More than 1,000 people filled downtown Buffalo's St. Joseph Cathedral this afternoon as Bishop Richard J. Malone, a New England native, was installed as the 14th bishop of Buffalo.
Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the pope's representative in the United States read the pope's letter regarding Bishop Malone's new assignment.
"I am humbly grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for the trust he has placed in me in appointing me Bishop of Buffalo. Thank you, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States, for that little phone call that invited me to step out into the deep on a new adventure in service of God and His people. I am grateful that you honor us with your presence today," Bishop Malone said.
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, now bishop emeritus of Buffalo, welcomed visiting cardinals, archbishops, bishops, religious, civic and ecumenical leaders and the lay faithful at the 2:30 p.m. installation. In addition to Archbishop Viganò, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York was in attendance and provided remarks after Communion.
Presiding cardinals Edward Egan, archbishop emeritus of New York, and Séan O'Malley, OFM Cap., joined Archbishop Henry J. Mansell, archbishop of Hartford, Conn., and former bishop of Buffalo, along with two dozen bishops from across the country. Buffalo's auxiliary bishop, Bishop Edward M. Grosz, and native Buffalonians, Bishop Donald W. Trautman, bishop of Erie, and Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, bishop of Syracuse, were among the concelebrating bishops.
During his homily, Bishop Malone spoke of the many warm welcoming folks he has met since the announcement of his appointment. He also spoke of evangelization, an important focus of his ministry.
"Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have called us to a new evangelization...not a new message, but a new impetus, new zeal, urgency and methods, with special focus on outreach to inactive Catholics," he explained. "This call is a response to the Lord's promise to tend his sheep where God says "The lost I will seek out."
Bishop Malone was able to meet many Western New York Catholics at a reception held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Buffalo following the installation. But, as he told diocesan priests at a special prayer service on Thursday evening, he plans to travel throughout the eight-county diocese to meet as many of his flock as possible. His first visit will be in Chautauqua County later this month.