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RIP: ‘Green Bishop’ Bud Cederholm (1944-2023)

By Mark Michael

The Rt. Rev. Roy F. (Bud) Cederholm, who served as suffragan bishop of the Diocese of Massachusetts from 2001 to 2011, died August 27 at 79.

“His deep pastoral heart and devotion to congregational life, honed over decades of ministry as a parish priest, continued to characterize his ministry as bishop,” said Massachusetts bishop Alan M. Gates. “Whether supporting clergy and lay leaders, advocating passionately for environmental stewardship, or teaching children a new camp song — in countless ways Bishop Bud was a manifestation of the church’s care for God’s people and the world in which we dwell.”

Cederholm was a native of southeastern Massachusetts, and after training for the priesthood at Bexley Hall, he began his ordained ministry at St. Stephen’s Church in Cohasset, where he had previously been a high school math teacher. He then served for 13 years at St. Paul’s Church, White River Junction, Vermont, and then returned to his home diocese to become rector of Christ Church, Needham.

Working alongside Bishop Thomas Shaw, Cederholm was responsible for congregational development in the Boston-based diocese, one of the Episcopal Church’s largest. He led the diocese’s popular family camp for years, played his guitar during parish visitations, and as “the Green Bishop” he was a passionate advocate for environmental stewardship.

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Mello, who spent his ministry in the Diocese of Massachusetts before becoming Bishop of Connecticut in 2022, remembered on Facebook, “Bishop Cederholm played a significant role in my formation as a priest, exercised his episcopal ministry with grace, humility, and joy and was a model Red Sox fan. For all of these reasons, and so many more, he will be sorely missed.”

Cederholm is survived by his wife, Ruth Ann, and by their sons Matt and Dan. Gates said a diocesan celebration of Cederholm’s life and ministry will be held at a later date.

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