29 April 2011

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – April 29, 2011 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre appointed seven new members of the Diocesan Catholic Elementary Education Commission and graciously thanked the seven members of the commission who have concluded over five years of service since the inception of the commission in 2005.

“Each of these volunteers has brought a wealth of expertise, wisdom and insight to the commission,” said Bishop Murphy.  “Each of the members brought an interest in and a dedication to the preservation and improvement of Catholic elementary education in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.”

Creation of the commission was one of the major recommendations made to Bishop Murphy from the Catholic Elementary School Study Committee he formed back in 2004.  The committee was charged with providing actionable recommendations to the bishop after studying enrollment trends in Catholic schools and the percentage of subsidy from parishes; designing and implementing surveys to ascertain commitment of pastors and parents for continuing Catholic schools; investigating the level of interest in and cost of regional middle schools; review the current use of the annual grant the diocese makes; recommendations for the future; discovering alternative funding sources, and a diocesan-wide education endowment.

“We’re truly blessed to have such a group of talented people all dedicated to furthering Catholic education on Long Island,” said Sister Joanne Callahan, OSU, superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre.  “We’re thankful for the countless hours, late night meetings as well as the talent of the individuals who served this committee since their appointment by Bishop Murphy in 2005.  And, we’re excited to have such a great group of new members who are raring to go as we face the challenges before us.”

Comprised of clergy, consecrated women and the laity, the 19 member body consists of Catholic school educators, parents and professionals from finance, law and communications. 

The commission includes:
*Boldface/asterisk indicate new member

 *Linda Britton is a dedicated and seasoned teaching professional who has attended Catholic elementary and high school in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

 Gerald M. Cattaro, Ed.D.  Dr. Cattaro is the director of the Center of Non-Public Education and Catholic Leadership and an associate professor of education at Fordham University.

 *Nan Doherty.  Ms. Doherty is assistant principal for curriculum and instruction and student activities for Saint John the Baptist Diocesan High School, West Islip, NY.

 *Reverend Gerard Gentleman, Jr.  Father Gentleman is the pastor of Holy Family parish, Hicksville.  He serves on the Presbyteral Council of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and on the Pastor’s Advisory Board of the Department of Education.  

 Joseph Geoghan, chair.  Mr. Geoghan has served as chair of the Diocesan Education Commission since its inception in 2005.  He has also chaired or participated in several task forces and commissions on Catholic elementary school education since 1975 for the Diocese of Brooklyn, including six years on that diocese’s Education Commission.  He was vice president and general counsel and a member of the board of directors of Union Carbide Corporation when he retired in 1998.

 *Sister Kerry Handal, CSJ.  Currently, Sr. Kerry serves as co-coordinator of Saint Joseph Villa (vacation and retreat center for the Sisters of Saint Joseph).  Previously, Sr. Kerry served as principal/director of development for the Academy of Saint Joseph.

 Maureen Hannan.  Ms. Hannon has 18 years of experience in finance at The Seagram Company, LTD, which included work in investor relations, strategic planning and advising senior management on complex financial transactions.

 Eileen T. Kilbride, Ed.D.  Dr. Kilbride has been involved in Catholic education for 40 years.  She is the principal of Saint Joseph School, Garden City.

 Sister Patricia Koehler, OP.  Sr. Patricia is the supervisor of the Professional Development Program for Nassau BOCES and an instructor on the adjunct faculty of Molloy College.

 *Jeanne Morcone.  Since 1992, Ms. Morcone has served as the principal of Trinity Regional School located at three sites (East Northport, Melville and Northport.)  Previously, she was principal of Saint James school, Seaford and was a social studies teacher at The Ursuline School, New Rochelle.

 Joanne O’Brien, Ed.D.  Dr. O’Brien is a professor in the division of Education, Molloy College.  For seven years, Dr. O’Brien served as associate superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre. 

 *Reverend Edward Sheridan.  Ordained a priest in 2007, Father Sheridan was appointed pastor of the Church of Saint Rosalie, Hampton Bays, effective June 2010.  He also serves as chaplain for the New York State Troopers.

 Carol Needham Taylor.  Ms. Needham-Taylor is a practicing attorney and partner in the Williston Park firm of Pasta, Needham and Taylor.

 *John Walsh. Mr. Walsh was awarded the Saint Agnes Medal for Service in September 2010.  Active in his parish of Maria Regina, Seaford, Mr. Walsh retired as vice president of Citibank in 1997.

Ex Officio Non Voting Members:
 Rev. Msgr. Robert Brennan, Vicar General, Diocese of Rockville Centre; pastor, Saint Mary of the Isle parish, Long Beach
 Sister Joanne Callahan, OSU, superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre
 Thomas Doodian, chief financial officer, Diocese of Rockville Centre
 Steven Cheeseman, associate superintendent of schools, Diocese of Rockville Centre
 Sean Dolan, director of communications, Diocese of Rockville Centre
 Kevin Murphy, director of administration, Diocese of Rockville Centre

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
  (c) 516-510-0473
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