"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 (May 29, 2012) at the Vatican.
Bishop Malone arrived in Buffalo on Monday, May 28. He concelebrated Mass this morning at the bishop's residence with Bishop Kmiec, diocesan Chancellor Msgr. Paul A. Litwin and Msgr. David G. LiPuma, priest secretary to Bishop Kmiec and diocesan vice chancellor.
Following a 10 a.m. news conference with Bishop Kmiec at the Catholic Center on May 29, Bishop Malone met with diocesan staff and then joined Bishop Kmiec for visits to St. Joseph Cathedral. "Absolutely splendid," Bishop Malone said of the cathedral. On Wednesday, May 30, Bishop Malone will return to Maine.
Born March 19, 1946, in Salem, Mass., Bishop Malone, 66, has been bishop of Portland since 2004. Prior to his assignment in Maine, he served as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston upon his episcopal ordination in 2000.
"I am most grateful to our Holy Father for his trust in appointing me bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo. While there is sadness in my heart at leaving the Catholic faithful of Maine, especially the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, seminarians and lay leaders, I look forward with enthusiasm to taking up my responsibility as chief shepherd of the Church of Buffalo. I am very grateful to follow in the footsteps of Bishop Kmiec who is a loving, faithful and generous servant of the Gospel."
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.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, welcomed Bishop Malone with this statement: "It was with great joy that I learned of our Holy Father's appointment of Bishop Richard J. Malone as the new bishop of Buffalo. Bishop Malone has been an outstanding bishop of Portland, and I know that the priests, religious, and faithful of Buffalo will find in him a most capable and pastoral shepherd. I welcome him warmly to the province of New York and look forward to working closely with him.
"At the same time, I would also like to express my thanks and admiration to Bishop Edward Kmiec for his years of wise and caring leadership of the Church in Western New York. He has been a good friend, whose insights and advice I have come to rely upon during the past 3 years that I have been archbishop of New York. I hope we can count on his wise counsel for many years to come."
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.
Bishop Kmiec said that Bishop Malone will be looking forward to making the transition from Portland to Buffalo. "I have assured Bishop Malone that, based on my own experience, he can expect to receive a very warm welcome from all the faithful of the diocese. I am sure they will be ready and willing to support him to further the mission of the diocese. He will quickly learn that the people of this region are noted for being good neighbors, not just as citizens, but as active participants in the life of Church," Bishop Kmiec said.
Canon Law required Bishop Kmiec to submit his letter of resignation to the pope on June 4, 2011, his 75th birthday.
Bishop Malone is the son of the late Samuel and Helen Malone, and the brother of Harriet Malone, an art teacher at a Catholic high school in Massachusetts.
Bishop Malone will be installed as Bishop of Buffalo at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo on Friday, Aug. 10, 2012, at 2 p.m.
For more information about on Bishop Malone, visit http://www.buffalodiocese.org/BishopMalone.aspx