ROCKVILLE CENTRE - Four men will be ordained priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on Saturday, June 12, 2004. Bishop William Murphy will ordain Gregory F. Breen, Robert J. Kline, Dariusz Koszyk, and Thomas J. Pers at an 11 a.m. ceremony at St. Agnes Cathedral here.
Each of the four has completed a minimum of five years of study and formation for the priesthood, including one year spent in a parish. All seminarians are required to do this so they learn and experience the life of a priest firsthand. Each man has earned a Masters of Divinity degree and has been ordained to the transitional diaconate, earning them the temporary title of “deacon.”
Gregory F. Breen was born in Jamaica, Queens on May 5, 1957 to the late Dr. Francis J. and Miriam Schwank Breen. The oldest of five children, he attended his parish grammar school at St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset, St. Pius X Preparatory High School in Uniondale, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in French Language and Literature from Columbia University. He pursued graduate studies at NYU and Cornell University.
Deacon Breen spent two decades working in administrative and management jobs before entering the seminary and he feels those experiences will be helpful in his vocation as a priest. He served his pastoral year at St. James Church in Seaford where he enjoyed teaching in the religious education programs for both children and adults. He has served as a deacon at Our Holy Redeemer Church in Freeport since last March.
He will celebrate his first Mass at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 13 at St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset.
Robert J. Kline is a native Long Islander who was raised in Merrick. The oldest of three children, he was born on August 7, 1944 to John C. and the late Evelyn T. Kline and was baptized by his father’s cousin, Rev. Walter Vetro. Deacon Kline attended his parish school of Cure of Ars and Chaminade High School. He received a Bachelor of Science from Holy Cross College and a Masters of Business Administration from Hofstra University.
While Deacon Kline was working in the investment field, and later computer programming, he also volunteered to teach religious education in his parish. He eventually enrolled in the Pastoral Formation Institute to continue his own religious education before deciding to study for the priesthood. He served his pastoral year at the Church of St. Joseph in Ronkonkoma and as a deacon at St. John of God Church in Central Islip.
He will celebrate his first Mass at St. Joseph’s parish in Ronkonkoma on Sunday, June 13 at noon.
Darius Koszyk was born on September 4, 1973 in the small town of Lesko in southeast Poland. The second of six children in the family of Mieczyslawa and Stanislaw Koszyk, he attended the Catholic University of Lublin and a diocesan seminary before completing course work in Theology at the Pontifical Academy in Krakow in 1999.
He arrived in the United States later that year, and began his studies at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in 2001. He feels his pastoral year at St. Dominic’s Parish in Oyster Bay offered him the opportunity to become familiar with the way a parish operates in this diocese. His ministry at the church included working in parish outreach and religious education programs as well as in the parish’s elementary and high schools.
He will celebrate his first Mass at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 13 at St. Ladislaus in Hempstead.
Thomas J. Pers was born on Long Island on September 24, 1976 to Joseph and Randee M. Pers and was raised in Brightwaters. His parents and younger brother still live there and attend St. Patrick Church in Bay Shore. A graduate of Bay Shore public schools, Deacon Pers earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania in 1998. His work with the Newman Club at the college sparked his interest in the priesthood and he entered the seminary after graduation.
Deacon Pers spent his pastoral year at St. William the Abbot Church in Seaford where he worked in various parish programs, including religious education, baptismal preparation classes and hospital ministry. The last few months he has served at St. Patrick Church in Glen Cove.
He will celebrate his first Mass at his home parish of St. Patrick in Bay Shore on Sunday, June 13 at 1:00 p.m.
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