Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, May 12, 2006 - The Diocese of Rockville Centre and its parishes are using the buzz surrounding Dan Brown’s novel, “The Da Vinci Code” and the worldwide debut of Sony Corp.’s film version of the novel as opportunities to communicate authentic Catholic teaching.

On a diocesan level, Telecare, the diocesan television station has produced a 30-minute program entitled, “Deciphering Da Vinci.” In addition,Telecare will air “Jesus Decoded,” a documentary from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The Most Reverend Emil A. Wcela, auxiliary bishop of Rockville Centre has written three columns in the diocesan newspaper, The Long Island Catholic. Bishop Wcela uses these columns to correct false claims made in the novel.

In his column, Bishop Wcela also encourages Catholics who choose to see the two-hour movie to also spend a comparable amount of time reading and thinking about the Gospels.

“If enough people do that, perhaps all this hullabaloo over “The Da Vinci Code” will have accomplished something good after all,” said Bishop Wcela.

Following is a sampling of parish activities relating to the release of “The Da Vinci Code” movie:

St. Mary’s Parish, Manhasset
§ Father Nick Zientarski has prepared a book discussion and presentation entitled, “The Da Vinci Danger,” to be held on May 23 at 7:30 p.m. in the parish center. The presentation will explore the book and help clarify the truth as the movie version of this controversial fictional novel is released in theaters.

St. William the Abbot Parish, Seaford
§ The parish will show a video entitled, “The Da Vinci Deception: Fact vs. Fiction” on Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. A discussion will follow the video.

The Church of St. Gertrude, Bayville
§ A workshop will be offered that will address the questions raised in the book. This workshop will be held on Wednesday, May 17 and May 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Cure of Ars Parish, Merrick
§ Father Charles Mangano, pastor, will address the topic of the movie in his column in the weekly bulletin.
§ Fact/Fiction pamphlets about “The Da Vinci Code” will be available for parishioners at the doors of the Church.

Sacred Heart Parish, Island Park
§ The parish will distribute a pamphlet produced by Our Sunday Visitor entitled, “The Da Vinci Code - A Catholic Response.”

St. Rosalie’s Parish, Hampton Bays
§ Msgr. Dennis Regan, pastor will prepare a note in the parish bulletin letting Catholics know that the book and movie are fiction.

St. Aloysius Parish, Great Neck
§ The parish will distribute at all Masses the Catholic Digest pamphlet entitled, “The Truth About The Da Vinci Code.”

St. Hedwig’s Parish, Floral Park
§ The parish will distribute the Catholic Digest pamphlet entitled, “The Truth About the Da Vinci Code.”

St. James Parish, Seaford
§ The parish has been running announcements in the weekly bulletin. Priests have also referenced the novel in their homilies. The parish will continue to run announcements in the bulletin sourced from the USCCB site, www.jesusdecoded.com 

Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish, Point Lookout
§ The parish will run a series of reprints in its weekly bulletin from a brochure published by Our Sunday Visitor entitled, “A Catholic Response. The Da Vinci Code.”

Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Lindenhurst
§ The parish has and will continue to address the movie through weekly messages in the parish bulletin.

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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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