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Episcopal Diocese Celebrates Ministry of Bishop J. Michael Garrison | News

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Episcopal Diocese Celebrates Ministry of Bishop J. Michael Garrison
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Episcopal Diocese Celebrates Ministry of Bishop J. Michael Garrison

After twelve years as the Episcopal Bishop of Western New York, the Right Rev. J. Michael Garrison is set to retire on April 30 of this year. A special Eucharist celebrating his ministry here will take place at St. Paul's Cathedral at 128 Pearl Street in Buffalo on Sunday, March 6, at 3 p.m. The Rt. Rev. John P. Croneberger, retired Bishop of Newark, will be the guest preacher.

The service will be followed by a dinner reception at Salvatore's Italian Gardens.

Bishop Garrison's leadership fostered a renewed focus on mission across the diocese. Primary among these efforts was the diocese's response to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to financial donations, several groups of adult and youth missioners traveled to New Orleans to provide hands-on help during the rebuilding effort.
The same was true locally in August of 2009, when flood waters ravaged the communities of Gowanda and Silver Creek.

The diocese has also been active in international mission work inspired by Bishop Garrison and his wife Carol, who have led a group of diocesan missioners to Honduras each January to work at Our Little Roses, an orphanage for girls sponsored by the Episcopal Church. Honduras is the Western Hemisphere's second poorest nation.
 
During Bishop Garrison's episcopacy the diocese ordained its first three non-stipendiary, locally trained priests. These priests now serve small congregations in Perry and Dunkirk, neither of which had been able to support even a part time priest. Both congregations agree that having their own priest has enriched their common life and brought new vitality to their respective faith communities.

Bishop Garrison has also been a huge supporter of youth ministry throughout his years here. The annual Bishop's Ball, instituted during his tenure, brings youth of the diocese together with the bishop for a mid-winter celebration. The bishop was also a regular attendee of the diocesan summer youth camps.

It was also during Bishop Garrison's tenure, that the diocese moved it's offices to their new location at 1064 Brighton Road in the Town of Tonawanda. The freshly renovated facility affords the diocese the ability to host conferences and other events utilizing two large meeting halls directly adjacent to the business offices. The move took place this past January.

Bishop Garrison was consecrated in April of 1999, coming to Western New York from the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada. The Garrison's are planning to retire to Florida later this year.

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