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Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
November 05, 2015
For immediate release

Bishop Announces Episcopal Vicars

Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger has announced the names of seven priests who will serve the parishes in their regions as Episcopal Vicars. They and the regions they will serve, in the alphabetical order of the priests’ names are: Rev. Michael Cambi (Leatherstocking), Rev. Christopher DeGiovine (Beverwyck), Rev. L. Edward Deimeke (Hudson Valley), Rev. Martin Fisher (Adirondack), Rev. Robert Longobucco (Tech Valley), Rev. Christopher Welch (Mohawk Valley) and Rev. Thomas Zelker (Taconic). They will serve for a term of three years, which will begin on the First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015.

The role of the new Vicars is primarily to assist Bishop Scharfenberger in the pastoral care of the parishes within their region. They will provide support to parish leaders and foster the development and sharing of personnel and program resources. Father David Berberian, Vicar General and Vicar for Clergy, will facilitate the work and coordinate communication among the Vicars. The Episcopal Vicars will also serve as ex officio members of the Presbyteral Council, which advises the Bishop in the governance and pastoral care of the Diocese.

Each region will consist of approximately twenty parishes, which share a certain geographical or cultural affinity. While the regions will replace the former county-based deanery structures, the regional vicars will encourage conversation on all levels of pastoral life, within and among parishes. Furthermore, the Episcopal Vicars will have complete access to all of the resources of the diocesan Pastoral Center and ensure that they flow equitably to all of the parishes.

In order further to expand and improve resource allocation and dialogue throughout the entire Diocese, all of the regions will have dedicated distance-learning facilities, centers in which parishioners can congregate locally so as to participate regularly in diocese-wide colloquia, summits, lectures and other opportunities for enrichment.

Bishop Scharfenberger is grateful for the pastoral zeal and generosity of the new vicars who will meet with him and Fr. Berberian regularly, both individually and as a collegial body. Bishop Scharfenberger underscores that the regional vicars will serve not as territorial executives or monitors for diocesan administration, but rather as pastoral channels of his own desire to be present to all of the parishes.

V. Reverend Michael G. Cambi, E.V.

Leatherstocking Vicariate

Father Cambi was ordained in 2007 and has served as parochial vicar of St. Peter’s parish in Saratoga Springs and is currently the pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Stamford and its mission, St. Philip Neri in Grand Gorge. Father Cambi has served on the Priestly Life and Ministry Council and is a member of the Priests’ Retirement Board, the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Council of Consultors.

V. Reverend Christopher DeGiovine, E.V.

Beverwyck Vicariate

Father DeGiovine was ordained in 1977 and is currently the pastor of St. Matthew’s parish in Voorheesville. Previous to his current assignment, Father DeGiovine has served as a parochial vicar, Diocesan Vocations Director, chaplain and Dean of Spiritual Life at The College of St. Rose, as an adjunct faculty member of St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry in Albany and as the Chair of the Priestly Life and Ministry Council. He has also ministered as chaplain to Doane Stuart School and chaplain to the Convent of the Sacred Heart.

V. Reverend L. Edward Deimeke, E.V.

Hudson Valley Vicariate

Father Deimeke was ordained in 1975 and served as a chaplain in the U.S Air Force from 1976 until 1994. After his retirement from the military, he was appointed pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Schenectady. He served as the first Administrative Advocate for Priests in the diocese for five years and in 2005 was appointed pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary parish in Watervliet. He retired from administrative responsibilities this year but continues to minister in a variety of ways in the diocese.

V. Reverend Martin J. Fisher, E.V.

Adirondack Vicariate

Father Fisher was ordained in 1986 and has served as pastor of St. Mary’s in Glens Falls and Corpus Christi parish in Round Lake. He was appointed Vice–Chancellor of the diocese in 1990 and ministered in that assignment for five years. He has been a member of the Presbyteral Council and the Diocesan Council of Consultors. He is currently the pastor of St. Joseph’s in Greenwich and Notre Dame-Visitation parish in Schuylerville.

V. Reverend Robert P. Longobucco, E.V.

Tech Valley Vicariate

Father Longobucco was ordained in 1998 and is the pastor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha parish in Schenectady. He has previously served as a parochial vicar, as a campus minister, as interim administrator in a number of parishes and as the clergy associate with the Office of Evangelization, Catechesis and Family Life. He is also a former member of the Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Council of Consultors.

V. Reverend Christopher J. Welch, E.V

Mohawk Valley Vicariate

Father Welch was ordained in 1994 and has served as a parochial vicar in Loudonville, Schenectady and Round Lake. He has ministered as chaplain of Saratoga Central Catholic High School and Skidmore College. The former pastor of St. Joseph in Greenwich and Notre Dame –Visitation in Schuylerville, he is currently the pastor of St. Paul parish in Hancock. He also serves on the diocesan Pastoral Planning Advisory Committee.

V. Reverend Thomas Zelker, E.V.
Taconic Vicariate

Father Zelker was ordained in 1983 and is the pastor of Immaculate Conception parish in Hoosick Falls. Prior to his current assignment, he served as parochial vicar in two parishes, worked as a member of a pastoral team ministry in Cobleskill, and was appointed administrator of parishes in Valatie and Albany. He also served for eight years as pastor of St. Mary’s parish in Granville.