My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Please join with me today in thanksgiving for the Very Reverend Father Anthony Ligato who has completed over nine years of service in vocation ministries in the Diocese of Albany. He served as Director of Vocations (July 1, 2013 - Dec.1, 2014) and then as Vicar for Vocations (Dec. 1, 2014 —July 31, 2022). On Aug. 1, he assumed a new position as Assistant Vice Rector, Director of Formation, Formation Advisor at the Pontifical North American College (PNAC) to which, at the request of the Rector, I have given my consent. The term is for three years, subject to extension. His experience with vocation work in our Diocese has undoubtedly prepared him to take on this new role at the PNAC.

I am pleased to announce Father Thomas Francis Xavier Hoar, S.S.E., Ph.D., as Director of Vocations and Clergy Formation, a five-year term, subject to renewal by the diocesan bishop. The scope of Father Hoar's appointment includes, but is not limited to, oversight and support of the formation of candidates to the priesthood and permanent diaconate. Working with him will be Father Quy Vo and Deacon Paul LeBlanc as Assistants to the Director of Vocations and Clergy Formation. To best utilize and coordinate the resources of our Office for Vocations, Father Hoar will also work closely with a team of formators for priests and permanent deacons, as well as Deacon Joseph Brennan, Director of the Office of the Diaconate, and Sister Laurie-Marie Parisi, C.R., Coordinator for Religious Life.

Father Hoar, a member of the Society of St. Edmund, is no stranger to many in our Diocese. Most recently he was Keynote Speaker on "Clergy Wellness and the Spiritual Life" at our spring gathering of priests and deacons in Latham on May 4 and 5. With extensive pastoral and administrative positions spanning over 45 years, Father has exercised diversified leadership positions in spiritual renewal, human formation, higher education, recovery, and religious ministries, as his Curriculum Vitae details. He has worked closely with seminarians, priests, deacons, religious, and lay leaders in all stages of their ministerial formation and activities. Since 2003 he has served as President and CEO of Saint Edmund's Retreat, Inc. on Enders Island in Mystic, Conn., a multi-million-dollar operation which hosts numerous programs and retreats for seminarians, clergy, religious, and laity in recovery and on sabbatical, trauma-informed leadership training, and campus ministry support. In his role as Director of Vocations and Clergy Formation, he will enrich our diocese with his skills and talents and our association with Saint Edmund's Retreat. Please join me in warmly welcoming him. I look forward to many years together in the Lord's vineyard as each of us prays for and seeks out those whom the Lord is calling.

I know I speak for all in expressing profound thanks for Father Ligato's years of service in vocation work and his many other pastoral missions, most recently as Rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Our love and prayers go with him. We wish him Godspeed on his voyage to the Eternal City. In words of encouragement echoed by alumni of the North American College, ad multos annos!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Revered Edward B. Scharfenberger