Welcome to Historic Saint Mary’s Church on Capitol Hill and thank you for taking the time to read this note and learn a little bit about me. I was ordained a priest in 1997 and have served in so many beautiful parishes in various parts of the Diocese of Albany. Honestly, I have loved every parish I have been privileged to shepherd. I have no favorites. Like many parents have told me they love their children equally but “differently,” so I love all of the parishes I have spiritually fathered, but differently. I discovered Historic St. Mary’s when I was eighteen years old, a freshman at Siena College. I left Siena College at the end of my freshman year—not because I wasn’t happy there. I loved it then and love it even more now. It was the place where I had the courage to admit that I had felt a calling to the priesthood for as long as I could remember. I am grateful to my pastor at the time, Father Paul Roman, and to the Franciscans at Siena, who supported me in the courageous work of discerning a vocation to sacred ministry.
While living at Siena, I would take drives to discover the treasures to which the Capital District is home. It was then that I discovered Historic St. Mary’s and I fell in love with it immediately. I fell in love with its interior beauty and its special location in downtown Albany.
After entering the seminary, I would visit St. Mary’s whenever I was home from school. I would confess to either the beloved late Father Lefebvre or Father Paul Tartaglia, who is happily in residence again. I would bring relatives and friends from seminary to see St. Mary’s. And I recall vividly Fr. Tartaglia happening to be present and generously giving a little tour of the Church—once to my mother and another time to a dear friend, Fr. Leo Patalinghug. I never dreamed of being a priest here, let alone the pastor—truly. It was only when Father Lefebvre retired that I imagined that possibility. And I feel as though a dream has come true for me, though undeserved for sure.
To those who already appreciate the history, beauty, and fidelity to tradition for which St. Mary’s is cherished: please pray for me that I will preserve well the legacy I have received. To those who are just discovering the awesome gift that is St. Mary’s: please come and see and immerse yourself in the sacramental and devotional life of the parish and allow the Holy Spirit to help you mature into a mature holiness. And to all of you: please be assured of my paternal solicitude and my awareness that I have one duty—to help you get to Heaven.
God be with you and with all your loved ones! Let us pray for each other and work together to achieve the greatness to which Christ has called us.