Bishop Richard Malone on Friday afternoon arrived at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport following his flight from Boston, addressed the media, and began with that signature New England humor.
"This is the first time in my life I've ever purchased a one-way ticket," Malone, a lifelong New Englander, said with a smile.
Malone says he hopes to bring healing and continue the work upon the work started by Bishop Edward Kmiec. He's also asking for patience as he begins to learn more about the Diocese of Buffalo.
"I really have a lot to learn about Western New York in general and about the Catholic Church here that is the Diocese of Buffalo with a long and rich history," he said.
Malone also addressed an ongoing issue -- the closing of schools and churches nationwide. Malone says it's something he dealt with while serving in Maine, and shared his conviction on the topic.
"That if we realistically align our resources throughout our dioceses, including here in Buffalo, we can, although it's painful getting there, we can ultimately be a stronger Catholic community with a more effective mission going forward," he said
Malone will remain the administrator of the Portland, Maine diocese until Pope Benedict names a successor. He says that's not unusual in the Catholic Church, and plans to make monthly visits there until a successor is named.
The installation mass for Bishop Richard Malone is set for Friday, Aug. 10 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Buffalo at 2:30 p.m.