ALBANY -- Many of the prayers during Tuesday's noon mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception were intended for Bishop-elect Edward Scharfenberger.
"I'm so pleased. I've been waiting and praying that we get the man we need," said Theresa Tangredi of Delmar before the service.
With an imminent priest shortage and declining membership, the hope is a new leader will help to grow the diocese -- priests and parishioners.
"New life and energy. The young ones. You have to bring the children back to our church," explained Gladys Mwesigwa, who was also attending noon mass at the cathedral just after the Scharfenberger announcement.
Since the decision came straight from Pope Francis, who seems to be wildly popular with the people, the expectation is Scharfenberger will unite the Albany Diocese.