The leader of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is making special accommodations for a Confirmation Mass that is at the same time as the Buffalo Bills playoff game. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley says Bishop Richard Malone has added an earlier Confirmation at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Orchard Park.
“So I said I’m happy to do a Confirmation in the morning and in the afternoon and you folks can figure out who comes to which,” explained Bishop Malone.
Bishop Malone tells WBFO News after learning the Bills kickoff against Jacksonville is at 1 p.m. he realized his schedule was freed up to appear first appear at a 10:30 a.m. Mass at Nativity Sunday to conduct Confirmation for families who wish to watch the game.
“There were people on both sides of the timing issue – talking to the pastor and folks at the parish, those who wanted to keep it at 1:15 – of course, because they had family coming from away and others who knew, as I suspected, it would be a big distraction for the young people and for many families if we insisted on 1:15 as the only time,” remarked Bishop Malone.
"I was very surprised. In fact when my pastor told me the bishop had called, I thought he was kidding,” responded Melissa Potzler, Parish Life Coordinator at Nativity Church.
About 70-teens will be making their Confirmation Sunday at the parish. The original Mass for the confirmation will remain at 1:15 p.m.
Potlzer said the Bishop’s decision was “a great move.”
“We haven’t heard back from everyone yet. We had to leave some messages, but it looks like we are going to have about 60 to 65 at the earlier Mass – they have chosen to change and about five maybe ten at the original time at 1:15,” Potlzer noted.
Both Potzler and Bishop Malone noted the Sacrament of Confirmation is very important in the Catholic Church, but the Bishop's decision to accommodate families is a great way to connect with the youth – a generation of teens who have never experienced the Buffalo Bills in a playoff game.
“Every one of our candidates is under, I think the age of 17, so yeah – they’ve never seen this,” Potzler remarked.
“They’re sophomores and juniors – so they weren’t even alive for the last time the Bills were in the playoffs, so it is pretty special for all of us,” Bishop Malone responded.
Bishop Malone confessed to us that he will be curious how the Bills are doing during the 1:15 p.m. service, but has made plans to record the game to watch later Sunday.
“I may have to kind of squelch an occasional thought in my mind of – I wonder where the Bills are in the game,” declared Bishop Malone.