For Immediate Release
10 June 2011
- Richard Mastrogiacomo of Saint Joseph’s, Kings Park
- Dennis Anthony Suglia of Saint Joachim, Cedarhurst
- Kevin Arthur Thompson of Saint Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead
- Frank James Zero of Saint Edward the Confessor, Syosset
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – June 10, 2011 – On Saturday, June 25 at 11:00 a.m., the Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre will ordain three men who have been in formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington and one man who has been in formation at the Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical University of Saint Thomas in Rome. This Mass of Ordination will be held at Saint Agnes Cathedral and will be broadcast live on Telecare, the diocesan television station (Cablevision, Channel 29/Verizon FiOS 296).
“What a privilege it is for me to ordain four men this month,” Bishop Murphy said. “I ask that this joyful occasion be a moment for everyone in our Diocese to renew their prayerful support and affection for all priests and to join me in daily prayer that the families of our diocese might encourage men they know to discern a vocation and respond to God’s call to be a priest of Jesus Christ in service to the faithful of our diocese.”
Mass of Ordination
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Saint Agnes Cathedral
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
Deacon Richard Mastrogiacomo, 26
Home parish: Church of Christ the King, Commack
Deacon Mastrogiacomo has been studying for the priesthood in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical University of Saint Thomas. After graduating from Commack High School, where he was class president for all four years, Deacon Mastrogiacomo started college at Salve Regina University and at first it seemed like the right fit for the young musician. He later transferred to Saint John’s University and moved to the Cathedral Seminary Residence in Douglaston.
Bishop Murphy then sent him to Rome to study for the priesthood. “I trusted that coming from my bishop, the Lord willed that I go to Rome to study,” he said. After his ordination, he will remain on Long Island assisting at a parish this summer and then return for one more year of school in Rome.
When he realized he was being called to the priesthood, Deacon Mastrogiacomo said he spent “many hours in prayer and listening to Christ in His Eucharistic presence,” but in the end, the decision was easy. The Lord Himself asked me if I would be His priest. How could I say no?”
Deacon Dennis Anthony Suglia, 46
Home parish: Church of Saint Joachim, Cedarhurst, New York
Pastoral year: Church of Saint Christopher, Baldwin, New York
Born in Rockaway, New York, Deacon Dennis Suglia has three brothers and three sisters and was baptized at Our Lady of Good Counsel church, Inwood. He graduated from Lawrence High School, Cedarhurst; SUNY Stony Brook with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Virginia Commonwealth University with an M.B.A. Deacon Suglia qualified for commission in the Marine Corps upon graduation from Stony Brook. The next four years he served his country and rose to the rank of captain. When his term was up he worked in sales for Pepsi and Kraft Foods. “I was climbing the corporate ladder very successfully,” he said.
Over the next couple of years he would pay close attention to what God was saying to him. Deacon Suglia recalls that no one was very surprised he was going to prepare for the priesthood. “Everyone knew I was profoundly Catholic.” He believes his life experiences will help as he leaves the seminary to begin his priestly service. “I’m ready,” he said. “We experience building blocks every day, foundational blocks that carry you through the moments of brilliance and moments of real challenge. But, when the bishop lays hands on my head and I am changed forever, it is through God’s grace, no merit of my own,” he said. “The magnitude of the love God has for us is incomprehensible.”
Deacon Kevin Arthur Thompson, 55
Home parish: Church of Saint Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead
Pastoral year: Church of Saint Anthony of Padua, East Northport
Deacon Kevin Thompson was born in Hempstead and has one brother and one sister. He was baptized at Our Lady of Loretto church, Hempstead. Deacon Thompson graduated from West Hempstead High School and then Adelphi University with a B. A. in Business Administration.
Deacon Thompson worked in the financial industry. He is also a singer, writer, actor and magician where he spent his free time performing on local stages. He later became part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program which helps people changing careers to become teachers.
As a priest he wants “to be a guy people are not afraid to speak with,” he said. Quoting former seminary rector Msgr. James McDonald who said, “Our job as priests is to bring people to Christ, not scare them away.”
Deacon Thompson is looking forward to serving people wherever he is assigned and said he is especially drawn to working with older people. “I want people to come and talk,” he said. “If I can show them Christ, I can show them joy. I feel lucky our Lord has decided to call me to priesthood,” said Deacon Thompson.
Deacon Frank James Zero, 28
Home parish: Church of Saint Edward the Confessor, Syosset
Pastoral year: Church of Holy Name of Mary, Valley Stream
Deacon Frank Zero was born in Plainview, New York and has one brother and one sister. He graduated from Syosset High School, Syosset, NY and SUNY Old Westbury, Old Westbury, NY with a B.A. in philosophy. Deacon Zero was very involved with the Boy Scouts and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
Deacon Zero grew up in Saint Edward the Confessor parish, Syosset. Deacon Zero said that he wanted to be a priest since he was seven years old. While his parents did not attend weekly Mass, Deacon Zero, as a young boy repeatedly asked his parents to bring him to church. His mother, Roberta, recalls finally giving in one Sunday. Since then, the Zero family, which includes Frank’s younger brother and sister, became regular attendees, active in the Church.
“I am looking forward to being able to celebrate the sacraments,” said Deacon Zero. “Now, since I became a deacon, I am able to bring people into the faith and it’s a joy. I can’t wait to celebrate them all, especially the Eucharist.”
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million). There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns. In 2009, nearly 16,702 baptisms, 16,900 confirmations, 17,537 first communions and 3,402 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 19,261 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,595 in Catholic high schools and 3,500 in higher institutions. There are 55 Catholic elementary schools (51 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan and 8 private) and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (12/10).
CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625