His ways are faithfulness and love. Psalm 25:10
Bishop Michael W. Fisher
Most Rev. Michael W. Fisher
Bishop Michael William Fisher was born on March 3, 1958 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the eldest of five children, two sisters and two brothers. As a youth, he played Little League baseball, and wrestled, and was active in the Boy Scouts, and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. Bishop Fisher recalls always working, starting as an eight-year-old paperboy for The Baltimore Sun. Bishop Fisher attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute high school, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting at the University of Maryland in 1984.
With his business and accounting degree, Bishop Fisher worked as a comptroller for a psychiatric practice in Bethesda. Feeling compelled to discern a vocation to the priesthood, he entered seminary at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1986. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal James A. Hickey at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on June 23, 1990.
Upon ordination, Bishop Fisher was assigned to Sacred Heart parish, La Plata. He was appointed pastor at Holy Family parish in Hillcrest Heights in 1995 and then pastor at St. John Neumann parish in Gaithersburg in 1999. He was named a Chaplain to His Holiness, a distinction that comes with the title of “Monsignor,” by Pope John Paul II in 2005. Later that year, he was appointed Vicar General for the Apostolates, where he oversaw the archdiocesan ministries for education, ethnic ministries, social justice and service, parish life and youth ministry. In 2006 Cardinal Donald Wuerl appointed him Vicar for Clergy and Secretary for Ministerial Leadership, a position he has held for the last twelve years. In this role, Bishop Fisher oversees the recruitment, formation and care of the clergy for the archdiocese.
He was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington by Pope Francis on June 8, 2018 and ordained to the episcopate on June 29, 2018 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
On December 1, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Michael William Fisher, Auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Washington, as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo.
Bishop Fisher attributes much of his call to the priesthood to the love and sacrifices of his parents and family, the constant prayers of a grandmother, the encouragement and example of wonderful priests, and a life-long desire to serve and leave this world a better place. Bishop Fisher’s family has roots across Maryland and Washington D.C.: his father was a Baltimorean and his mother was a Washingtonian, and extended family reside throughout the region.
In his spare time Bishop Fisher loves to read and study history, especially American and Church history. He enjoys camping and hiking in the mountains and touring historical sites. He once attempted to plant an orchard on a few acres of land in the North Mountains of West Virginia. Bishop Fisher is a life-long Baltimore Orioles fan, but he will root for the Washington Nationals …when they don’t play the O’s!
Journeys & Insights
Coat of Arms of Bishop Michael W. Fisher
The colors, gold (or) and red (gules) are from the arms of His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, the Archbishop of Washington, Bishop Fisher’s principal consecrator, and under whom he served as auxiliary bishop. The colors are used also in the arms of James Cardinal Hickey under whom the Bishop served as a priest. They are also associated with some Fisher coats of arms.
The line embattled that separates the two fields is taken from the tower embattled in the coat of arms of Cardinal Wuerl.
The cross bottony, found in the arms and flag of Maryland as the Calvert Cross, alludes to the Bishop’s Maryland heritage. The crosses here are red, to refer to the red cross on the tower in the arms of Cardinal Wuerl. The three crosses are a symbol of the Holy Trinity.
The lion of Saint Mark is a tribute to Bishop Fisher’s patron saint. It refers also to the lion in the arms of Cardinal Hickey, who ordained him to the diaconate and priesthood.
The motto is based on Psalm 25:10, “His ways are faithfulness and love.”