BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Within a few hours, Buffalo Catholics will have a new leader.
Bishop Richard Malone will officially take over, at his installation mass, at St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Buffalo.
Before hand a very large procession of Priests, Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops will kick off the official installation.
66-year-old Richard Malone spent eight years as Bishop in Portland, Maine.
In May, Pope Benedict select him to succeed retiring Buffalo Bishop Edward Kmiec.
Malone is a lifelong Catholic. He was born in Massachusetts and called a rising star in the Catholic Church.
However, Malone has his critics. He strongly opposes gay marriage, which is legal in New York State.
Some have also questioned his connection to disgraced ex-Cardinal Bernard Law.
Malone worked under Law during the highly publicized clergy sex-abuse scandal and cover-ups in Boston.
Malone strongly denies any ties to that controversy.
Before his installment, Eyewitness News talked to Bishop Malone about his vision for the Buffalo Diocese.
Malone says "My job will be to be the Chief Sheppard of the Catholic community here in Buffalo, to try and build up the catholic community here and serve them as their shepard the best I can and at the same time I want to work with other leaders anyway I can for the common good not just of the Catholic people but of the community of Western New York."
The Bishop also showed his fun side. He's a big fan of Boston sports, admitting "I am a zealous baseball fan but for the Boston Red Sox. And as I've said earlier on I think I may be able to convert from the Patriots to the Bills because I don't have the same conviction there and commitment but I have to admit and be candid and transparent with out wonderful people of Western New York, it would not be a sign of integrity for me to say that I can abandon the red sox, mea culpa, although this particular season one could be tempted."
Malone will continue to lead the Portland Diocese while it fights against the legalization of gay marriage in Maine.
A statewide referendum on same-sex marriage is scheduled for November 6th, 2012. After that, Malone will be in Buffalo full-time.
The process begins Friday afternoon at 2:15, and it's expected to be quite spectacular.
The mass to officially install the Bishop begins at 2:30 P.M.
Stay with wkbw.com and watch Eyewitness News at Noon, 5 and 6 P.M. for full details.