Bishop Bernard J. McLaughlin, auxiliary bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Buffalo, will mark his 100th birthday at noon on Monday, Nov. 19, with a special Mass that will be celebrated at St. John the Baptist Church in Kenmore, where he served as pastor in the 1970s and is now pastor emeritus.
The principal celebrant of the Mass will be Bishop Richard J. Malone. Bishop Donald W. Trautman, bishop emeritus of Erie and a native of Buffalo, will give the homily. Concelebrants will include Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop emeritus of Buffalo, Bishop Edward M. Grosz, auxiliary bishop of Buffalo, Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, bishop of Syracuse and apostolic administrator of Rochester, Bishop Matthew H. Clark, bishop emeritus of Rochester and priests of the Diocese of Buffalo.
"Bishop McLaughlin's presence and his holy priesthood have been a blessing to the Church of Buffalo," Malone said. "He has always been a beautiful example of selfless, dedicated service to the people of God, and I pray that our Heavenly Father will continue to provide our dear bishop with good health and abundant blessings."
McLaughlin is the sixth oldest living bishop in the world, and the second oldest bishop in the U.S.
In 2009, McLaughlin reflected upon his priesthood, telling the Western New York Catholic, "It's a wonderful life and has remarkable rewards for those who accept the challenge of priesthood and faithfully live it out."
McLaughlin was born in North Tonawanda. He was ordained to the priesthood in Vatican City on Dec. 21, 1935. Pope Paul VI ordained him a bishop at the Vatican on Jan. 6, 1969, making him the first priest of the Diocese of Buffalo to be ordained a bishop by the Holy Father.
In retirement, McLaughlin presided at countless confirmations throughout the eight counties of Western New York and continued to celebrate daily Mass at St. Timothy Church in Tonawanda well into his 90s.
"I am especially grateful for the gift of priesthood," Bishop McLaughlin said.