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Buffalo Bishop Edward Kmiec passes away following brief illness

Bishop Edward U. Kmiec was the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, passed away Saturday night. 

The Diocese of Buffalo says Kmiec had been in declining health over the past several months and passed just before midnight. He was 84 years old.

Kmiec was named the 13th Bishop of Buffalo back in 2004 by Pope John Paul II. He was bishop for eight years.

Since his retirement in 2012, Kmiec became Bishop Emeritus of Buffalo and resided at St. Joseph’s Cathedral rectory in Buffalo.

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Apostolic Administrator, released the following statement Sunday, following the announcement of Kmiec's death:

“We commend to our loving and merciful Lord the devoted soul of our brother, Bishop Edward Kmiec. He served long and faithfully the Church which he loved  greatly as a priest and bishop, and as one who’s kindness, warm and pastoral spirit guided, comforted, and revealed Christ to so many throughout his nearly 60 years of priesthood. We mourn his passing, but are also joyous in the sure knowledge that he is now with the One who motivated his life’s purpose and who has called this good and faithful servant home.”

Kmiec's siblings preceded him in death. He is survived by several nieces and nephews, as well as several grand nieces and nephews.

The general public will have the opportunity to pay their respects to Kmiec on Thursday, July 16 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, located at 50 Franklin Street in Buffalo. People can pay their respects from noon to 7 p.m. Social distancing will be required and visitors must wear face masks.

The Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Friday, July 17; however, it will not be open to the public. The mass will instead be live streamed on the cathedral's website at noon.

Those who knew Bishop Kmiec are remembering him. 

2 On Your Side spoke with Monsignor David LiPuma at Our Lady of Victory Basilica. He called Bishop Kmiec a kind and pastoral person.

"When Bishop Kmiec would assign a pastor to a parish, he would always say to them, 'Now just go and be kind to the people,' and that's what he did in Western New York throughout the whole time he was our bishop and after his retirement. He loved it here so much that he wanted to stay in Buffalo, so he retired here at the St. Joseph Cathedral."

LiPuma added: "He will be long remembered as a beloved bishop of Buffalo who did his very best to care for each and every person."

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