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Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany

Diocese of Albany
Dioecesis Albanensis
Country United States
Territory Counties of Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, southern Hamilton, southern Herkimer, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington
Ecclesiastical province New York
Metropolitan 40 North Main Avenue
Albany, New York
Deaneries 14
Area 10,419 sq mi (26,990 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of December 2012)
~330,000 (23.7%)
Parishes 129 (with 2 apostolates)
Schools 28
Denomination Roman Catholic
Sui iuris church Latin Church
Rite Roman Rite
Established April 23, 1847 by Pope Pius IX
Cathedral Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Patron saint St. Mary
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Edward Bernard Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany
Metropolitan Archbishop Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
Emeritus Bishops Howard James Hubbard
Bishop Emeritus of Albany
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Albany

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany (Latin: Dioecesis Albanensis) covers all or part of 14 counties in Eastern New York (Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Fulton, Greene,southern Herkimer, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, and Washington Counties). Its Mother Church is the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in the city of Albany.


  • History 1
  • Territorial losses 2
  • Ordinaries 3
  • Deaneries 4
  • Parishes 5
  • Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception 6
  • Sam Rodino Controversy 7
  • Education 8
    • Elementary schools 8.1
    • Secondary schools 8.2
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Initially the diocese was part of the Archdiocese of New York. It became a diocese in its own right on April 23, 1847.

Territorial losses

Date Reason
15 February 1872 to form the Diocese of Ogdensburg
26 November 1886 to form the Diocese of Syracuse


The following is a list of the Roman Catholic Bishops of the Diocese of Albany and their periods of service.

  1. Bishop John McCloskey (1847–1865) Later the Archbishop of New York and first American Cardinal.
  2. Bishop John J. Conroy (1865–1877)
  3. Bishop Francis McNeirny (1877–1894)
  4. Bishop Thomas Martin Aloysius Burke (1894–1915)
  5. Bishop Thomas Cusack (1915–1918)
  6. Bishop Edmund Gibbons (1919–1954)
  7. Bishop William Scully (1954–1969)
  8. Bishop Edwin Broderick (1969–1976)
  9. Bishop Howard J. Hubbard (1977–2014)
  10. Bishop Edward Bernard Scharfenberger (2014-Present)[1]

During their terms as bishops of Albany, the first five named were accorded the title "Right Reverend" because the American church was still considered a province. From Bishop Gibbons on, they have been entitled "Most Reverend". John McCloskey was "Most Reverend" after his move to New York, where he later became "His Eminence". Six of Albany's deceased Bishops are buried in a crypt beneath the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. John McCloskey is interred beneath St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York, and Bishop Broderick is buried in a family plot in Westchester County.


There are fourteen deaneries in the diocese:[2]

  1. Albany City
  2. Albany Suburban
  3. Columbia
  4. Delaware/Otsego
  5. Fulton/Montgomery
  6. Greene
  7. Herkimer
  8. Northern Albany
  9. Northern Rensselaer
  10. Saratoga
  11. Schenectady
  12. Schoharie
  13. Southern Rensselaer
  14. Warren/Washington


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

The cathedral, located on Madison Avenue at Eagle Street in Albany, was completed in 1852 and consecrated by the Most Reverend John Hughes, Archbishop of New York. The first bishop, John McCloskey, was coadjutor bishop of New York with succession rights. This is why he left upon Archbishop Hughes' death in 1865. The Cathedral has a stone exterior. It has the appearance of a stone interior but in fact it is of plaster and lath construction, painted to look like stone. This method was used to save time as McCloskey wanted to get the Cathedral finished in order to prove that the Catholic Church in America was permanent. Originally there was a flat wall at the back of the Cathedral in the area of the Lady window. This window, which depicts scenes in the life of the Virgin Mary, was later moved to the North transept when the semicircular sanctuary was added.

There is a door in the ceiling of the crypt so that the coffins may be lowered directly into it after the Solemn Requiem of the Bishop. This door, however, was not quite big enough for the ornate, modern coffin that contained Bishop Scully. As a result, those officiating had to remove his body from the coffin, carry it down the stairs, take the coffin apart to feed it through the door and then reassemble it and restore the body. The crypt cannot be seen from above because it is hidden by floor tiles which have to be removed to gain access.

The Cathedral underwent a US$30M restoration project which started in 2000 with a date of completion being 2009.

Tours are offered of the Cathedral.

Sam Rodino Controversy

On October 24, 2009, then-Fr. Sam Rodino was removed and placed on suspension by the Diocese for sexual acts that allegedly occurred in 1982 while assigned to Blessed Sacrament parish in Albany. The wake of the controversy caused many individuals to come out in support of and against Fr. Rodino. As of October 31, 2009, two victims have reported to the Diocese that Rodino abused them. One victim reported abuse in the 1990s, but his claim was unable to be substantiated and no action was taken against Fr. Rodino at the time. The second victim's claim of abuse in 1982 was made in the summer of 2009 and investigated by the Diocese. The investigation resulted in the bishop determining that "reasonable grounds" existed to believe the victim.

As of March 30, 2010, Fr. Rodino is still on administrative leave. He has indicated an interest in appealing to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, under canon law, even if Fr. Rodino were vindicated by the Vatican, the Bishop would not have to place him in active ministry again. It is unlikely that Fr. Rodino will ever be able to present himself as a Roman Catholic priest again.


The President of the Diocesan School Board is Stephen Towne

Elementary schools

  • Academy of the Holy Names, Albany (Independent:Private. Not Run by Diocese)
  • All Saints Academy, Albany
  • Blessed Sacrament School, Albany
  • Holy Spirit School, East Greenbush
  • Mater Christi School, Albany
  • Sacred Heart School, Troy
  • St. Ambrose School, Latham
  • St. Augustine School, Troy
  • St. Clements Regional Catholic School, Saratoga Springs
  • St. Francis de Sales Regional Catholic School, Herkimer
  • Saint Gregory's School, Loudonville (Independent:Private. Not Run by Diocese)
  • St. Jude the Apostle School, Wynantskill
  • St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish School, Niskayuna
  • St. Madeleine Sophie School, Schenectady
  • St. Mary's Academy, Hoosick Falls
  • St. Mary's Institute, Amsterdam
  • St. Mary's School, Ballston Spa
  • St. Mary's School, Waterford
  • St. Mary's/St. Alphonsus Regional Catholic School, Glens Falls
  • St. Pius School, Loudonville
  • St. Thomas the Apostle, Delmar

Secondary schools


  1. ^ "New Bishop for Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany" (PDF). Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Pastoral Planning". Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany. Retrieved March 10, 2012. 

External links

  • Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany Official Site

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