ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, May 24, 2007 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, will celebrate a Golden Jubilee Mass to honor the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Rockville Centre at St. Agnes Cathedral on Sunday, June 3, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. Concelebrating the Mass will be priests and bishops from the diocese.
“We have every reason to celebrate our jubilee year, 2007, first off with great gratitude to God for all that He has accomplished as His Church, the Body of Christ, has grown and flourished on Long Island,” said Bishop Murphy. “Our Church institutions, especially our 133 parishes, are strong and vibrant oases of faith and life for all who find here the home that Jesus Christ has prepared for us.”
At the Jubilee Mass, the 250-voice Diocesan Choir will sing, and different languages will be used during the Liturgy.
“This is to show the varieties of peoples who make up the one Church of Rockville Centre,” said Sister Sheila Browne, worship office coordinator for the diocese.
The Liturgy will be followed by a reception in the parish center.
All diocesan priests and deacons are invited. Each parish has been sent tickets to the Mass and reception so that all parishes can be represented. The Mass will also be broadcast live on Telecare, Channel 29 (Cablevision).
The Golden Jubilee Year officially began Sunday, January 21, 2007, when Bishop Murphy celebrated a Mass in honor of the Feast of St. Agnes, the diocese’s patron saint, at St. Agnes Cathedral. On May 19, young Catholics celebrated the diocesan anniversary in preparation for World Youth Day 2008 at the Proud 2B Catholic Youth Fest. Bishop Murphy and members of the diocesan community will make a pilgrimage to Rome from November 4 to November 12 under the leadership of Monsignor James McNamara, pastor of Holy Cross Church, Nesconset. The celebration will conclude January 21, 2008 with a closing Mass at St. Agnes Cathedral.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was actually established May 27, 1957, when Pope Pius XII separated Nassau and Suffolk Counties from the mother Diocese of Brooklyn. This anniversary will be observed June 3 because of Memorial Day Weekend, as well as the Holy Season of Easter.
At the time of its establishment, Rockville Centre was the only diocese in the country to be named after an incorporated village. Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg was appointed founding bishop of the diocese, which served almost a half million Catholics.
“Nassau County was growing rapidly in the post-war housing boom whose emblematic town would be Levittown but whose dynamic force would forever change the face of the island,” Bishop Murphy said.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, 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 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.8 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 18,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 19,000 first communions and 4,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 22,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. There are also 120,189 total students in religious education. 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 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (4/20/07)
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625