ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will celebrate 40 years of Catholic television on Long Island with its annual fundraising telethon the weekend of January 17-18, 2009.

The telethon will air from 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, and Noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, with both day-long broadcasts being re-aired overnight on Saturday and Sunday.  Phone lines will be open throughout the live broadcasts and the overnight re-broadcasts.  The telethon will air on Cablevision channel 29 or on Verizon FiOS channel 296.  Viewers can also catch the telethon online at  WLNY-TV55 will also air the telethon between 3-5 p.m. on Saturday January 17th and 3-5 p.m. on Sunday January 18th.

As the station’s major fundraiser, the telethon is critical to Telecare’s ability to keep up with advances in communications technology.  This year’s telethon does come during difficult financial times.  “We feel the economic crunch too,” said Rev. Msgr. James C. Vlaun, Telecare president and CEO.  “Our hope and prayer is that people will see the value of Telecare and continue to support faith-based programming in the diocese.” 
All funds raised from the telethon are used in the television ministry.

The telethon will feature well known personalities from the entertainment and sports worlds, including musicians like Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge as well as Stevvi Alexander, who has performed with Gwen Stefani, Sheryl Crow and others, and stars from the New York Jets and New York Islanders.  Telecare regulars like Chef Lidia Bastianich and other stars from the Real Food program, along with hosts of other Telecare programs, will also be on hand, as well as performers from around the diocese, among them the youth group from Our Lady of Victory parish, Floral Park and the Sister Thea Bowman Diocesan Gospel Choir.

Bishop Murphy is scheduled to take part, as will each of the diocesan auxiliary bishops, along with many clergy, religious and active lay Catholics from around the diocese.  Individual parishes will also be highlighted throughout the weekend. 

Msgr. Vlaun will host the 18-hour telethon along with Long Island Catholic columnist, Rev. Msgr. Joseph DeGrocco, host of Telecare’s Divine Intervention game show and Father Frank Nelson, pastor of St. Anne parish, Brentwood.

Contributions can be made by phoning in to the telethon directly at 516-538-8811; via direct mail by making checks out to Telecare, P.O. Box 158, Uniondale, NY 11553; or online by visiting the Telecare web site at  Telecare accepts all major credit cards.


Sean P. Dolan,
Diocese of Rockville Centre
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( 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).