Please keep Bishop Scharfenberger and his family in your prayers today as they mark one month since their mother returned to God.
According to an article in Albany’s diocesan newspaper, The Evangelist, Bishop Scharfenberger used to talk with his mother nearly every day and visit her weekly. It quotes her as saying the following when he was ordained Bishop of Albany in 2015:
“I can’t actually explain it. It sort of takes my breath away. I brought my Kleenex. … It was completely astonishing for us. We are thankful forever. I never anticipated anything like this. It’s almost beyond imagination.”
Reading about Bishop Scharfenberger’s Mom reminded me that we never know what’s going on in someone’s life behind the scenes. Yes, he’s a bishop so it’s his “job” to overcome personal challenges for the good of his people. But he was a son long before he was a bishop and the loss of one’s mother is life-changing, by all accounts. Even if she’s nearly 100 and had a good, long life!
Bishop Scharfenberger has had quite a month…
- Lost his Mom, celebrated her funeral Mass and buried her
- A few days later, he headed to Rome for the NYS Bishops’ ad limina visit with Pope Francis
- Found out he’s coming to Buffalo as Apostolic Administrator (not exactly the best news ever)
- Came down with what sounded like a bad cold or virus (from what he said at the press conference)
- Made it to Buffalo after a snow storm in Albany and took questions from the media for over an hour
We’ve been conditioned toward cynicism here in Buffalo, but I think we should give our temporary shepherd credit for his emotional and physical stamina.
May his mother’s soul rest In peace. And may her son get some rest after quite a strenuous month.