My dear friends in Christ,
It is hard for me to believe that already five years have passed since I was appointed by our Holy Father, Pope Francis to become Bishop of Albany. The word that immediately comes to mind in reflecting on the last five years is simply…..thanks. Thanks, first, to Almighty God for the gift of being called upon to serve as shepherd to His people in this wonderful diocese of ours and thanks to every one of you for all that you do who are living out the beauty of the Gospel and our Catholic faith.
This year, 2019, the Church of Albany commemorates an anniversary, the 65th anniversary of the Bishop’s Appeal. When I was asked to choose a theme for this year’s Appeal, again, the word that came to mind was…..thanks. Thanks to you, for your abundant generosity which makes it possible for many of our sisters and brothers of all ages to encounter Jesus and to receive His love and grace through the good works of service and mercy and the sacramental life of the Church.
To say we cannot do it without you may sound like a cliché but it is very true. The mission of the Church to teach, to heal and to sanctify depends on the generosity of the faithful. I encourage you to read through this brochure and to visit the website www.thebishopsappeal.org to learn how your gifts help change people’s lives for the better. Remember, every gift, no matter the denomination, makes a difference.
I thank you dear friends and ask God to abundantly bless you and those you love. Let us pray to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Patroness of our diocese and nation, for each other, and for the success of the 65th annual Bishop’s Appeal.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Edward B. Scharfenberger, D.D.
Bishop of Albany