ALBANY -- Parishioners in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese are excited about the upcoming ordination and installation of a new bishop.
The ceremony kicks off Thursday afternoon at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Bishop-elect Edward Scharfenberger is set to become the 10th bishop since the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese began back in 1847.
Bishop Howard Hubbard has been bishop of the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese for the past 37 years.
"So for many of the people in the diocese, he's the only bishop they've ever known," said the Rev. Kenneth Doyle from the Parish of Mater Christi in Albany.
But come Thursday, the diocese will officially have a new bishop. The ordination and installation of Scharfenberger will be celebrated at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany in front of about 1,200 people.
Doyle walked NewsChannel 13 through the process.
"There will be about 30 bishops from New York State and from the northeast," Doyle said.
Among the bishops in attendance will also be those who will do the ordination. They include Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York City, Hubbard and Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a Vatican representative to the United States. The ceremony is expected to last about 2 and a half hours. There will be a normal Mass.
"Then right after the gospel comes a time where Archbishop Vigano reads the decree of commission as bishop," Doyle said.
Then the principal consecrators pray for the new bishop. He will also be presented with all the symbols of his new position, the book of the gospels, the ring, the hat and crosier.
"After that, each of the bishops present greets him with a sign of peace. He then continues to celebrate the mass," Doyle said. "Right after communion in the Mass, he processes through the church, giving people his blessing. Then he comes back to the alter. At one point after the prayers of ordination, he's brought to the episcopal chair in the cathedral and seated there. And that's the moment at which he actually becomes bishop of Albany."
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger has been a pastor for the last 10 years in the Brooklyn Diocese. Doyle said he will continue Hubbard's traditions.
"My guess is that he'll stay in the path of Bishop Hubbard whose main passion was really working with the poor, reaching across ecumenical lines and friendship. The new bishop will continue both of those traditions," Doyle said.
Scharfenberger will be installed and ordained at 2 p.m. Thursday . You can watch live coverage on your desktop or mobile device at wnyt.com. There will be complete coverage on our evening newscasts, starting with NewsChannel 13 Live at 5.