Bishop Murphy Invites Participants to ‘find a friend and bring that friend back into the life of the Church’
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK August 27, 2004 - Over 1,200 high school and college age young people gathered to celebrate their Catholic faith at the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s YouthFest 2004 held on the grounds of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington on Saturday, August 21, 2004.
“Despite wet weather last Saturday, nothing could dampen the spirits or the enthusiasm of the young people who came from all over Long Island,” said the Most Reverend William F. Murphy, S.T.D., L.H.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. “These young people from our parish youth groups, parish high schools and other movements like Scouts are truly faith filled. They believe in Jesus. They have a personal relationship with him. They pray. And they depend on him for their formation and guidance.”
Participants gathered under tents to listen to stories and musical presentations by keynote speakers Jesse Manibusan and Sarah Hart. They also discussed the Catholic experience, vocations and social issues such as bullying, political responsibility and improving the lives of those living in Third World countries. They shared a barbeque lunch and strolled through over 40 exhibits displaying information about diocesan entities, service organizations, Catholic education, vocations and World Youth Day 2005.
“It was a very festive atmosphere filled with plenty of music and a thirst for faith,” said Michael McCarthy, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He added, “this was a great opportunity to see the richness and diversity that is part of our diocese and Long Island. It helps young people see the bigger sense of Church, beyond the parish and diocese to the Universal Church.”
Heavy afternoon rains forced YouthFest organizers to move the concluding Mass indoors into the Seminary chapel. “What a joy for me as a priest to pick my way through a sea of kids to get to the altar where 15 brother priests, Bishop Dunne and I offered Mass with such a wondrous portion of our diocese.” Bishop Murphy invited attendees to find a friend and bring him or her back into the life of the Church. “I reminded them that the task of lay men and women of every age is to bring Christ into the world,” added Bishop Murphy.
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. For more information visit www.drvc.org.
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625