The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo was established on April 23, 1847. It serves the following counties in New York State: Erie, Niagara, Genesee, Orleans, Chautauqua, Wyoming, Cattaraugus and Allegany. The Diocese covers 6,455 square miles and has a Catholic population of 702,884. In June 2005, Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, the bishop of Buffalo, initiated a “parish-based strategic plan and spiritual revitalization initiative” called “Journey in Faith and Grace.” Through this initiative, the Diocese of Buffalo “restructured” churches in the Vicariates of Southeast Buffalo, Northern Erie, and Eastern Erie. The restructuring called for 77 worship sites to be phased out, while 198 worship sites will remain in use.