For Immediate Release
29 November 2010
Canons Regular of Saint Augustine of Klosterneuburg to Establish Foundation in Diocese of Rockville Centre; will assume Pastoral Care for Two Parishes
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – November 29, 2010 – The Canons Regular of Saint Augustine of Klosterneuburg have accepted Bishop Murphy’s invitation to found an Institute of the Stift Klosterneuburg in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
In doing so, they have accepted the pastoral care of the parishes of Saint Patrick and Saint Rocco in Glen Cove, New York effective June 2011. Each parish will have its own pastor and continue to maintain its own separate identity. Initially, three priests will arrive in June with the hope of more priests to come in the future.
“We look forward to the presence of the Canons in our diocese and we are very excited that they will be sharing their rich traditions and spiritual life with us,” said the Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre.
"The new small U.S. community will lead a common life according to the Rule of Saint Augustine in the rectory of Saint Patrick's and thereby introduce the institution of the Canons Regular in the northern U.S.," said the Provost of the Canons, Abbot General of the Austrian Congregation of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine and Abbot Primate of the Confederation of the Canons Regular of Saint Augustine, Most Reverend Bernhard Backovsky.
While the Canons are from Klosterneuburg, a small town near Vienna, in Lower Austria, the priests who will make up the Glen Cove congregation are all Americans, two of them originally from the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Father Daniel (Baptismal name: Stephen) Nash, who will become the pastor of Saint Patrick’s parish, is a native of Wantagh. Father Daniel was baptized in Saint Agnes Cathedral and raised in Saint Frances de Chantal parish, Wantagh, where he attended the parish school. He graduated from Chaminade High School, Mineola and Catholic University of America, Washington, DC. For seven years he served as a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington before joining the abbey at Klosterneuburg seven years ago.
A Syosset native, Father Elias (Baptismal name: Matthew) Carr will become the pastor of Saint Rocco’s Parish. Father Bruno (Baptismal name: Richard) Semple of Spokane Washington will complete the trio of priests coming to Glen Cove.
It’s great to be back on Long Island, said Father Daniel. “This is a dream come to fruition,” he added.
The priests are part of an “American Project,” where nine American men who joined the order in Austria, hoping to eventually be able to bring its tradition of priestly fraternity and communal living to the United States.
“We are excited to come to a place where there is a lot of life,” said Father Daniel. “The European Church is different. Parish life here is going to be a lot busier.” While the parish he is currently pastor of has 7,200 parishioners, only about 300 attend Mass.
The Canons are a religious community but are very similar to diocesan priests. The most significant difference is that members of a religious community live in community and take vows of obedience, chastity, common property and stability. The Canons also pray the Divine Office communally.
The arrival of the Canons to the diocese continues a long history of religious orders providing pastoral leadership in the diocese. Currently, Saint Anthony’s parish, Oceanside is an apostolate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits); Saint Martin of Tours parish, Bethpage is led by the Redemptorists; and the Capuchin Friars of the Province of Saint Mary provide pastoral service to St. Joseph the Worker parish, East Patchogue.
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 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 55 Catholic elementary schools (51 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan and 7 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. (11/10).
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