Bishop Malone will not preside at Sesquicentennial Mass this weekend

“ He was concerned that he not be a distraction to Canisius College at a time when its supposed to be a great celebration for the college,” President Hurley said.

Bishop Richard J. Malone walks during a previous Canisius event. PHOTO COURTESY CANISIUS COLLEGE

Bishop Richard J. Malone walks during a previous Canisius event. PHOTO COURTESY CANISIUS COLLEGE

Bishop Richard J. Malone won’t preside at Canisius’ Mass of Celebration (Sesquicentennial Mass) this year after he contacted President John J. Hurley the week of August 26th and offered to withdraw from the Mass.
“He sent me a note [email] saying he was concerned with the, well, rising furor over the Father Nowak case and the attention it was getting the media. He was concerned that he not be a distraction to Canisius College at a time when its supposed to be a great celebration for the college,” President Hurley said.
The Bishop has recently been criticized for his handling of the allegations against the Rev. Jeffrey Nowak by former Christ the King seminarian Matthew Bojanowski. Nowak was accused of violating the seal of confession and using the information from the confession to push a romantic relationship with Bojanowski. Additionally, he was accused of taking photos in Bojanowski’s apartment of a love letter between Bojanowski and the Bishop’s secretary the Rev. Ryszard Biernat three years ago.
According to President Hurley, the invitation to be the principal celebrant was made years ago. The Mass planning starts well in advance to accommodate the Jesuit Provincial’s schedule, long before the Nowak accusations began, Hurley said.
President Hurley accepted the Bishop’s withdrawal.
The Bishop will also not preside nor be present at the Mass of the Holy Spirit, which President Hurley says he was not invited to and has not always been invited to.
Director of Campus Ministry Mike Hayes says that he was recently contacted by President Hurley and told that the Bishop was “unavailable” for both Masses. The Undergraduate Student Association first relayed this information regarding Mass of the Holy Spirit from Hayes during discussion at their Sept. 3 meeting.
The Rev. Slon will be the homilist and Jesuit Provincial Rev. John Cecero, SJ, will be the principal celebrant for the Sesquicentennial Mass with Canisius High School, on Sept. 14 at 4:30 p.m at St. Joseph Cathedral at 50 Franklin Street. Mass of the Holy Spirit will be Oct. 2, with a welcoming and prayer at Christ the King Chapel at 9:30 a.m., followed by Mass at the Montante Cultural Center at 10 a.m.
Mike Pesarchick contributed reporting to this story.

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