Today the Vatican announced that Msgr. Edward Scharfenberger, a pastor and episcopal vicar in the Diocese of Brooklyn, has been named the new bishop of Albany.
Msgr. Scharfenberger will succeed Bishop Howard Hubbard, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 in October. Bishop Hubbard had been the longest sitting bishop in the United States, having been named bishop of Albany by Pope Paul VI in 1977 at the age of 38.
From a statement of the Diocese of Brooklyn on Msgr. Scharfenberger’s new appointment:
Monsignor Scharfenberger was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn by Bishop James Hickey (who would go on to become Cardinal Archbishop of Washington, D.C.) on July 2, 1973, at St. Peter’s Basilica. He has served in a number of pastoral and administrative positions. Most recently he served as Episcopal Vicar for Queens. In addition, he recently served as pastor of Saint Matthias Church in the Ridgewood section of Queens and also as Vicar for Strategic Planning.
“First and foremost, Monsignor Scharfenberger is a good priest,” said the Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “He is primarily concerned about people and is untiring in finding new ways to proclaim the message of redemption which is at the heart of the Gospel.”
A statement from Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was posted on the Diocese of Albany’s website. It reads, in part:
It is humbling when I think that I soon will be counted among the successors of the Lord’s Apostles. I am not worthy of this office and I hope that our priests, deacons, religious and lay people will pray for me often as, together, we continue along our journey of faith.
What else do I ask for? What do I hope for? I ask the priests, deacons, religious and laity to help me to be myself – my best self. I promise to love and respect all of you by letting you be who you are and to bring out the best in you. Let’s do this for one another. I will spend every talent that God has given to me, and every ounce of energy, for the Church in Albany.