ST. BONAVENTURE - Bishop Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, will preside over St. Bonaventure University's Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit on Sunday, Aug. 30.
The celebration, which begins at 4:30 p.m. under a tent between Devereux Hall and Café La Verna and concludes with a picnic, will include much more than Mass.
· Bishop Malone will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters to honor his service to Western New York and the Diocese of Buffalo.
· Dr. Patrick Panzarella will be saluted for his 50 years of service as a faculty member in the Department of English.
· The university's new Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, led by Fr. Michael Calabria, O.F.M., will be recognized.
· Finally, Bishop Malone will be the first to place the Eucharist back in St. Joseph's Oratory, which he will bless to signify the project to restore the oratory as an adoration chapel.
The oratory project was made possible thanks to a lead gift from Andy LaVallee of LaVallee's Bakery and Live the Fast Ministries in Massachusetts. Fr. Ross Chamberland, O.F.M., director of SBU's Lateran Center, and Jennifer Kane, class of 1984, have been instrumental in the alumni fundraising effort to support the project.
The picnic will immediately follow the oratory blessing. Hickey Dining Hall will be closed from 4 p.m. Sunday until the picnic begins.
"It is truly a great honor and blessing to have Bishop Malone celebrate the beginning of our academic year with us," said Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., university president.
Bishop Malone, 69, was ordained a priest in 1972. In 1974, having received a voluntary leave of absence from parish ministry, he was named to the faculty of St. Clement High School, Somerville. Two years later, he joined the faculty and served as chaplain at Xaverian High School in Westwood, Mass.
He was appointed to the faculty of his alma mater, St. John Seminary College, in 1979, where he taught religious and theological studies until 1990. He also served as registrar and academic dean during his tenure.
During those same years, he was a part-time chaplain at Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.) and Regis (Weston, Mass.) Colleges and taught at Emmanuel College, Boston. In 1990, the bishop was assigned as chaplain to the Harvard-Radcliffe Catholic Student Center, Cambridge.
He accepted the position of director of the Office of Religious Education for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1993; two years later he was named secretary of education, the cabinet position that oversees all the educational activities of the Boston Archdiocese. In March of 2000, he was ordained Titular Bishop of Aptuca and appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, South Region.
Bishop Malone produced and hosted television programs for Boston Catholic Television; was the archdiocesan liaison with the local Jewish community; and lectures nationally on evangelization, catechesis and Catholic education.
Bishop Malone was installed as the 11th bishop of Portland, Maine, on March 31, 2004. On May 29, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop Malone 14th bishop of Buffalo. On Aug. 10, 2012, he was installed as 14th bishop of Buffalo at St. Joseph Cathedral.