Lord, make me a channel of your peace
Most Reverend Edward U. Kmiec
Most Reverend Edward U. Kmiec was born June 4, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was the fifth of five children born to Thecla Czupta Kmiec and John Kmiec, who immigrated to the United States from Poland before World War I. All the Kmiec children, sister Helen and brothers Joseph, John, and Henry were born in the United States.
On August 12, 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Kmiec the 13th Bishop of Buffalo. He was installed as the 13th bishop of Buffalo on October 28, 2004. On May 29, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Kmiec’s resignation. The Holy Father then named Bishop Kmiec apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo. On Aug. 10, 2012, upon Bishop Richard J. Malone’s installation as 14th bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Kmiec became Bishop Emeritus of Buffalo.
Bishop Kmiec’s baptismal parish, St. Hedwig’s in Trenton, is where he attended school throughout his grammar school years, and from St. Hedwig’s he went on to Trenton Catholic Boys High School. In 1954, Edward Kmiec left the Trenton area to attend St. Charles’ College in Catonsville, Maryland, and later St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, where he received his B.A. degree in 1958. Subsequently, he was sent to Rome for his theological studies, residing at the North American College and attending the Gregorian University. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1961 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and his first Mass was celebrated at St. Peter’s in the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa. He continued his studies and received his S.T.L. degree in 1962 from the Gregorian University.
Upon returning to the United States in the summer of 1962, Bishop Kmiec served as associate pastor of St. Rose Parish in Belmar, New Jersey. In 1965, he was appointed Secretary and Master of Ceremonies to His Excellency, Bishop George W. Ahr, whom he served in that capacity through 1980.
Bishop Kmiec was named Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by His Holiness Pope Paul VI in 1977. On November 3, 1982, he was ordained to the Episcopacy. He served as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Trenton from 1982 until he was named tenth bishop of Nashville by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and was subsequently installed to that office on December 3, 1992.
For more than 27 years, Bishop Kmiec was actively involved in various phases of administration of the Diocese of Trenton. This included serving as vice chancellor of the diocese from 1966 through 1982. He was a member of the Diocesan Budget Committee, the Diocesan Priests’ Council and the Diocesan Board of Consultors. He also served as Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General of the diocese, and he was the general secretary for the Fourth Synod of the Diocese of Trenton that ended in 1991. He also was a member of the Public Policy Committee of the New Jersey Conference of Catholic Bishops, for whom he also served as secretary-treasurer.
Bishop Kmiec served as chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on the Diaconate from 1995 through 1998 and was chairman of Region V of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops from 1994 through 1998. He has also served on numerous other national and regional committees, the Bishops’ Committee on Human Values, the Bishops’ Committee on Pastoral Research and Practices, and the Bishops’ Committee of Priestly Life and Ministry. He has been on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, the North American College, Rome.
Bishop Kmiec also served as a member of the Bishops’ Secretariat for Catholic-Jewish Relations, the Secretariat for Catholic-Orthodox Relations. He also served on the Bishop’s Committee on the Laity and the Board of the Southeast Regional Office for Hispanic Affairs, and was a regional Episcopal Advisor for the Cursillo Movement.
He is a former member of the Ad Hoc Committee for Catholic Charismatic Renewal and Administrative Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as Alternate Representative for Region V.
Since 1997, Bishop Kmiec has served on the Roman Catholic Dialogue Committee with the Polish National Catholic Church.
In addition, Bishop Kmiec served on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Nominations Committee. He also served on the Bishops’ Advisory Committee to the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, Board of the Northeast Regional Office of Hispanic Affairs, and the Board of Trustees of SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Michigan.
Bishop Kmiec is a member of the Canon Law Society of America, the Catholic League for Religious Assistance to Poland, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences, and the American Center of Polish Culture and the Pilsudski Institute of America. He is a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus and Knight Commander of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre.
Bishop Kmiec has received a number of honors since arriving in Buffalo in 2004. He has been awarded honorary doctorates from Canisius College, Niagara University, St. Bonaventure University, D’Youville College and Hilbert College. The Kenmore Mercy Hospital Foundation presented him with the Sister Mary Mechtilde Memorial Award and in 2007 he was given the Cure of Ars Award for his service to Christ the King Seminary.
Bishop Kmiec died in Buffalo on July 11, 2020. His body lies in the Bishops crypt at St. Joseph Cathedral.