Diocese Announces New Office of Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning and Announces New Appointments



29 June 2018 – The Solemn Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

Diocese of Rockville Centre Announces New Office of Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning to drive Dramatic Missionary Growth across Long Island; Announces New Appointments

  • Bishop-elect Richard Henning to serve as Vicar for Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning  (left photo)
  • Deacon John Hogan to serve as Strategic Planner for Catholic Education (center photo)
  • Father Walter Kedjierski to serve as Rector of Seminary (right photo)

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – June 29, 2018 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) today announced the creation of a new office to help drive dramatic missionary growth in the Diocese of Rockville Centre  —  the Office of Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning.  Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre has also appointed Bishop-elect Richard Henning to lead the Office as Vicar for Parish Evangelization and Pastoral Planning.  Bishop-elect Henning will continue in his role as Vicar for the Central Vicariate.

Bishop Barres has summoned all the Catholics in the Diocese of Rockville Centre to contribute to dramatic missionary growth that results from the proclamation of the Gospel.  The creation of this new office will assist parishes in these efforts.

In collaboration with pastors, diocesan offices and lay leaders, the office will work to realize Bishop Barres’ vision for the Diocese.  The office will examine current practices and projected trends in parish life.  It will seek out and champion ideas that have produced strong results elsewhere and will seek to inspire and support new approaches in our schools and parishes.

Bishop-elect Henning
Bishop-elect Henning was born in Rockville Centre and grew up in Valley Stream.  His home parish is Holy Name of Mary, Valley Stream.  He is the eldest of five children of Richard and Maureen Henning.  A product of Catholic education, Henning attended Holy Name of Mary School and is a 1982 graduate of Chaminade High School in Mineola.  He then attended
St. John’s University, Queens graduating in 1986 before studying for the priesthood at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington.  Bishop-elect Henning was ordained on May 30, 1992 at St. Agnes Cathedral by Bishop John McGann, bishop of Rockville Centre.  Bishop-elect Henning also earned a master’s degree in history from St. John’s University in 1988.  He went on to earn his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC.  In 2007, he earned his Doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD) from The University of St. Thomas Aquinas, The Angelicum, Rome.  For the last two years, he has directed the Parresia Project, a grant-funded initiative working to improve reception processes for international priests serving in the U.S.  Bishop-elect Henning is fluent in English, Spanish and Italian and is also able to read French, Greek and Hebrew.

Strategic Planner for Catholic Education
Bishop Barres has appointed Deacon John Hogan as the Strategic Planner for Catholic Education.  Deacon Hogan comes to this new role with extensive experience in school administration and he will work with Bishop-elect Henning with a particular responsibility toward strategic planning for parish, regional and diocesan Catholic schools.

“I am blessed and humbled by Bishop Barres’ appointment and confidence,” said Deacon Hogan.  “By the grace of God, we will all do good work for His glory and Catholic education in our diocese,” said Deacon Hogan.

Deacon John Hogan
Deacon John Hogan was ordained by Bishop Barres in 2017.  Most recently he served as principal of Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School, Riverhead.  Previously, Deacon Hogan served as superintendent of schools for the West Hempstead Union Free School District.

Deacon Hogan earned an MA in Theology from St. Joseph’s College, Dunwoodie, an MA in Political Science from Fordham University and a BA in social studies with New York State certification in Social Studies from St. Francis College, Brooklyn.

Seminary of the Immaculate Conception/Sacred Heart Institute
Bishop Barres has appointed Father Walter Kedjierski as the Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and Director of the Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of Catholic Clergy.

Forming the Borromeo Partnership with the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Seminary has become the largest and most active retreat and conference center in the region.  The Sacred Heart Institute provides retreats and programs of education and formation to the 1800 priests and deacons in the metropolitan area.

Father Walter F. Kedjierski
Father Walter F. Kedjierski was ordained by Bishop Murphy as a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre on June 8, 2002.  He was first assigned to serve at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish in Franklin Square and was also asked to assist Bishop Murphy as a research assistant for his work with Inter-Religious dialogue.  Soon after he was assigned as Associate Inter-Religious Officer for the Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs.  He also during this time started to teach theology and religious studies at St. John’s University in Queens until he moved to Suffolk County.

In 2007 Father Kedjierski was assigned to Our Lady of Victory Parish in Floral Park and then in 2010 made Pastor of St. John the Evangelist in Center Moriches.  During his pastorate Father Kedjierski served as a spiritual director and on the admissions board for the Diaconate Formation Program of the diocese.

In January 2015 Father Kedjierski was asked to become Director of the Diocesan Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs.  In June of 2016 his time at St. John the Evangelist was concluded and Father Kedjierski was assigned Vice Rector and Director of Diaconate Formation at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington.  He also accepted a position as an Adjunct Professor of Dogmatic Theology for St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers.  In 2011 Father Walter earned an Ed.D. specializing in Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Education from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana, and was given an award to continue his studies.

Father Kedjierski enrolled in the Graduate Theological Foundation’s Foundation House at Oxford University Program, successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis at Christ Church College, Oxford, England, in August of 2016.  His thesis focused on the notion of ecclesial obedience demonstrated in the work of lay theologian Baron Friedrich von Hügel.  He has published theological articles in a wide range of journals including Logos: A Journal of Catholic Thought and Culture and the Princeton Theological Review. 

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 1,455,644 baptized Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.9 million). There are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish in 115 towns.  In 2015, 15,957 baptisms, 15,195 confirmations, 15,312 First Holy Communions and 3,267 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 16,047 students in Catholic elementary schools; 11,478 students in Catholic high schools and 4,400 students in higher institutions. There are 47 Catholic elementary schools (43 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese.  There are 102,353 students enrolled in religious education programs.  Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three health care centers, four homes for the aged, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs. More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system.  In 2015, Catholic Charities assisted more than 60,000 people of every faith and background.  (12/16).

CONTACT:           Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
(c) 516-510-0473
E-mail: sdolan@drvc.org

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