Diocese of Rockville Centre

Recipients Hail from Westbury, Central Islip and West Hempstead

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, July 2, 2007—The Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry of the Diocese of Rockville Centre announced the recipients of the 2007 Albert Neal, Sr. Scholarship Award. They are Nathanael Augustin of Westbury, N.Y.; Michael Joseph Edwards, Jr. of Central Islip, N.Y.; and Brianne Marie Hudson of West Hempstead, N.Y.

To be considered for the $1000 scholarship for Catholic high school tuition, the applicant must be of African ancestry and must be graduating from a Catholic middle school. They must also have an average of B or higher and submit letters of reference, as well as an essay about why Catholic education is important.

Nathanael Augustin is a graduate of Our Lady of Hope Regional School, Westbury, N.Y. and will attend St. Dominic Catholic High School, Oyster Bay, N.Y. in the fall. At Our Lady of Hope, he was captain and Most Valuable Player of the basketball team and a member of student council, mock trial club and international club. At St. Brigid parish, he is a Haitian youth group teacher.

Michael Joseph Edwards, Jr. is a graduate of Our Lady of Providence Regional School, Central Islip, N.Y. and will attend St. Anthony High School, South Huntington, N.Y. in the fall. At Our Lady of Providence, he played flute in the band and was a member of Science Technology Education Program, the art club, National Junior Honor Society and peer mediators. He also led the 8th grade used eyeglasses drive.

At St. John of God parish, Edwards founded the Youth Group, donates his time as an altar server and junior lector and participates in the Youth Advisory Council. He is also a member of Central Islip Little League and plays basketball for the traveling team of the Central Islip Police Athletic League.

Brianne Marie Hudson is a graduate of St. Thomas the Apostle School, West Hempstead, N.Y. and will be attending Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, N.Y. in the fall. At St. Thomas the Apostle, she was a class representative, a member of the Glee Club and Yearbook Committee and a player on the CYO basketball team. She also cheered for the West Hempstead Broncos and volunteered for the Youth Group, acted in the summer play and worked at the carnival at St. Thomas the Apostle parish, among other activities.

The scholarship recipients will be honored at a luncheon in May 2008. The recipients, as well as the applicants, are also invited to attend the First Annual Youth and Young Adult Conference and Luncheon on July 29, 2007 at Dave and Buster’s Sports Café. There, they will discuss the creation of a Youth and Young Adult Advisory Council for the Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry. They will also discuss a possible Black Awareness Group, a youth rally, a Bible study group and a quarterly newsletter.

“These people will be the leaders that I will listen to,” said Darcel Whitten-Wilamowski, coordinator of the Ministry to Catholics of African Ancestry. “I want them to tell me what they want and together we can implement it.”

Once started, the group will meet at various parishes once a month.

For more information about the ministry, visit http://www.drvc.org/african_ancestry.html 

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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)

For more information Contact:
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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