ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, June 8, 2007 — Pope Benedict XVI conferred the papal honor of monsignor on Father Thomas J. Harold, pastor of Holy Name of Mary parish, Valley Stream, N.Y.

Msgr. Harold said he was surprised when the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, made the announcement. He said the parishioners at Holy Name of Mary parish were “very affirming.”

Msgr. Harold was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from Chaminade High School, Mineola, N.Y. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theology from St. John’s University, a Master of Arts degree in English from Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y., and a Master of Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, N.Y.

He was a Marianist Religious Brother for 15 years and taught English at Chaminade High School from 1976 to 1987.

Ordained into the priesthood May 25, 1991, Msgr. Harold was first assigned to Holy Family parish, Hicksville, N.Y. In 1996, he was appointed Director of the diocesan Vocations Office. In 2000, he was assigned to Holy Name of Mary parish, where he is pastor.

Msgr. Harold said the biggest difference between being a priest and being a pastor is the administrative issues.

“You need to try to be an effective leader and continue to try to be an effective priest,” he said.

He said the best part about priesthood is celebrating the Eucharist and Sacraments, as well as “having the privilege of sharing important moments of [parishioners’] lives with them.”

He has been on the Board of Admissions for the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception for the past two years.

Msgr. Harold has five brothers and one sister. He is a fan of golf, baseball and dramatic movies.

Editor’s Note: Photo Courtesy of The Long Island Catholic/Greg Shemitz

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 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)

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