Skip to comments.NYC Rev. Msgr Edward Scharfenberger ordained 10th bishop of Catholic Diocese of Albany
Posted on 04/10/2014 3:16:29 PM PDT by NYer
ALBANY, New York — The cathedral filled with applause as New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan placed the bishop's miter on the head of the Rev. Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger, ordained Thursday as the 10th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Albany.
Hundreds of white-robed priests and 34 bishops from across New York and New England participated in the Ordination Mass at the red-stone neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception near Albany's capitol complex.
Scharfenberger, 65, of New York City, was appointed by Pope Francis to succeed Bishop Howard Hubbard, who was the longest-tenured bishop of a single diocese in the nation when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 75. He served 37 years.
During the ordination ceremony, Scharfenberger lay face-down before the altar as the Litany of the Saints, a formal prayer of the Roman Catholic Church, was sung by a cantor and the congregation. Then he bowed before the altar as the 34 bishops passed in front of him and lay hands on his head.
Dolan placed the miter, the ceremonial pointed bishop's hat, on Scharfenberger's head. He put the bishop's ring on his finger and gave him a crosier, a stylized staff that looks like a shepherd's crook and symbolizes the bishop's pastoral stewardship over his congregation. Scharfenberger then sat in the bishop's throne.
The Albany diocese has about 330,000 parishioners in 14 counties.
Scharfenberger was vicar for Queens when he was chosen as bishop. He has held various roles in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Scharfenberger, who speaks five languages, was born in Brooklyn, the oldest of five children of German immigrants. He grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in a family that ran a church goods business specializing in bishops' crosiers, crosses and miters.
In an Albany news conference in February, Scharfenberger said he draws inspiration from Pope Francis' informal style of leadership. That was evident Thursday at the end of the 2½ hour Mass, when Scharfenberger took off his ornate hat and talked to the congregation.
"All I ask of you is that you bring the best out of me, and I'll bring the best out of you," he said.
At the top of Bishop Scharfenbergers shield are three green triangles which represent mountains. The image has been found on arms belonging to the Scharfenberger family of antiquity. The original form was one mountain with an elk or a deer standing upon it.
Building on the family connection, the Diocese of Albany connects the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges. From a theological perspective, mountains have always been a special place of encounter with God; in the Old Testament, Mount Sinai was where Moses received the Law, and in the New Testament, Mount Tabor was the mount of the Transfiguration where Jesus revealed his glory. The Church is the third and central mountain which unites the faith and witness of both the Old and New Covenants.
The mountains are green, the color of hope, symbolizing the abundant life available through faith.
In the center portion of the shield, there is a Star of David, representing the bishops mother who was given the name Miriam at her baptism. The family, of Jewish origin, began in Kiev, Ukraine, and eventually moved to Dubuque, Iowa. Significantly, Kiev and Dubuque are both built alongside a river, as are Albany and Brooklyn.
To the viewers right, there are two white wavy lines with a blue line in the middle, a traditional way to depict water. These represent the rivers of the bishops life: the Dnieper; the Mississippi; the Hudson; the Mohawk; and the East Rivers. All flow into the sea, as all life flows into the Kingdom of God.
In the base of the shield is a gold feather, a reminder of the Holy Spirit and a connection to the Native American tribes of the Albany area, especially St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the Lily of the Mohawks. The feather has a long symbolic history going back to ancient Egypt, where the feather of Maat was the feather of truth and righteousness which often tipped the balance between salvation and condemnation.
Finally, the shield is complemented by the episcopal hat and cross and the scroll bearing the motto. The gallero was once the ordinary headgear of clerics. The color and number of tassels indicate the rank of the wearer. The color for bishops is green and has six tassels on each side. The cross behind the shield is a processional cross usually carried before the bishop in church worship services.
Bishop Scharfenbergers motto, Lord, make me a channel of your peace, is taken from the prayer often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.
I have watched many installations over the past few years but this one was the best. The new bishop is absolutely radiating joy, happiness and great peace. Even Bishop Hubbard is smiling. May God bless Bishop Scharfenberger as he begins this new journey. And may He bless the catholics in the Diocese of Albany.
They didn’t explain the beaver (probably too obvious!).
Bp Scharfenberger was influential in NYC years ago under O’Connor and I’m glad he’s your bishop. Congratulations!
He’s our Bishop, hope he does well.
That is not exactly correct.
According to their website they are self-identified as The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.
The beaver’s meaning is not obvious to me. Why a beaver?
Also, I am seriously bummed that this Scharfenberger fellow seems to have absolutely nothing to do with gourmet chocolate.
I wanna know about the BEAVER, or groundhog, or whatever that varmint is holding a crescent on a stick...
This thread has made me hungry!!
I feel like scarfin’ down a burger and fries; too!!!
The beaver is taken from the coat of arms of the City of Albany. Albany was originally called Beverwyck, or "Beaver Town," because the city was the exchange point of the inland fur trade. This symbol dates back to the 17th century. The beaver grasps a pastoral staff, or crosier, to represent the rank of bishop.
**”All I ask of you is that you bring the best out of me, and I’ll bring the best out of you,” he said.**
Celebration time in Albany!
How many pro-abortion politicians received Communion at this Mass? Andrew Cuomo—the shacked-up, pro-abortion, pro-gay-marriage governor?
Thank you. The bishop of Albany is probably the only one anywhere who shepherds a flock of beavers.
Cuomo was not there! Scharfenberger is a canon lawyer. Can’t say for sure but, perhaps the invitation was accompanied by an admonition that he should not present himself for communion.
Wow. That’s good news. A ray of hope.
“...didn’t explain the beaver...”
I wanted to read about the beaver too! I know that the trade beaver pelts p;ayed an essential role in the very early economy and development of New York State; and there is also a beaver pelt trading tie-in with the early French Catholics - Jesuit martyrs, etc. - this probably all comes into play, but I was waiting ...
Thanks for the congrats! My daughter (16) will be confirmed by the new bishop on April 28th and we are anticipating much joy and grace from the Holy Spirit as she recieves this sacrament.
p;ayed = played
I believe that St. Isaac Jogues get rescued the first time after being attacked by the Iroquois by fur (beaver) traders who brought him down from the Mohawk Valley back to Fort Orange (Albany) and he hid in a barn where St. Mary’s is now located before he took a ship back to France? Of course, he later returned and the outcome was martyrdom instead of rescue ... The beaver connection is a bit tenuous, but has some relevance to a New York State martyr/saint.
ah but is he a believing Christian? Hubbard did a lot of harm to the local church...
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