Brooklyn priest new bishop for Albany, N.Y., Catholic diocese
There will be a press conference to introduce Bishop-elect Scharfenberger at 11 a.m. today at the Pastoral Center of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger succeeds Bishop Howard J. Hubbard who has led the Diocese of Albany for 37 years. Bishop Hubbard reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on Oct. 31, 2013 and submitted his letter of retirement to Pope Francis at that time. He was instructed to stay on until the appointment and installation of a new bishop.
Of the announcement, Scharfenberger said "How grateful I am to His Holiness Pope Francis for the awesome privilege to serve as pastor of all the wonderful people in the Diocese of Albany. I am touched by the warm welcome of Bishop Hubbard who has served the Church in Albany with love and dedication for 37 years. My heart is full of gratitude to God for my loving family, especially my 93 years old parents who were generous enough to welcome me, my two brothers and two sisters into this world. They taught us how to pray, to trust God and to know Jesus as our friend."
In a statement, Bishop Hubbard said "It is with great joy that we welcome Bishop-Elect Edward Scharfenberger of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as the tenth diocesan bishop of Albany. (The Diocese of Albany) is a territory dotted with cities, towns, villages, suburban and rural communities. It is an area blessed with not only magnificent physical beauty but most important with the rich and vibrant spiritual splendor of its 350,000 priests, deacons, religious and lay faithful. We greet him with warmth, hospitality and a sincere desire to be attentive and responsive to his leadership as our shepherd."
During his time at St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, a large multi-ethnic parish where he has served for the past 12 years, he also served as Promoter of Justice for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and was a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors. His most recent assignments included vicar for Strategic Planning, and episcopal vicar for Queens.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn on May 29, 1948. He is the son of Edward and Elaine (Magdal) Scharfenberger of Warwick, NY. He has four siblings: Miriam Muse (Glenn) of Warwick; James Scharfenberger of Warwick; Dr. Dennis Scharfenberger (Anna) of Warwick, and Lois Sheptuck (Deacon Paul) of Edison, NJ. He has four nephews and two nieces. One nephew, Jonathan, is deceased.
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