Diocese of Rockville Centre

  • Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez; Cardinal Edward Egan to Participate
  • 3 Major Diocesan Celebrations
  • Processions, Lectures Taking Place Throughout Long Island

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, May 17, 2006 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre is gearing up for its first Eucharistic Congress. Beginning on the vigil of the feast of Pentecost, June 3, 2006 and continuing for two weeks, ending with the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 18, 2006, the diocese and local parishes are planning special celebrations, processions, discussions, catechesis, prayers and spiritual opportunities aimed at deepening devotion, understanding and reverence for the Eucharist.

At the invitation of Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Oscar Rodriquez, Archbishop of Honduras, will visit Long Island on June 3 to participate in the opening pilgrimage at Our Lady of the Island Shrine in Eastport. Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, will lead the closing celebration on June 18, 2006.

”With great joy I invite the whole Diocese to participate in the first Diocesan Eucharistic Congress,” said Bishop Murphy. “These two weeks of giving thanks to God for the gift of His Son who left us the Eucharist as his most precious gift will be a time of extraordinary grace for one and all. This Eucharistic Congress is a time when we make a special effort to increase our understanding of and participation in the mystery of the Eucharist. It is time when the focus of all we do is on the Eucharist.”

While each of the parishes across Long Island will have their own moments of prayer and celebration, there will be three major diocesan celebrations:

1. Saturday, June 3: Vigil of Pentecost
Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island, Eastport

  • Noon: Opening prayer
  • 12:30 p.m.: Keynote address: Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez
  • 5:00 p.m.: Mass – Main celebrant: Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez

The Opening event will be a daylong family celebration at Our Lady of the Island Shrine, Eastport.  Many people representing the diversity of the Catholic Church on Long Island will make this pilgrimage.  Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez of Honduras will offer a reflection on the Eucharist, the Church and Diversity.  He will also be the main celebrant of the outdoor Mass at 5:00 p.m.  Bishop Murphy, bishops and priests of the diocese will concelebrate. The Mass will be broadcast live on Telecare, the diocesan television station (Cablevision, Channel 29).

2. Saturday, June 10: Eve of the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
Youth Event: Holy Trinity H.S., Hicksville

  • Noon: Gathering Songs by Matt Maher and band
  • 1:15 p.m.: Keynote address: Paul George
  • 5:00 p.m.: Mass – Main celebrant: Bishop William Murphy

Hundreds of young people in their teens and 20’s are expected to participate in a daylong Youth Event at Holy Trinity High School, Hicksville. Beginning at noon, the day will be filled with music, fun, learning, prayer and celebration. Gifted at developing Gospel relevancy for young adults through stories and humor, Paul George, co-founder of ADORE (a non-profit organization with the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux), will deliver the keynote address (www.adoreworship.com).

Noted Catholic contemporary music artist Matt Maher and his band (www.spiritandsong.com) will provide music during the day and a special concert following Mass. At World Youth Day in Toronto, Matt’s “Litany of the Saints” was sung at the official Papal Evening Prayer with Pope John Paul II. Mass will begin at 5:00 p.m. and Bishop Murphy will be the main celebrant. Concelebrating with him will be bishops and priests of the diocese including two new priests ordained earlier that day at St. Agnes Cathedral.

3. Sunday, June 18: Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
Mass and Procession: St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre

  • 12:30 p.m.: Mass – Main celebrant: Cardinal Edward Egan
  • Outdoor procession following Mass

The two weeks will be brought to a formal close with a Solemn Mass in St. Agnes Cathedral at 12:30 p.m. Cardinal Edward Egan, archbishop of N.Y., will be the principal celebrant and homilist. Bishop Murphy, bishops and priests of the diocese will concelebrate. An outdoor procession and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament will immediately follow. This Mass will be broadcast live on Telecare.

4. June 3-June 18: Parish Celebrations

During the two weeks of the Eucharistic Congress at many of the 133 parishes in the diocese, there will be Eucharistic Adoration, discussions, workshops, processions, rosaries, Benedictions and any number of opportunities to show love for the Lord.

Check the diocesan website www.drvc.org for more information.

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 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, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 80,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit www.drvc.org

Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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