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Malone introduced as next Buffalo bishop

The Diocese of Buffalo has introduced its next Bishop.

Bishop Richard J. Malone,66, will take over as the 14th Bishop of Buffalo, replacing the retiring Edward Kmiec.

“It is with great joy and happiness to announce that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted my resignation and has appointed the Most. Rev. Richard J. Malone, bishop of Portland, Maine, as the new ordinary for the Diocese of Buffalo,” said Bishop Edward U. Kmiec. “Bishop Malone is a colleague of mine in the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and we have been acquainted over the years. He comes to Western New York with tremendous experience and a wonderful reputation for being a caring, pastoral bishop and a true shepherd to his people.”

The Holy Father’s appointment was announced at 6 a.m. (Eastern) today at the Vatican.  Bishop Malone arrived in Buffalo Monday.

”My profound gratitude to our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, for his trust in me in appointing me to the See, this historic vibrant vibrancy of Buffalo.  I come to you happily and without any hesitation.  I look forward to being your neighbor, your friend, your brother, your bishop," Malone said at his introductory news conference Tuesday morning.

"It's an honor and a consolation to succeed Bishop Edward Kmiec, who has been such an outstanding shepherd here for eight years and left a firm foundation on which, in challenging times, we can continue to build our future."

Bishop Malone’s formal schooling took place in Massachusetts.  He graduated from St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers in 1964, studied at Cardinal O’Connell Seminary in Jamaica Plain and received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, a bachelor’s degree in divinity and a master’s degree in biblical studies from St. John Seminary in Boston.  In 1981, he was awarded a doctorate in theology from Boston University and he earned his licentiate in sacred theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge in 1990.

Ordained to the priesthood on May 20, 1972, by Archbishop Humberto Medeiros at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, Bishop Malone’s first assignment was at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham where he served as associate pastor.  During a voluntary leave of absence from parish ministry, he served as a member of the faculty at St. Clement High School in Somerville.  At the conclusion of his leave, he was assigned to Xaverian High School in Westwood and St. John Seminary.  He also served as a part-time chaplain at Wellesley and Regis Colleges and taught at Emmanuel College in Boston.

Bishop Malone was chaplain at the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Center and in 1993, he was named director of the Office of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Boston.  In 1995, he was appointed archdiocesan secretary for education.

An active member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Malone recently completed a term as chairman of the Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and continues to serve on that committee.  He served two terms on the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and is a member of the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services where he is chair of the U.S. Operations Committee.  He also sits on the board of St. Mary Seminary and University in Baltimore and Blessed John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass.

Following Tuesday's press event, Bishop Malone will tour the Catholic Charities office and two of the area's iconic Catholic structures: Saint Joseph Cathedral and Our Lady of Victory Basilica in Lackawanna.

Malone officially replaces Bishop Kmiec August 10.