SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Christmas came early for many former employees of St. Clare’s Hospital. The state Supreme Court denied the request from the Albany Catholic Diocese to dismiss the pension case.

“Lots of magic happens at Christmas and I think this is some of it,” said Mary Hartshorne.

The Catholic Church has been trying to throw the $54 million pension case out. On Thursday St. Clare’s learned of a breakthrough in their ongoing case against their former hospital corporation and the Albany Catholic Diocese.

“I have great news, the state Supreme Court sided with us, I was so thrilled,” said Hartshorne.

It’s been three years since 1,100 St. Clare’s health care workers were told they were no longer going to get the pension money they were promised.

Chairman of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance Mary Hartshorne says they can look to the next step.

“There’s one of two things that could happen a resolution, another magical miracle we think about, or a trial.”

The Albany Catholic Diocese disagrees with the decision saying they didn’t supervise the pension plan.

“While we are sympathetic to the plight of the St. Clare’s pensioners, we respectfully disagree with the court’s decision. We continue to cooperate with the parties to develop all the facts associated with the pension, its administration, and its funding.”

Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

Hartshorne says it’s been hard to pay the bills without their pensions. She is still waiting for her Christmas miracle.

“It may take a little while, were patient, and were strong. It will work, and you will see the magic.”

The case is expected to be picked up early next year.