Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, the 13th bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, died peacefully just before midnight last night, July 11, 2020, following a brief illness. Bishop Kmiec had been in declining health during the past several months.
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Apostolic Administrator stated: "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."
Born June 4, 1936 in Trenton, New Jersey, Edward U. Kmiec was the fifth of five children, all born in the United States, to Thecla Czupta Kmiec and John Kmiec, who immigrated to the United States from Poland before World War I.
In 1954, Edward Kmiec left the Trenton area to attend St. Charles' College in Catonsville, Maryland, and later St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, where he received his B.A. degree in 1958. He was then sent to Rome for his theological studies, residing at the North American College and attending the Gregorian University. He was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1961 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, and his first Mass was celebrated at St. Peter's in the Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa. He continued his studies and received his S.T.L. degree in 1962 from the Gregorian University.
Upon returning to the United States in the summer of 1962, Bishop Kmiec served as associate pastor of St. Rose Parish in Belmar, New Jersey. In 1965, he was appointed Secretary and Master of Ceremonies to His Excellency, Bishop George W. Ahr, whom he served in that capacity through 1980.
Bishop Kmiec was named Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) by His Holiness Pope Paul VI in 1977. On November 3, 1982, he was ordained to the Episcopacy. He served as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Trenton from 1982 until he was named tenth bishop of Nashville by His Holiness Pope John Paul II and was subsequently installed to that office on December 3, 1992.
On August 12, 2004, Pope John Paul II named Bishop Kmiec the 13th Bishop of Buffalo. He was installed as the 13th bishop of Buffalo on October 28, 2004. On May 29, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Kmiec's resignation. Upon Bishop Richard J. Malone's installation as the 14th bishop of Buffalo on August 10, 2012, Bishop Kmiec became Bishop Emeritus of Buffalo. Since his retirement, Bishop Kmiec has resided at the St. Joseph's Cathedral rectory in Buffalo.
All of Bishop Kmiec's siblings preceded him in death. He is survived by several nieces and nephews, as well as several grand nieces and nephews.
Funeral plans will be announced at the earliest opportunity.