Today is Bishop McLaughlin’s 75th anniversary of his ordination. Amazing!
From the Diocesan press release:
Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, the eighth bishop of Buffalo that Bishop McLaughlin has served under, paid a visit to Bishop McLaughlin’s Town of Tonawanda residence to meet with him and offer a blessing. He also celebrated with a family dinner.
“He is such an icon priest for us,” Bishop Kmiec said. “He is a wonderful symbol of priest and of priesthood. He is a priest with a capital p. What impressed me about him when I first came here was his wonderful humility. He is a priestly man, but also a very humble man. He is such a gentle person, very respectful, and very supportive of what I have done. He is very conscious of what is happening in the life of Church of the United States among the bishops and here in our diocese.”
A recent study done by CARA remarked that nearly 50% of men who applied to the priesthood from the 2009 ordination class were discouraged by someone, including parents in some cases. Bishop McLaughlin’s journey seems to confirm that trend in reverse:
During an interview with Daybreak TV Productions several years ago, Bishop McLaughlin remembered Msgr. James F. McGloin, who established the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary, as one of the people who encouraged his vocation. “He came to Visitation School to address the higher grades and encouraged the boys to become priests and the girls to become nuns. Becoming a priest came naturally to me.”
One of his teachers at Visitation School, Sister Benigna Schleh OSF(w), also influenced his decision. “You should go with him (Msgr. McGloin); you should become a priest,” she urged young Bernard on numerous occasions.
His parents were pleased with his decision to enter the priesthood. “We had a fairly large family (seven children). They were very happy about it.”