BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The oldest living Buffalo Bishop died Monday one day before his 46th anniversary of his ordination as Bishop.
Bishop Bernard Joseph McLaughlin died at the age of 102 in his Kenmore home.
He was the oldest bishop in Buffalo, second oldest bishop in the United States and third oldest bishop living in the world before he died; health had faded in his later years.
He began his work in seminary school in 1925, and became a priest in the Vatican City in 1935.
Three times McLaughlin was raised to higher titles by two different popes. A third, Pope Paul VI, invited him to Rome — marking the first time a Buffalo bishop-elect became an ordained Bishop by a pope. McLaughlin would have celebrated that day Tuesday.
“He was interested in developments in the diocese, affirming of my own efforts, and expressed his availability to assist me in any way he could,” Malone said. “I said to him, ‘Please just continue to pray for the diocese, especially for vocations and for the New Evangelization, and for me.’”
Malone said McLaughlin was more than happy to do all he could for the faith and for Buffalo’s diocese, but Malone said that’s how he was, a giving person.
Throughout retirement, McLaughlin maintained his interest in the diocese, but made his last public appearance in 2012 at a mass when he reached his 100th birthday.
McLaughlin reflected in 2009 to a Catholic newspaper over his time as a priest.
“It’s a wonderful life and has remarkable rewards for those who accept the challenge of priesthood and faithfully live it out,” McLaughlin told Western New York Catholic newspaper. “I am especially grateful for the gift of priesthood.”
Funeral arrangements are expected soon. McLaughlin is survived by Susan DiCarlo, his niece who took care of him, and Father Robert Waters, his nephew who became a Buffalo priest.