PORTLAND - Some 627 days after Pope Benedict named him 14th Bishop of Buffalo, and 10 years and four days after Pope John Paul II appointed him 11th Bishop of Portland, Bishop Richard J. Malone's tenure as bishop and Apostolic Administrator of Portland came to an end on Feb. 14, when Bishop Robert P. Deeley was installed as 12th Bishop of Portland.
The installation marked Bishop Malone's final official duty as chief shepherd of the Pine Tree State's nearly 200,000 Catholics.
In his welcome, Bishop Malone said, "To you, Bishop Deeley, let me simply say that we thank you and we thank God for your episcopal ministry and we thank our Holy Father, Francis, for sending you here as the 12th Bishop of Portland. God's people in Maine are grateful ... and so am I," which was received with hearty laughter.
A short time later, Bishop Deeley was escorted to the cathedra at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by Cardinal Seán O'Malley, Archbishop of Boston, and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, marking his official installation as Bishop of Portland.
During his homily, Bishop Deeley made special mention of the more than 100 priests gathered for his installation, as well as the other priests of his new diocese. "We are so grateful for our faithful priests, for their daily acceptance of their vocation, for their fidelity to the mission the Church entrusts to them and their continuing dedication to the people they serve."
Bishop Deeley said he arrived in Maine with no set agenda. "We need to do that together," he said. "I need to hear from you. We need to get to know each other. There will be challenges we will have to encounter. If there is to be a direction set, it will have to come from the Scripture, and the words of my motto from Paul's letter to the Ephesians, gives us a point of reference: "Living the truth in love."
Bishop Malone's tenure as Bishop of Portland began with his installation on Mar. 31, 2004. On Aug. 10, 2012, the day of his installation as Bishop of Buffalo, Pope Benedict appointed him Apostolic Administrator of Portland, which meant Bishop Malone led two dioceses simultaneously for nearly 19 months.
Anticipating Bishop Deeley's installation, Bishop Malone wrote in his February Western New York Catholic column, "I am grateful that now I will be able to focus all of my time, energies and pastoral leadership on our Catholic community of Western New York, the Diocese of Buffalo. While I will continue to serve in several roles of national responsibility within the USCCB (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops), my service as our diocesan bishop will be able to be deepened and broadened as we move forward in faith."
Also attending Bishop Deeley's installation from the Diocese of Buffalo were Msgr. David Slubecky, Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia (a classmate of Bishop Deeley), and Father Ryszard Biernat, vice chancellor of the diocese and Bishop Malone's priest secretary.