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6 November 2018

Father Patrick J. Whitney Named Monsignor by Pope Francis

Reverend Monsignor Patrick J. Whitney
Photo courtesy of DRVC Office of Communications


ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – November 6, 2018 – Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, has announced that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has conferred the title of “Monsignor” at the level of Chaplain to His Holiness upon Father Patrick J. Whitney. Reverend Monsignor Whitney currently serves as pastor of the Church of Saint Peter of Alcantara, 

Port Washington. The honor will be conferred by Bishop Barres upon Rev. Msgr. Whitney at the 11:30 a.m. Mass at St. Peter of Alcantara church on December 2, 2018.

“Monsignor Patrick Whitney is an inspiration to the parishioners he has served for decades and an inspiration to priests who value his wisdom, experience, generosity and fraternal charity,” said Bishop Barres.

The title of monsignor is one of distinction given by the pope to certain priests in the Roman Catholic Church as part of a papal honor recognizing the priest’s service to the Church. The diocesan bishop nominates candidates for the honor and submits the names and biographies to the Holy See. The Holy Father then, if he wishes, confers the honor upon the priest.

“It took me by surprise when Bishop Barres told me,” said Msgr.Whitney. “It was a pleasant surprise and I said a Hail Mary and thanked God for the priesthood which I have so enjoyed.”

There are three grades of papal honors which carry the title Monsignor: Protonotary Apostolic, which are usually priests who are working in the Vatican; Prelates of Honor to His Holiness, which were historically associates with the chamberlain of the papal court, and Chaplains to His Holiness. This honor can be conferred to priests inside or outside of the Roman Curia. A Chaplain to His Holiness wears a black cassock with fuchsia piping and buttons along with a fuchsia sash.

Priests who are given papal honors and thus named monsignors are considered to be members of the papal household and thus are listed in the Annuario Pontificio, which is the papal yearbook.

Reverend Monsignor Patrick J. Whitney 74, was born in County Longford, Ireland, and educated there and in Dublin. He was ordained a priest in 1968 for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. After a brief assignment as chaplain at Mercy Hospital, Rockville Centre, he was assigned as associate pastor at the Church of Saint Catherine of Sienna, Franklin Square. He then served as associate pastor at the Church of Saint Anne, Garden City, the Church of Saint Mary, Roslyn and the Church of Saint Philip Neri, Northport. Rev. Msgr. Whitney also served as the founding pastor of the Church of
Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, Lake Ronkonkoma.


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