A funeral Mass will be offered July 12 at St. Mary's parish, Crescent, for Rev. William Turnbull, who died last weekend. He was 76 and had been a priest of the Albany Diocese for 46 years.

A native of Albany who grew up in Rensselaer, he served as associate pastor in St. Joseph's parish in Schenectady, Our Lady Help of Christians in Albany and St. Paul's and St. Francis de Sales in Troy. He served on the faculties of Cardinal McCloskey High School in Albany and Catholic Central High in Troy (where he also served as principal) and as assistant superintendent of schools for the Albany Diocese. He was also chaplain for St. Colman's Home in Watervliet and Seton Health in Troy.

As a pastor, he served St. Paul the Apostle parish in Troy, Sacred Heart in Berlin, St. Teresa of Avila in Albany, Nativity/St. Mary's in Stuyvesant Falls and St. Peter's in Stillwater. After retiring in 2007, he continued to help at various parishes in the Diocese and for grieving families at Saratoga National Cemetery.

Education played a large role in Father Turnbull's ministry. Generations of students learned Latin from him at Catholic High; even after his retirement, he gave historical presentations on subjects like the North American martyrs and led a whole series on "The Story of the Church" at St. Mary's parish in Crescent, where he also helped with Masses.

Continuing to celebrate liturgies was important to him. He once told The Evangelist that "the core of my priesthood has been celebration of the Eucharist. It is the central experience that gives meaning to everything else."

The Albany Diocese was fortunate to continue to receive the blessings of Father Turnbull's ministry for years after his time as a pastor had concluded. May he be granted eternal life and peace for his faithful service.

Interment will be at the convenience of the family.