Diocese of Rockville Centre

For Immediate Release

30 March 2010

On Sunday, March 28, 2010, Bishop William Murphy blessed palm branches in St. Agnes Cathedral in memory of Christ’s triumphant journey into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, marking the start of Holy Week.

The festive tone that accompanies the blessing of the palms will changed during Mass as the Passion of Christ, which relays the story of Christ’s suffering and death, is read.

Palm Sunday is the first day of Holy Week, leading up to Easter-the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  During this most sacred time in the Church calendar, special liturgies and events will be held in local parishes all week.

 Holy Thursday, April 1:  During evening Masses, priests will wash feet of parishioners, as Christ washed the feet of the apostles during the Last Supper. 

 Good Friday, April 2:  No Masses are celebrated in Catholic Churches on this day.  Rather, Christ’s crucifixion is remembered through “Way of the Cross” or “Via Crucis” processions, when parishioners go out into the streets to recreate Christ’s journey to his crucifixion, as well as liturgies of the Word that include the Veneration of the Cross.

 Holy Saturday, April 3:  At Easter Vigil Masses across the diocese, nearly 250 men, women and children will be baptized into the Catholic faith.

 Easter Sunday, April 4: Catholics celebrate the Resurrection of Christ in joyful Masses across Long Island.
-30-

About The Catholic Church on Long Island
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 133 parishes in 115 towns.  Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions.  There are 69 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, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice.  Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 88,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (12/08).

###


CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
  Director of Communications
  (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
  (c) 516-510-0473