Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo, celebrates the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination this month. In honor of Bishop Grosz, we are celebrating him all week with a series of stories about his ministry prior to his anniversary Mass Sunday, Feb. 1, at 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral. All are welcome.
One of the reasons Bishop Richard J. Malone was pleased he was appointed to lead the Diocese of Buffalo in 2012 was that he would finally have brother bishops to share company with. As bishop of Portland, Maine, Bishop Malone didn't work with any auxiliary bishops, but Buffalo now has two: Bishop Emeritus Edward U. Kmiec and Bishop Edward M. Grosz.
"I was delighted to know that I would have an active auxiliary bishop," Bishop Malone said of Bishop Grosz. "If a diocese is blessed to have one, the auxiliary bishop is the primary collaborator with the ordinary bishop. With that, are all the priests, but he is the first one. We have weekly staff meetings and Bishop Grosz is very much involved and present in those meetings. In particular, Bishop Grosz very often handles very sensitive situations that I assign him to deal with."
While the two were acquainted with each other, Bishops Malone and Grosz didn't get a chance to develop their working relationship and friendship until Bishop Malone was assigned here. Bishop Malone called him a good worker.
"I knew (Bishop Grosz) enough to say hello to him at the bishops conference (meetings), but I didn't know him personally until I came here," Bishop Malone said. "He is a very healthy, energetic and deeply spiritual priest and bishop. He's a very fine collaborator. Anything I ask him to do in his work in the diocese, he gets to it immediately and carries it through in a very detailed and timely way."
One of the attributes Bishop Malone appreciates about Bishop Grosz is his personality and humor.
"He'll come up with things that make us all laugh," Bishop Malone said. "Much of our work that we do together is very serious, sensitive work, and he injects a little bit of wit here and there, which is helpful. He's known for putting little smiley stickers on memorandums, and he was delighted recently when I showed him how to do it on the iPhone. There's dozens of little things you can do, and he just thought it was nifty."
Bishop Malone chuckled a bit when he related a story about encouraging Bishop Grosz to embrace the world of modern communication devices, a story that illustrates the auxiliary bishop's humorous nature.
"When I was first here, I was trying to convince Bishop Grosz that he should not rely only upon the typewriter and upgrade his technological skills," Bishop Malone said. "He was resistant at first, but finally gave in and got an iPhone, an iPad and a computer on his desk. There was none of that when I came. He finally said, 'I am tired of the Episcopal harassment!' Now he loves all this stuff."