Diocese of Rockville Centre

Over 225 People to Be Baptized Roman Catholic On Saturday night During Easter Vigil Masses throughout the Diocese of Rockville Centre


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – April 1, 2010 The Diocese of Rockville Centre’s Easter Vigil Mass, celebrating the Resurrection of Christ, will be celebrated on Saturday, April 3, 2010 across parishes on Long Island.  The Mass is held in the hours of darkness between sunset on Holy Saturday and sunrise on Easter Day. 

The Mass is broken into four parts; Light Service, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of Baptism and Liturgy of the Eucharist.  The Mass begins in darkness before the Blessing of the Fire and Lighting of the Paschal Candle.  The Easter proclamation is sung by a deacon.  The Liturgy of the Word is extended with seven readings about creation, crossing of the Red Sea and salvation. 
The next section is Liturgy of Baptism.  This year over 225 men, women and children will be fully initiated into the Catholic Church across the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  Almost 500 people will be completing their sacraments and be received into the church.  These 775 people have gone through the process of Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). 

The Liturgy of Baptism begins with the Litany of Saints.  The priest blesses the water of the baptismal font and the candidates make their Baptismal promises.  The newly Baptized are then clothed with the white Baptismal garment and given their Baptismal candle.  The celebration of confirmation continues with Laying on of Hands and Anointing with Chrism. The congregation then renews their baptismal promises and is sprinkled with Holy Water. 

The Liturgy of the Eucharist is the last part of the Mass.  The newly baptized receive Holy Communion for the first time.

There are many reasons people choose to join the Catholic Church later on in life.  Many people feel they have a special call from God inviting them to the Catholic Church while some people are interested in getting married in the Catholic Church.  The goal of initiation is to transform your mind and heart to put Jesus Christ at the center of one’s life.  

Michael Zemsky, who was raised Jewish, was inspired to become Roman Catholic by his wife and her family who are devout Catholics.  ”I feel the Catholic faith exposes me to a community of many good people to not only be around but be inspired by”, said Zemsky.  “I truly believe Jesus has called me in various ways.”  Michael Zemsky is answering this call this year at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Edward the Confessor Church in Syosset. 

For more information about Easter Vigil Mass times, contact your local parish or visit www.drvc.org


About The Catholic Church of Long Island
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 1.5 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 133 parishes in 115 towns.  Last year over 17,000 baptisms, 19,000 confirmations, 17,000 first communions and 3,000 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are approximately 20,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,500 in higher institutions.  There are 69 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, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice.  In 2008, Catholic Charities assisted more than 55,485 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (12/08).

CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
                Director of Communications
                (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
                (c) 516-510-0473
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