proven his steadfast dedication to the parish and school.”

This is Kulway’s second assignment, as he was previously at Mary Queen of Apostles in Brookpark. At 36, he said it is not a surprise that priests are becoming pastors at a somewhat young age. “Many priests on their second assignments became pastors,” he said.

What did surprise him was the size of the parish and school. “I love the challenge and the opportunity,” he said. “It was a nice flow into this role, and it is something I will grow into. I picked up quickly that I enjoy being here.”

There have been many changes since the pandemic, and Kulway said he plans to re-engage the parish. This includes a focus on ministry such as retreats, small fellowship groups, and serving those in need within the parish boundaries.

“The church should be a presence in the city,” said Kulway. He said he would also like to renovate the church facility in the coming years.

Malesic will lead the installation mass for Kulway on Sunday, June 4 at 10:30 a.m. ∞

Rev. James Kulway.
Photo submitted.
Rev. James Kulway visits with children
at the parish’s “Bible Adventures” event.
Photo submitted.