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Msgr. Robert Cunningham Installed as Bishop of Ogdensburg

By Eileen Buckley

Buffalo, NY – As the Buffalo Catholic Diocese waits for the appointment of a new bishop, former Diocesan Administrator Msgr. Robert Cunningham was installed as the 13th Bishop of Ogdensburg in northern New York Tuesday.

In March, Pope John Paul named Cunningham as the next Bishop of Ogdensburg. He had been serving as diocesan administrator since the departure of former Buffalo Bishop Henry Mansell. Cunningham has served in the Buffalo Diocese for 35 years, and says his various experiences as a priest will help in his transition to lead as bishop of Ogdensburg.

"Being diocesan administrator certainly has given me an indication of some of the opportunities and challenges that come your way," Mansell said. "I've been a priest for a number of years. All of your life experiences bring you along and hep you become the person you are. Hopefully it will help me to become a good Bishop for the people of Ogdensburg."

Cunningham will be leading a much smaller diocese in Ogdensburg. He says it will be an adjustment to move into a rural area after living in Buffalo all his life.

"We have 119 parishes in Ogdensburg," Cunningham said. "I'm sure I will have a wonderful opportunity to visit all of those parishes through the years. We do not have Catholic hospitals, but Ogdensburg does have Catholic nursing homes."

The 60-year-old Bishop is a Kenmore native.

The Diocesan College of Consultors will be meeting within eight days of Tuesday's installation to elect a new diocesan administrator to serve until the next bishop of Buffalo is named.