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By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 4/4/2014 4:25 AM

Isn’t it a curious and concerning thing that so many of our Christian feasts have been overlaid – better, co-opted – by all sorts of customs that, though nice, have little to do with the essence of those feasts? Christmas comes first to mind, which for too many folks seems more a consumer-driven winter wonderland festival than the celebration of our Savior’s birthday. And don’t let me get me started on what popular American culture has done to the vigil of the Solemnity of all Saints ... better known, sadly, as Halloween.

But let’s get back to Easter. A lot of folks on Easter will enjoy Easter egg hunts, chocolate bunnies and maybe some new clothes. Nothing wrong with that. But how many will give any real thought to the Resurrection of Christ from the dead ... and to its radical meaning for their lives?
By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 3/23/2014 7:51 AM

January’s announcement that 10 Catholic elementary schools in Erie County would close has caused a great deal of consternation, and in some quarters, anger.  I certainly understand the response, and I am sorry that it has disrupted the lives of some of our school families.

This decision was the culmination of several years of objective, painstaking, collaborative work, done mostly by the laity, and was clearly articulated among the goals with the June 2011 launch of “Faith in Tomorrow,” the strategic plan for Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo:  ”By 2013-14, in a collaborative effort, school, parish and diocesan leadership will right-size the number and location of elementary school buildings to address the demographic realities, attain defined enrollment per building and achieve financial stability.” 
By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 3/5/2014 9:59 AM

Catholic Relief ServicesThe Catholic Relief Services staffer was describing her young son’s unique way of answering a classmate’s question about where his mother worked.  He told his friend, intending to communicate that she is on staff at CRS’s San Salvador office, “She works in God’s house.”  

Such insight from the mouth of a child!  The work that CRS does in nearly 100 countries, helping those most in need, is surely God’s work.  And so, how fitting to call the CRS headquarters “God’s office.”

I am writing this month’s column near the end of a five-day trip to El Salvador.  I am here as part of a small delegation of members of the Catholic Relief Services board of directors, on which I sit, and supporters and staff.  Our purpose is to observe the work the U.S. bishops’ official international relief and development agency is doing to help people break the cycle of crippling poverty through community-based, sustainable development efforts.

 

By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 2/19/2014 5:31 PM

When I first arrived in Buffalo, I was encouraged to learn of Senator Kennedy's pro-life position.  Today, I am extremely disappointed and deeply concerned about his turnaround on this most critical issue, the protection of pre-born human life.   

For anyone to say that he or she is a faithful Catholic and to be pro-abortion/pro-choice rights is totally inconsistent with Catholic teaching, which is clearly articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church:  “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.  This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.”
By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 2/4/2014 10:09 AM

If anyone is looking for me on February 14, I will be in Portland, Maine – and not on a vacation! 

That day, the memorial of Saints Cyril and Methodius (and, though not in the official liturgical calendar, St. Valentine’s Day!) is the long-awaited date for the Mass of Installation of the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Portland.  Bishop Robert P. Deeley, my successor, was a seminary classmate when we began our studies for the priesthood in Cardinal O’Connell Seminary in Boston in September of 1964.  We offer him our prayers for a blessed and fruitful tenure as Maine’s new chief shepherd.
By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 1/19/2014 2:41 PM

The following op-ed piece was published in The Buffalo News on Jan. 19, 2014:

Invest in EdWhen a Catholic school closes, the impact can be far-reaching.

Lives are disrupted.  Families need to find another Catholic school for their children.  Teachers and staff lose their jobs and parishes lose part of their identity.

There is a solution, and it rests with the New York State Legislature:  the Education Investment Tax Credit bill, which would greatly reduce the need for future restructuring of our schools.  The tax credit would also benefit public schools and teachers. 

By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 1/16/2014 12:41 PM

These are the remarks I delivered at the Catholic Center on Jan. 15, 2014, when I announced the revitalization of our Catholic elementary schools:

We have a number of important announcements to make today as we continue to implement “Faith in Tomorrow,” the strategic planning process for Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo that was launched in June 2011.

While that work began before my installation in August 2012, I quickly embraced the concept and support the efforts of the Catholic School Advisory Council, our pastors and principals, and countless lay volunteers, who put the good of Catholic schools ahead of parochial concerns.  As a result of the announcements that we are making today, we are moving towards an equilibrium among our Catholic elementary schools, allowing for continued accessibility, sustainability and future growth.

 

 

By Bishop Richard J. Malone on 1/3/2014 10:17 AM

Pope FrancisThe fact that Time magazine chose Pope Francis from among some other very, very compelling possibilities as Person of the Year reveals the world wide acclaim the man is achieving and the acceptance and the fascination.

I was at the airport in Buffalo recently when a gentleman was passing quickly to his flight and he said “Father, if the pope keeps living the way he is, I’m going to get back to Church.”

Pope Francis really has attracted the attention of, not only Catholic people, but of the world.
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