Funds Disbursed to CRS, Cor Unum and Affected Areas

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, February 8, 2005 - Today, the Diocese of Rockville Centre announced it has collected nearly $1.5 million from generous parishioners for relief efforts aimed at assisting survivors of the Dec. 26 tsunami that struck South Asia and Eastern Africa. As of February 8, collections taken at weekend Masses following the disaster have amounted to $1,474,526. To date, 131 out of 134 parishes in the diocese have remitted monies collected to the diocesan Controller’s Office. St. Aidan’s parish in Williston Park reported the largest Tsunami collection at $72,000.

The Diocese disbursed $500,000 in funds received to Catholic Relief Services and $500,000 to the Pontifical Council COR UNUM for Human and Christian Development. COR UNUM is the Holy Father’s instrument for carrying out special initiatives in the field of humanitarian actions when disasters occur. The diocese is disbursing the remaining money directly to local Churches and religious orders in the affected areas of India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.

Following the disaster, Bishop Murphy authorized a special collection be taken up in the parishes during the weekend Masses of January 1-2, 2005.

“The outpouring of generosity from the people of Long Island is moving and is an example of living the message of the Gospel,” said the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

“What particularly touched me were the efforts of our school children, pulling together and holding all sorts of creative fund raisers for the victims, from offering up their snack money, to the selling of special bracelets, to the dress-down days and various dances that have occurred in the diocese over the past month. For these efforts I’m deeply grateful and I thank them for their hard work and generosity.”

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 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3 million). There are 134 parishes in 119 towns. Last year over 21,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 21,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,622 students in kindergarten, 26,738 in primary or elementary school, 11,979 in secondary school and 9,310 in higher institutions. There are 77 Catholic elementary schools, high schools and colleges/universities 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. These facilities served over 743,000 people last year. 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


For more information:
Sean P. Dolan
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516-678-5800, ext. 625
Cell: 516-313-8215