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Diocese of Rockville Centre

First Woman Religious Appointed Academic Dean of Huntington, N.Y. Seminary Print E-mail

Sister Mary Louise Brink, SC, Ph.D., To Lead Academic Program at Seminary of the Immaculate Conception

Rockville Centre, New York, July 18, 2006 – Bishop William Murphy appointed Sister Mary Louise Brink, a member of the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, academic dean of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y., effective September 1, 2006. This position was previously held by Franciscan Brother Jeffrey Pedersen, who is now serving within his own congregation.

The first woman religious to lead the academic program at Long Island’s only seminary, Sister Brink said she’s excited about her appointment from associate dean.

“I’m very pleased and happy to begin this new position,” she said. “I know many of the people here and I look forward to this opportunity.”

In particular, she said, she looks forward to the academic aspect of seminary formation.

Education has been integral to Sister Brink’s life since she taught mathematics and French at Seton Hall High School. She served as the school’s principal from 1971 to 1974.

Sister Brink created the Training for Ministry program at the Pastoral Institute of the Diocese of Brooklyn, where she worked from 1978-1988. Also during this time, she taught in the diocese’s permanent deaconate program and was an adjunct instructor in the Department of Theology at St. John’s University, at Cathedral College in Douglaston, N.Y. and at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception.

From 1988 to 1996, Sister Brink was first assistant and vicar on the General Council of the Sisters of Charity. Between 1996 and 2002, she was congregational leader of the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, a congregation of women living and ministering throughout Canada, the northeastern U.S., Bermuda, Peru and the Dominican Republic. She also served as chancellor of Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and an elected national officer in the Canadian Religious Conference.

Sister Mary Katherine Hamm, congregational counselor for the Sisters of Charity of Halifax, said Sister Brink’s experience makes her ideal for the position of dean.

“She has a breadth of experience in the American and Canadian Church,” said Sister Hamm. “She is deeply engaged in theology and spirituality and how they impact the issues of the 21st century. She’s probably the best candidate they could look for.”

Sister Brink holds a bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, a Master of Science from Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., a Master of Arts in Theology from Boston College and a Doctor of Philosophy from Fordham University in Bronx, N.Y.

“She is continually learning and growing and developing,” said Sister Hamm. “It’s wonderful that the Church has recognized her gifts.”

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 80,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit www.drvc.org

Contact:
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
sdolan@drvc.org