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
Area 16,511 km2 (6,375 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2012)
721,000 (44.2%)
Parishes 164
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
Auxiliary Bishops Edward M. Grosz
Emeritus Bishops Edward U. Kmiec
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, United States. 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. The Most Reverend Richard Joseph Malone became the 14th bishop of the Buffalo Diocese, August 10, 2012.

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 the following eight counties in Western New York State:[1]

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


The lists of bishops and auxiliary bishops of the diocese and their years of service, followed by other priests of this diocese who became bishops:

Bishops of the diocese[edit]

  1. John Timon, C.M. † (1847 - 1867); Died
  2. Stephen Michael Vincent Ryan, C.M. † (1868 - 1896); Died
  3. James Edward Quigley † (1896 - 1903); Appointed Archbishop of Chicago
  4. Charles Henry Colton † (1903 - 1915); Died
  5. Dennis Joseph Dougherty † (1915 - 1918); Appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia; Cardinal in 1921
  6. William Turner † (1919 - 1936); Died
  7. John Aloysius Duffy † (1937 - 1944); Died
  8. John Francis O'Hara, C.S.C. † (1945 - 1951); Appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia; Cardinal in 1958
  9. Joseph Aloysius Burke † (1952 - 1962); Died
  10. James Aloysius McNulty † (1963 - 1972); Died
  11. Edward Dennis Head † (1973 - 1995); Retired
  12. Henry Joseph Mansell (1995 - 2003); Appointed Archbishop of Hartford
  13. Edward Urban Kmiec (2004 - 2012); Retired
  14. Richard Joseph Malone (2012–Present)[3]

Auxiliary bishops[edit]

Other priests of this diocese who became bishops[edit]

Major ministries[edit]

  • Campus Ministries
  • Catholic Charities
  • Catholic Health System
  • Holy Name Society
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society
  • Youth Ministry[2]

Hospitals and affiliates[edit]

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


  • Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora[2]


Colleges and universities[edit]

High schools[edit]

Elementary schools[edit]

  • Catholic Academy of Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls
  • Catholic Academy of West Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Christ the King School, Snyder
  • DeSales Catholic School, Lockport
  • Immaculate Conception School, East Aurora
  • Immaculate Conception School of Allegany County, Wellsville
  • Mary Queen of Angels Regional 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
  • Our Lady of Black Rock School, Buffalo
  • Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament School, Depew
  • Our Lady of Victory School, Lackawanna
  • Queen of Heaven School, West Seneca
  • Sacred Heart Villa School, Lewiston
  • South Buffalo Catholic School - Notre Dame Academy, Buffalo
  • 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. Christopher 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 University School, Buffalo
  • St. Mark School, Buffalo
  • St. Mary's Elementary School, Lancaster
  • St. Mary's School, Swormville
  • St. Peter School, Lewiston
  • St. Stephen School, Grand Island
  • Stella Niagara Education Park, Stella Niagara

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 closed. 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. The school closures caused job losses to 158 full-time and 49 part-time employees. More than 1,410 students were negatively affected by the school closures in 2007, and were required to enroll in other educational programs outside of these schools.[12] In the five years immediately preceding the school closures, many families had already begun removing their children from Catholic schools in the diocese 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.

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.[12]

While the average cost of teaching one student in the 14 schools in 2007 was $4,738, the average tuition cost for the student was $1,525. Therefore, the debt of those schools' parishes averaged $224,160, and totaled more than $3.3 million altogether. Secretary of the Department of Catholic Education Denise McKenzie 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. The Diocese of Buffalo contributed millions of dollars to support schools whose parishes used up monies to subsidize their schools. 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.[12][13]

Cheektowaga, the area hardest-hit by the school closures with five schools lost in 2007, experienced great demographic changes in recent years. 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. 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. 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. St. Barnabas School in Depew – one of the schools that closed in 2007 – had only 57 students enrolled that year, making it less than minimally viable per Msgr. John Madsen.[12][14]


  1. ^ a b "Diocese of Buffalo". Facebook. Retrieved 23 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c "About the Diocese". Diocese of Buffalo. Retrieved 10 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Harrison, Judy; Koenig, Seth (May 29, 2012). "Maine Catholic Bishop Richard Malone appointed bishop of Buffalo". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Bertrand Chaffee Hospital. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  5. ^ "About Us". Catholic Medical Partners. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Kenmore Mercy Adds New Cardiology Service" (Press release). Catholic Health. 18 November 2013. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Hospitals". Catholic Health System. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Mount St. Mary Hospital to join Catholic Health" (Press release). Diocese of Buffalo. April 29, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Religious have had tremendous impact on Polonia". Am-Pol Eagle. Cheektowaga, NY. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Colleges & Universities". Diocese of Buffalo. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Diocese begins strategic planning effort" (Press release). Diocese of Buffalo. June 8, 2005. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Diocese of Buffalo Announces Decision to Close 14 Schools as Part of Strategic Planning Process" (PDF) (Press release). Diocese of Buffalo. January 19, 2007. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Visioning for the Future: Catholic Elementary Schools Strategic Plan Phase I" (PDF). Diocese of Buffalo. November 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ Buechi, P.J. (February 2007). "Cheektowaga area hardest hit by school closings". Western New York Catholic. Buffalo, NY. 

External links[edit]

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