A funeral Mass was offered July 20 at St. John the Evangelist Church, Schenectady, for Rev. Erwin Schweigardt, who died July 16. He was 79 and was a priest of the Albany Diocese for 51 years.

A native of Albany, he served as an associate pastor at Our Lady of Victory parish in Troy and St. John’s in Rensselaer before going to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., to obtain a doctorate. Upon his return, he served at St. John the Evangelist in Schenectady and became director of educational research and a district superintendent for the diocesan Catholic Schools Office. He was also chaplain at Union College in Schenectady. As a pastor, he served at St. Patrick’s parish in Watervliet for 25 years, then St. Margaret Mary in Albany. He retired in 2009.

Passing on the teachings of the faith in one form or another was a major part of Father Schwei­gardt’s ministry. He called being a priest “challenging and exciting,” and seemed to en­joy the many changes the years wrought in the Church. Last year, when Father Schwei­gardt celebrated his golden jubilee of priesthood, he reflected that “having studied theology during Vatican II [the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, which made major changes to the Catholic Church], it is a joy to be a priest during Pope Francis’ pontificate.”

Still working in retirement until his final days, he has well earned his rest. May he be granted eternal life and peace. Survivors include a brother, Rolf of Colonie. Interment was in Our Lady of Angels Cemetery, Albany.