ALBANY, N.Y. – A holy celebration will be held on Thursday as the Albany Diocese thanks Bishop Howard Hubbard for his service and welcomes Edward Scharfenberger as Albany's new bishop.
The bishop-elect has an extensive background. He was a priest of the Brooklyn Diocese before being elected by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Hubbard.
Bishop Hubbard reached the mandatory age of retirement in October when he turned 75-years-old. He was the longest tenured bishop of a single diocese in the country before he submitted his resignation last year.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was ordained as priest in1973 at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and held a number of parish and administrative positions in New York City.
Prior to that, the bishop-elect studied theology at the North American College in Rome where he earned his Bachelor's Degree. He also studied at Fordham University's Law School in New York City where he earned his doctorate and practiced law for a number of years.
Father Kenneth Doyle will be commentating the two in a half hour ceremony. He says the church is expecting about 1,200 people.
"It is an honor and I fully expect this is the last time in my life I'll be doing something like this," said Father Doyle.
Father Doyle has worked in Rome as a journalist covering the Pope for a number or years, so he says this isn't out of his comfort zone. He been preparing over the weeks looking over the rituals of the ordination.
"I do have some notes. I have the program for the ceremony and I've annotated it with my own thoughts and comments," he said.
On Thursday, he will officially be ordained as the 10th leader of the Albany Diocese. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. The ceremony will consist of several different rituals which include.
"He's given the symbols of the episcopal office which are the ring, the mitre, which he wears on his head and crozier of the shepherd's crook because he's the pastor of the shepherd of the flock," explained Father Doyle.
A live streaming of the ordination will be on the church's website.
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