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Bishop Howard Hubbard honored for 50 year anniversary
ALBANY -- Thousands gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of Bishop Howard Hubbard's ordination. But coincidentally enough, it's his retirement that's on the minds everyone.
"He's done a great job, and he deserves his retirement. it had been in the works for a while so we weren't upset because we knew it was coming but he's been a very dedicated servant, and we appreciate all he's done for us," said Sheila Giordano of Selkirk.
"50 years is a long time, and it just proves his dedication to the Albany area and to the church in general," said Jim Venter of Delmar.
Bishop Hubbard is nearing his 75th birthday, which requires him to submit his retirement letter to the vatican. But when he steps down will not be known until Pope Francis appoints a successor.
He tells us in an interview, that it does not mean the end of his service, just his administrative responsibilities.
"I'll still be a priest and a Bishop, I'll be able to celebrate mass on a daily basis, i'll be able to visit hospitals nursing homes, assist the new bishop in anyway that he would find helpful, so in that sense it will be very freeing."
"Many of our retired priests say that they feel more of a priest now than when they were the pastor of a parish because they didn't have to go to all the meetings, they didn't have to worry about filling out all the forms for the diocese, they didn't have to worry about unemployment, insurance, and taxes and all that type of stuff, so they say everything they do now is pastoral and that's what they are ordained to do, and i think i'll have the same type of experience," he adds.
Bishop Hubbard has led the 14-county diocese of Albany since 1977 when he was ordained as bishop. Going forward he says he's looking forward to spending more time with his family, especially his great grand nieces and nephews.