Greeted by Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, the soon-to-be-retired leader of Catholics in Western New York, the incoming bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Richard J. Malone, arrived at Buffalo Niagara International Airport on Aug. 3, one week before his installation Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral.
The welcoming delegation also including several members of the Chancery, including Bishop Edward M. Grosz, Msgr. David S. Slubecky, Msgr. Paul A. Litwin and Msgr. David G. LiPuma. Students from Catholic Academy of West Buffalo and St. Benedict School in Eggertsville also greeted the bishop. CAWB students gave the bishop a school baseball hat while a s tudent from St. Benedict's presented Bishop Malone with flowers.
During an airport news conference, which was broadcast live on the diocesan Ustream channel, Bishop Malone said he likes the energy among Catholics in the diocese. "I want to build on that energy in what we call, 'The New Evangelization.' It means finding every creative way we can to introduce people or reintroduce them to the Lord Jesus Christ."
Bishop Malone's installation is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 10, at 2:30 p.m. While he leads the nearly 700,000 Catholics in the eight counties of Western New York, he will continue to be the head of the Diocese of Portland, serving as apostolic administrator until Pope Benedict XVI names Bishop Malone's successor. "It will be daunting," he said, "but I have a good staff there, as I know I have here. We're going to be having at least weekly video conferences. My plan is also to return to Portland around once a month."
Bishop Malone will be the princpal celebrant at a Mass Saturday, Aug. 4, at the Millenium Hotel in Cheektowaga, part of the Felician Sisters chapter meeting. Bishop Kmiec and Bishop Grosz will concelebrate. On Monday, Aug. 6, Bishop Malone will celebrate the funeral of Msgr. Leo E. Hammerl, a retired priest of the diocese who died on Aug. 2. The funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Peace Church in Clarence.
In the days following his installation, Bishop Malone will very quickly begin to travel around the diocese, "Celebrating Mass, meeting with members of the community, a lot of traveling, meeting folks, listening to them will be the first priority."