Diocese of Rockville Centre


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – May 10, 2010 – The Haitian Catholic community of the Haitian ministry of Long Island is ready and eager to welcome the participants of the 28th Annual Convention of The National Center of the Haitian Apostolate, which will be held at Hofstra University from June 11 to June 13.

This spiritual event will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the priestly life of Bishop Guy Sansaricq, a prelate who wants to continue serving until the end of his mission. He invites people to join with him and implore God’s grace on the ministry and Haiti, which was ravaged by the seismic catastrophe of January 12th.

Long Island has six Haitian communities of faith, with five Haitian priests who understand the importance of unity. That is why, since the announcement of the convention on Long Island, Father Eden Jean Baptiste, coordinator of the Haitian ministry, in communion with the Office of New Evangelization of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, and Haitian priests, has taken the necessary steps to make this event a great success.

Monfort Father Wismick Jean-Charles, spiritual leader of the Haitian community at St. Martha's Parish in Uniondale, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Rodrigue Mortel will be among the speakers as well. Deacon Mortel is a distinguished gynecologic oncologist, medical educator and scientist, and director of the Missions Office of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He has published more than 135 articles and two books, one of which is entitled, “I Am from Haiti”. He was the first black, foreign-educated doctor to chair one of the 126 departments of obstetrics and gynecology at United States medical schools, a position he occupied for nearly 13 years before his promotion in 1995 to associate dean and director of the Penn State University Cancer Center. Dr. Mortel has recently created “The Mortel Family Charitable Foundation” a non-profit organization incorporated in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

 Sister Carmele Nerette, co-founder of The Pastoral College, will lead a workshop on liturgy. She is an expert in liturgy and an educator. Father Marc-Arthur François, spiritual leader of St. Patrick’s Parish in Jersey City, will lead a workshop on the role of laypeople in the church. Father Marc-Arthur is a priest dedicated to unity and close to the youth group.

We will have a youth day on June 12, with the Jo Ann Perou; Brother James McVeigh, OSF, director of the Office of New Evangelization in the Diocese of Rockville Centre; Ambassador Johnny Young; Sister Joanna Okereke of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Professor Berthe Leveille will also be involved.

The choruses of St. Brigid’s Parish in Westbury and St. Martha’s in Uniondale will sing at the Masses of the convention. The final Mass will be held on Sunday 13 at St. Martha’s Parish at 12:30 PM. On Saturday night a cultural show will be held with The Believers, the chorus of Sacred Heart Parish and several other artists and choruses.

Participants are encouraged to submit their registrations for the convention as soon as possible. To register, please call The National Center at 718-856-3323.


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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