Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, August 8, 2007—The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, will honor lay people from the Diocese of Rockville Centre with the St. Agnes Medal of Service at a first annual awards event at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, on Friday, September 14, 2007. One individual or married couple from each parish in the diocese has been chosen.

Bishop Murphy announced the creation of the medal at a January 21, 2007 Mass opening the anniversary year of the diocese. Pastors from 133 parishes were asked to nominate lay people who unselfishly donate their time to their parishes.

“Honorees are lay people whose love of the Church has been shown through their devotion to the Holy Father, to our diocese and to their parish,” Bishop Murphy said. “They are the unsung heroes in our midst who build up our parish communities by extraordinary service in parish ministry, parish administration or some significant volunteer role.”

Credentials of the honorees include parish newspaper editor, Eucharistic minister to the homebound, volunteer for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and religious education teacher for more than 20 years.

“’Faith in action’ has been the hallmark of the laity since the Church began,” said Father Peter Dooley, pastor at St. Barnabas parish, Bellmore. “Whether we look at the women who supported the work of Jesus and the Apostles as we find it witnessed in the New Testament, or reflect on the generations of tireless service that the women and men in this diocese have given, we know in our hearts that without their sharing the rich gift of their faith and love, we would be a very poor Church. As we honor an individual member of each parish, we give thanks for the faith-filled goodness and service of every lay person in our midst.”

Designed and crafted in Rome by the jewelers Savi brothers, the medal features the image of St. Agnes, patroness of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, on one side and a depiction of St. Agnes Cathedral on the other. The 2-inch diameter medal is made to be worn around the neck.

Honorees will receive tickets for five guests as well as their pastor or another priest from their parish to accompany them to the ceremony.

The awards event will begin with Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m. and end with a champagne reception in the St. Agnes parish center and a photo session of awardees with their pastor at 8:30 p.m. A booklet compiling names of recipients and the reasons their pastors chose them will be made after the ceremony and sent to the honorees.

Editor’s Note: Photo Courtesy of The Diocese of Rockville Centre

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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)

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Sean P. Dolan
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