NYC priest appointed Catholic bishop of Albany

Updated: 02/11/2014 9:39 PM
Created: 02/11/2014 9:17 AM WNYT.com
By: Kumi Tucker

ALBANY - Bishop-elect Edward Scharfenberger is the next leader of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese.

The 65-year-old priest and lawyer comes from the Brooklyn Diocese.

"I like to learn. It's one of the things I like," he said. "I like to hear and to be a good learner. You have to be a good listener. So challenge me to be a good listener, to hear where you want to see the church to go, to give me the guidance and support to take you as your leader where God wants us to go."

He recently served as pastor of St. Matthias Church, which is a large multi-ethnic parish in Queens. During this time he was also a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors.

He speaks French, Italian, German and Spanish.

He will be replacing Bishop Howard Hubbard who led the diocese for 37 years and was required to submit his resignation when he turned 75 in October.

Hubbard gave his successor a gift, including a large map of the 14 counties of the diocese.

"We have this zucchetto from my predecessor, Bishop Edwin Broderick, and to really make you feel at home, we have a Mets cap," said Hubbard, to much laughter.

Scharfenberger said he would like the church to be more engaged with people one-on-one, and that it should be a priority to attract young men and women to religious life.

"I think we need a perception of the church that the church is a fun place to be, is a good place to be, is a happy place. In fact, it's not even a place. It's a community of people who enjoy being human beings, helping one another, bringing the joy of the gospel out there," he said.

He will be ordained and installed as bishop of Albany on Thursday, April 10 at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. The principal ordaining bishop will be New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan.


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