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Pope Francis Appoints Bishop Michael William Fisher 15th Bishop of Diocese of Buffalo

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On this Giving Tuesday Pope Francis has given the gift of Auxiliary Bishop Michael William Fisher to the Diocese of Buffalo as the 15th Bishop of the diocese.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to the Holy Father for this gift to serve the people of Buffalo as their bishop,” said Bishop Fisher. “I am eager to become part of this vibrant faith community, with a proud and distinguished legacy of Catholic education, ministry and civic service.”

Auxiliary Bishop Michael Fisher

Bishop Fisher acknowledged that the Diocese of Buffalo has a rough road ahead. “Though the challenges that currently confront the Diocese of Buffalo are many and significant, they are not equal to the resolve of so many committed lay women and men, devoted priests, deacons and religious across Western New York, who are no less determined to reveal God’s transformative love that has the power to bind every wound, renew and make us whole,” said Bishop Fisher.

“This is a blessed and wonderful day for the good people across Western New York,” said Apostolic Administrator Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger. “In Bishop Michael Fisher, they (The Diocese of Buffalo) have been given a priest, pastor and bishop whose passion to serve, to listen, to heal and comfort have distinguished his 30-year ministry.”

Sister Mary McCarrick COO for the Diocese of Buffalo looks forward to working with the new bishop. “The breath of his experience that he brings as a bishop in Washington, D.C. will be a gift to the Diocese of Buffalo.” she said.

Bishop Fisher offered his gratitude and admiration to Bishop Edward Scharfenberger for his devotion to serving as Apostolic Administrator while also leading the Diocese of Albany.

Born on March 3, 1958 in Baltimore, Maryland, Bishop Michael William Fisher was the eldest of five children, two sisters and two brothers. As a youth, he played Little League baseball, and wrestled, and was active in the Boy Scouts, and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. A eight-year-old Bishop Fisher started as a paperboy for The Baltimore Sun. Bishop Fisher attended the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute high school, and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting at the University of Maryland in 1984.

He used his business and accounting degree as a comptroller for a psychiatric practice in Bethesda, but felt compelled to discern a vocation to the priesthood. He entered seminary at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland in 1986 and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Washington by Cardinal James A. Hickey at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle on June 23, 1990.

Upon ordination, Bishop Fisher was assigned to several parishes and was named a Chaplain to His Holiness, a distinction that comes with the title of “Monsignor,” by Pope John Paul II in 2005. Later that year, then-archbishop Theodore McCarrick appointed Bishop Fisher Vicar General for the Apostolates.

Bishop Fisher was named an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Washington by Pope Francis on June 8, 2018 and ordained to the episcopate on June 29, 2018 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. On December 1, 2020, Pope Francis named Bishop Fisher as the 15th Bishop of Buffalo.

Over his nearly thirty years in priestly ministry Bishop Fisher has served on various boards and committees of the archdiocese, including, College of Consultors, Priest Council, Administrative Board, Priest Retirement Board, Clergy Personnel Board, Deacon Review Board, Deacon Council, Needy Parish Committee, Forward in Faith Committee. He also serves as an Ecclesiastical Counselor to the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. Much of Bishop Fisher’s ministry has involved the continuing education of priests, particularly in aiding new pastors in their roles and the planning and implementation of ongoing clergy training via convocations and retreats.

Bishop Fisher attributes much of his call to the priesthood to the love and sacrifices of his parents and family, the constant prayers of a grandmother, the encouragement and example of wonderful priests, and a life-long desire to serve and leave this world a better place. Bishop Fisher’s family has roots across Maryland and Washington D.C.: his father was a Baltimorean and his mother was a Washingtonian, and extended family reside throughout the region.

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