Rev. Msgr. Edward B Scharfenberger, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York has been appointed by Pope Francis to be the tenth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York. The announcement was made at the Vatican today.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger succeeds Bishop Howard J. Hubbard who has led the Diocese of Albany for 37 years. Bishop Hubbard reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on October 31, 2013 and submitted his letter of retirement to Pope Francis at that time. He was instructed to stay on until the appointment and installation of a new bishop.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was born in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn on May 29, 1948. He is the son of Edward and Elaine (Magdal) Scharfenberger of Warwick, New York. His parents are 93 years old. He has four siblings: Miriam Muse (Glenn) of Warwick; James Scharfenberger of Warwick; Dr. Dennis Scharfenberger, MD (Anna) of Warwick, and Lois Sheptuck (Deacon Paul) of Edison New Jersey. He has four nephews and two nieces. One nephew, Jonathan, is deceased.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger attended Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Elementary School in Ridgewood and graduated from Cathedral Preparatory Seminary High School, Elmhurst in 1965. He entered Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston and graduated as an English major in June of 1968. The following fall he was assigned to study theology at the North American College in Rome, Italy where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sacred Theology (S.T.B. summa cum laude) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1972.
Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was ordained a priest on July 2, 1973 in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, by Bishop James A. Hickey, later Cardinal-Archbishop of Washington DC. He served as Parochial Vicar (Associate Pastor) at St. Stanislaus Church (Maspeth) and St. Ephrem Church (Dyker Heights) until 1976. He then was assigned to return to Rome for further studies. In 1977 he earned his S.T.L., summa cum laude, in Moral Theology from the Academy of St. Alphonsus. He was then assigned to the Catholic University of America where, in 1980, he earned his J.C.L. summa cum laude in Canon Law. He then served in a number of capacities in the Diocesan Tribunal of Brooklyn for 20 years. Between 1986 and 1990 he attended Fordham University School of Law where he earned his J.D. in May of 1990. He is admitted to the bar in New York (1991). Between 1993 and 2002 he served as the Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of Brooklyn. A Judicial Vicar usually oversees the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal and serves as chief canonical advisor to the bishop. During his years at the Diocesan Tribunal he also exercised pastoral ministry at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills and at St. Matthew Church in Dix Hills. He has been the Administrator of the Diocesan Board of Mediation and Arbitration for the past 15 years as well as chaplain of the Kings County Catholic Lawyers Guild. He has served as instructor in Moral Theology at the diocesan Pastoral Institute and as an Adjunct Professor at St. Joseph’s College.
In 2002 Bishop-elect Scharfenberger was appointed Pastor of St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood, a large multi-ethnic parish, where he served for 12 years. During this time he also served as Promoter of Justice for the Diocese of Brooklyn, and was a member of the Diocesan Review Board for Sexual Abuse of Minors. His most recent assignments included Vicar for Strategic Planning, and Episcopal Vicar for Queens.