Updated: 02/11/2014 9:45 PM
Created: 02/11/2014 5:48 PM WNYT.com
By: Abigail Bleck
ALBANY -- Many of the prayers during Tuesday's noon mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception were intended for Bishop-elect Edward Scharfenberger.
"I'm so pleased. I've been waiting and praying that we get the man we need," said Theresa Tangredi of Delmar before the service.
With an imminent priest shortage and declining membership, the hope is a new leader will help to grow the diocese -- priests and parishioners.
"New life and energy. The young ones. You have to bring the children back to our church," explained Gladys Mwesigwa, who was also attending noon mass at the cathedral just after the Scharfenberger announcement.
Since the decision came straight from Pope Francis, who seems to be wildly popular with the people, the expectation is Scharfenberger will unite the Albany Diocese.
"I hope everything works out well and we prosper as a diocese and Catholic community," said Dale King.
The fact that Scharfenberger spent much of his career in Brooklyn didn't concern those who have made their home, spiritually and otherwise, here in Albany.
"We all believe in one. Everywhere a Catholic is a Catholic," added Mwesigwa.
The Albany Diocese is made up of 14 counties and includes inner-city churches, suburban churches and rural churches.