Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

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Diocese of Buffalo
Dioecesis Buffalensis
Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.svg
Country United States
Territory Western New York (Counties of Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Chautauqua, Wyoming, Cattauraugus, and Allegany, New York)
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of New York
Metropolitan 795 Main Street
Buffalo, New York
- Catholics

690,000 (42.3%)
Parishes 166
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established April 23, 1847
Cathedral St. Joseph Cathedral
Patron saint St. Joseph
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Richard Joseph Malone
Metropolitan Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Emeritus Bishops Edward U. Kmiec
Bishop emeritus of Buffalo
Bernard Joseph McLaughlin
Auxiliary Bishop emeritus of Buffalo
Diocese of Buffalo map 1.png
St. Joseph Cathedral, Buffalo, New York
St. Joseph Church, Gowanda, New York, 2007
Religious Artifact, St. Columban Retreat Center, Derby, New York, 1998

The Diocese of Buffalo is a Roman Catholic diocese headquartered in Buffalo, New York, USA. It is included in the province of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, in the Roman Rite. The Buffalo Diocese includes eight counties in Western New York State. The Catholic population is nearly 700,000. The Diocese is divided into more than 150 parishes, which also include churches, schools, convents, seminaries, hospitals, and colleges. The Buffalo Diocese was established in 1847. From the Buffalo Diocese, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester was created in 1868. On August 10, 2012, Richard Joseph Malone became the bishop of the Buffalo Diocese; he is its current bishop.

Range and population[edit]

The Diocese covers 6,455 square miles (16,720 km2) throughout the eight counties of Western New York; and has a Catholic population of 690,000.[1] In the Diocese are 166 parishes, 15 high schools, 52 elementary schools, seven colleges and universities, one seminary, convents, and four hospitals.[2]



The Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo was established April 23, 1847. It was set apart from the great Diocese of New York and the See located at Buffalo on Lake Erie, the territory comprising nearly one-third of the State of New York.


In 1868, the Diocese of Rochester was formed from the eastern counties of the territory of the Diocese of Buffalo. In 1896, after Bishop Stephen Vincent Ryan's death, four more counties, including Steuben, Schuyler, Chemung, and Tioga, were taken from the Diocese of Buffalo and added to the Rochester jurisdiction.


The Diocese of Buffalo includes eight counties in Western New York State.[1] The counties are identified in the list to follow.

  • Allegany
  • Cattaraugus
  • Chautauqua
  • Erie
  • Genesee
  • Niagara
  • Orleans
  • Wyoming


  1. John Timon, C.M. † (April 23, 1847 Appointed - April 16, 1867 Died)
  2. Stephen Michael Vincent Ryan, C.M. † (March 3, 1868 Appointed - April 10, 1896 Died)
  3. James Edward Quigley † (December 12, 1896 Appointed - January 8, 1903 Appointed, Archbishop of Chicago)
  4. Charles Henry Colton † (June 10, 1903 Appointed - May 9, 1915 Died)
  5. Dennis Joseph Dougherty † (December 6, 1915 Appointed - May 1, 1918 Appointed, Archbishop of Philadelphia)
  6. William Turner † (March 10, 1919 Appointed - July 10, 1936 Died)
  7. John Aloysius Duffy † (January 5, 1937 Appointed - September 27, 1944 Died)
  8. John Francis O'Hara, C.S.C. † (March 10, 1945 Appointed - November 23, 1951 Appointed, Archbishop of Philadelphia)
  9. Joseph Aloysius Burke † (February 9, 1952 Appointed - October 16, 1962 Died)
  10. James Aloysius McNulty † (February 12, 1963 Appointed - September 4, 1972 Died)
  11. Edward Dennis Head † (January 23, 1973 Appointed - April 18, 1995 Retired)
  12. Henry Joseph Mansell (April 18, 1995 Appointed - December 18, 2003 Installed, Archbishop of Hartford)
  13. Edward Urban Kmiec (August 12, 2004 Appointed - May 29, 2012 Retired)
  14. Richard Joseph Malone (installed August 10, 2012)[3]

Auxiliary Bishops[edit]

Major ministries[2][edit]

  • Campus Ministries
  • Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Health System
  • Holy Name Society
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Youth Ministry

Hospitals and affiliates[edit]

  • Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Springville[4]
  • Catholic Medical Partners, Buffalo[5]
  • Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Kenmore[6][7]
  • Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Buffalo[7]
  • Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center, Lewiston[8]
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital, Buffalo[7]
  • Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus, Cheektowaga[7]


  • Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora[2]


Colleges and universities[10][edit]

High schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Elma
  • Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls
  • Catholic Academy of West Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Christ the King School, Snyder
  • DeSales Catholic School, Lockport
  • Fourteen Holy Helpers School, West Seneca
  • Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora
  • Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville
  • Mary Queen of Angels School, Cheektowaga
  • Nardin Academy Elementary and Montessori Divisions, Buffalo
  • NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Nativity of our Lord School, Orchard Park
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary School, Clarence
  • Niagara Catholic Junior High School, Niagara Falls
  • Northern Chautauqua Catholic School, Dunkirk
  • Notre Dame Academy, Buffalo
  • Our Lady of Black Rock School, Buffalo
  • Our Lady of Pompeii School, Lancaster
  • Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School, Depew
  • Our Lady of the Sacred Heart School, Orchard Park
  • Our Lady of Victory School, Lackawanna
  • Sacred Heart Villa School, Lewiston
  • Southern Tier Catholic School, Olean
  • Southtowns Catholic School, Lake View
  • SS. Peter and Paul School, Hamburg
  • SS. Peter and Paul School, Williamsville
  • St. Aloysius Regional School, Springville
  • St. Amelia School, Tonawanda
  • St. Andrew's Country Day School, Kenmore
  • St. Benedict School, Amherst
  • St. Bernadette School, Orchard Park
  • St. Christopher School, Tonawanda
  • St. Francis of Assisi School, Tonawanda
  • St. Gregory the Great School, Williamsville
  • St. John the Baptist School, Alden
  • St. John the Baptist School, Kenmore
  • St. John Vianney School, Orchard Park
  • St. Joseph School, Batavia
  • St. Joseph School, Gowanda
  • St. Joseph University School, Buffalo
  • St. Leo the Great School, Amherst
  • St. Mark School, Buffalo
  • St. Mary Elementary School, Lancaster
  • St. Mary of the Lake School, Hamburg
  • St. Mary School, Swormville
  • St. Peter School, Lewiston
  • St. Stephen School, Grand Island
  • St. Vincent de Paul School, Springbrook
  • Stella Niagara Education Park, Stella Niagara
  • Queen of Heaven School, West Seneca

School restructuring[edit]

In 2005, Bishop Edward Kmiec announced that the Diocese would begin a school restructuring effort as part of the "Journey of Faith and Grace Campaign."[11] In 2007, 14 Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese were closed.[11] The closures, alphabetically by city, included Most Precious Blood, Angola; Genesee-Wyoming Catholic, Attica; St. Agnes, St. Bernard, and St. Rose of Lima, Buffalo; Infant of Prague, St. Josaphat, Kolbe Catholic, Resurrection, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, Cheektowaga; St. Barnabas, Depew; St. Hyacinth, Dunkirk; Blessed Sacrament, Kenmore; and St. Edmund, Tonawanda.[11] The school closures caused job losses to 158 full-time and 49 part-time employees.[11] More than 1,410[11] students were negatively affected by the school closures in 2007,[11] and were required to enroll in other educational programs outside of these schools. In the five years immediately preceding the school closures, many families had already begun removing their children from Catholic schools in the diocese[11] due to the instability of the schools, and concerns about not desiring their children to be enrolled in schools in which there was little or no future.[11]

Regarding the 14 school closures in 2007, Bishop Kmiec stated in a February 2007 article written by Mark Ciemcioch in the Western New York Catholic:

This restructuring is necessary to respond to changing demographics, population and economic realities in Western New York;...this is the most difficult decision I've ever made [while] being a bishop for 24 years.[11]

While the average cost of teaching one student in the 14 schools in 2007 was $4,738,[11] the average tuition cost for the student was $1,525.[11] Therefore, the debt of those schools' parishes averaged $224,160, and totaled more than $3.3 million altogether.[11] Secretary of the Department of Catholic Education Denise McKenzie[11] stated that the deficit can, therefore, lead to a significant deficit in the schools and associated parishes even prior to the beginning of each school year.[11] The Diocese of Buffalo contributed millions of dollars to support schools whose parishes used up monies to subsidize their schools.[11] In early 2007 alone, the Diocese was operating with a $2.1 million deficit, in part, due to the subsidies provided to schools and parishes.[11] Even so, while one of the 14 schools that closed had an enrollment of fewer than 60 students in 2007,[11] St. Joseph School in Gowanda, New York has remained operational with fewer than 100 students,[12][13][14] in large part, due to the contributions of Mining Entrepreneur Daniel R. Gernatt, Sr., and the endowment for the school that is in his family's name,[15] as well as the relative isolation of Gowanda from the diocese's other schools. With fewer than 55 students in 2013 and a lack of viability for keeping the school open, St. Joseph's is slated to be closed in June 2014.[16]

Cheektowaga, the area hardest-hit by the school closures - with five schools being closed, there, in 2007[11][17] - experiencing changing demographics in recent years.[17] The area was once heavily Catholic, though the majority of the population of older adults has been replaced by those who are younger and non-Catholic.[17] Younger couples have moved to the area, purchasing starter homes, and have moved out of the area when they begin having children, causing in decline in enrollments in the city's Catholic schools, particularly in kindergarten classes.[17] The dramatic change has resulted in drastically reduced enrollments, for example in the Infant of Prague School in 1960 that had 1,120 students, and had only 117 enrolled students in 2007.[17]

St. Barnabas School in Depew - one of the schools that closed in 2007 - had only 57[17] students enrolled that year, making it less than minimally viable per Msgr. John Madsen.[17]

Major contributors[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Facebook: Diocese of Buffalo, Facebook, 2013, Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Diocese of Buffalo: About the Diocese, Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, 2013, Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  3. ^ "Most. Rev. Richard J. Malone Appointed Bishop Of Buffalo". May 29, 2012. Retrieved May 29, 2012. 
  4. ^ Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  5. ^ Catholic Medical Partners: Independent Practice Association, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  6. ^ Kenmore Mercy Adds New Cardiology Service, Catholic Health, 18 November 2013, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d Catholic Health System: Hospitals, Catholic Health, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  8. ^ Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  9. ^ Religious have had tremendous impact on Polonia, Am-Pol Eagle: The voice of Polonia, Cheektowaga, NY: Am-Pol Eagle, Undated, Retrieved 10 March 2014.
  10. ^ Diocese of Buffalo: Colleges & Universities, Diocese of Buffalo, Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "School restructuring moves forward," Western New York Catholic, February 2007, Buffalo, NY: Western New York Catholic/Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, February 2007, Ciemcioch, M.
  12. ^ "Budget of St. Joseph School," Gowanda, NY: St. Joseph Parish, 2007.
  13. ^ St. Joseph School,, 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  14. ^ St. Joseph School, Great Schools, Oakland, CA: Great Schools, Inc., 2014, Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Foundation funds supporting Catholic education, The Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  16. ^ Farewell St. Joseph's: Principal reflects on history of 90-year-old school, The Observer, Dunkirk, NY: John D'Agostino, 19 January 2014, Willis, J., Retrieved 4 March 2014.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g "Cheektowaga area hardest hit by school closings," Western New York Catholic, February 2007, Buffalo, NY: Western New York Catholic/Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, February 2007, Buechi, P.J.
  18. ^ a b 2003 St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Eden Prairie, MN: Olan Mills Church Directories, January 2004.
  19. ^ 2011-2012 Annual Report, Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, NY, Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  20. ^ Docstoc: Hilbert College 2006, Docstoc, Santa Monica, CA | Accessdate= 29 November 2013.
  21. ^ Hilbert connections: Fall 2010, Hilbert College, Hamburg, NY, Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  22. ^ Golfing for Nardin Academy athletics, Nardin Academy, Buffalo, NY, Retrieved 27 November 2013.
  23. ^ Tech Mission: Urban Ministry Grants: Daniel & Flavia Gernatt Family Foundation, Urban Ministry Grants, Boston, MA, Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  24. ^ a b Form 990-PF 2008 Return of Private Foundation: Daniel & Flavia Gernatt Family Foundation, Guidestar, Washington, DC, Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  25. ^ a b Catholic Charities: Thank you corporate donors, 2012 Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal, Buffalo, NY, Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  26. ^ a b Bishop Kmiec to present Bishop's Medal to three individuals, Catholic college, Gowanda Penny Saver News, Hamburg, NY: H&K Publications, 17 December 2006.
  27. ^ a b 'Lucky 7s' for local patriarch Dan Gernatt, Sr., Gowanda News, Gowanda, NY: The Metro Group, 15 February 2014, Pankow, M., Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Bishop's Medal recipient: Daniel R. Gernatt, Sr.," Celebrate Catholic education dinner 2007, Buffalo, NY: Diocese of Buffalo, 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°54′17″N 78°50′58″W / 42.90472°N 78.84944°W / 42.90472; -78.84944