Augustinians Leave Two Parishes in the Diocese of Albany

The Office of the Prior Provincial

September 22, 2023

Dear Parishioners of Saint Mary Parish and St. Augustine Parish,

Since the mid-1800s, when the Augustinians were invited by the Most Reverend John McCloskey to the Diocese of Albany, your communities at St. Mary of the Assumption in Waterford and St. Augustine in Troy, have been big parts of our Augustinian Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova. And so it is with a heavy heart that I inform you, after careful discernment, consultation with my Provincial Council and conversation with our friars in Waterford and Troy, that we will be withdrawing from the Diocese of Albany, particularly from the parishes of St. Mary in Waterford and St. Augustine in Troy on June 1, 2024. The aging population of our friars, infirmity, and the serious decline of new members to religious life make it impossible for us to maintain all of our ministerial commitments.

After meeting with Fathers David Kelley, Liam O’Doherty, and Jorge Reyes, we agreed that it is important for us to have the opportunity to dialogue and celebrate with you, our dear parishioners, the relationships that were formed in the 160-plus years of Augustinian ministry and presence especially in these two communities. From Rev. George Meagher, O.S.A. the first Augustinian pastor at St. Mary’s and Bishop Thomas Galberry, O.S.A. who was pastor at St. Augustine’s, many of our Augustinian brothers have called these communities: “home”. I know I share your deep gratitude and appreciation for the servant leadership, compassion, and pastoral care offered by our pastor Fr. David Kelley to countless members of our parish community for so many years.

I want to thank you for your faithfulness in walking this faith journey with us and for your support of our Augustinian community throughout these many years. I would also like to thank Bishop Edward Scharfenberger for his graciousness and his continued support of our community in the Diocese of Albany.

I ask for your prayers, especially for our brothers — Fathers David, Liam, and Jorge — during this time of transition. And please be assured of our prayers for you and the community during this time.


Fr. Robert P. Hagan, O.S.A.

Prior Provincial