After hearing the outcries of many parishioners of St. Mary's Church, representatives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany came to Amsterdam earlier this week to tell members of the congregation the Rev. John Medwid will not be returning after he resigned earlier in May.
Kenneth Goldfarb, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese spokesman, said three members of the diocese went to St. Mary's Monday to answer any questions parishioners had regarding Medwid and the future of the parish.
"The Diocese wanted to answer any concerns parishioners had after Father Medwid requested to be relieved of his pastoral duties," Goldfarb said. "Father Medwid will not be returning to the church and the Diocese wanted to let the church know that. At this time we do not know why Father Medwid made his decision."
Betsy Barker, St. Mary's secretary, said the support for Medwid at the meeting was overwhelming.
"The support for Father Medwid continues in phone calls and letters to the church," Barker said. "We love Father Medwid and his resignation was a shock. We plan to support him."
Barker said she couldn't say what the Diocese answered for concerned parishioners, but she did say any questions asked at the meeting were going to be brought to the bishop in Albany.
She said the Diocese said they were working on the process of getting a new pastor for the church.
Goldfarb said the process for getting a new pastor can take months.
"When there's a vacancy in any parish there's a process the Diocese takes," he said. "It's kind of a complicated process but basically we send a notice to priests in the Diocese asking them if they have any interest in moving to a different church, then there are discussions with parish leaders about the church's needs and then a decision is made."
Barker said the Diocese members told parishioners that St. Mary's would not be closing due to a lack of priests. The church rotates priests and that system will continue for now, she said.