The following letter from Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger was read this morning to the congregation of St. Mary’s Church in Amsterdam:
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I want to update you on the pastoral planning process for Amsterdam. As I mentioned previously, we had been in communication with the Conventual Franciscans about the possibility of their sending some of their priests to minister in Amsterdam.
I have recently received notice from the provincial that, due to circumstances which have resulted in reduced numbers of priests than previously expected, they will be unable to accept my invitation to serve here. I am grateful for their prayerful consideration. I believe the necessity to draw back from their original offer is a painful awareness for them.
As we continue to move forward with our planning, I have asked Father Larry Decker to serve as Administrator of St. Mary’s parish. This will provide for pastoral and canonical leadership, particularly as we approach the opening of another school year. I am grateful to Father Decker for his willingness to serve as Administrator. Deacon Michael Ryba will continue in his position as Director of Finance and Administration for our Amsterdam parishes. I am grateful too for his ongoing and dedicated service.
I know that these are challenging times but I am confident that with a spirit of cooperation and trust, we will continue to discern the Lord’s will and faithfully serve the needs of our people in the city. Please continue to pray for an increase of vocations.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Edward B. Scharfenberger,
Bishop of Albany