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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Office of Communications

2011 Press Releases

21 December 2011

Church Name Becomes “The Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary”

Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church in Southampton ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – December 21, 2011 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, visiting Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church in Southampton last Sunday, announced to parishioners that at his request, the church has been declared a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.

“For many centuries the Holy See has granted the honorific title of ‘minor basilica’ to a limited number of churches around the world that have a special meaning, are of unusual beauty and have a solid community of faithful,” said Bishop Murphy.  “For example, the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington is one as is Old Saint Patrick’s in Manhattan, the first cathedral in New York.  

“Our diocese has the cathedral in Rockville Centre.  There is and can be only one seat of the Bishop.  Yet the diocese is comprised of two counties.  In the past, some in Suffolk and especially the East End have felt distant from the diocese.  As bishop, I have tried for these ten years to be present in every part of the diocese.  However, I thought it would be a mark of recognition to the Catholics of the East End to have a parish with a distinguished history and a church building of remarkable beauty well supported by a congregation of faith receive this title.  

“When in Rome for the ad liminia, I made the request for Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, submitting the 100th anniversary history and a DVD done by John Romanowski (of the office of faith formation) and Bishop Libasci to illustrate the significance and the beauty of this parish church.  

“A day after I submitted it, I was informed that the Holy Father had granted this title so that from now, it will be known as the Basilica Parish of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.  

“I believe it adds distinction to the Church on the East End and will a recognition in which the parishioners can take pride and it will become more and more a place of pilgrimage with people from all over the island and beyond joining the parishioners in prayer and in the celebration of Mass.”  

Bishop Murphy said that in the New Year a special Mass will be celebrated when, “we will officially install within the new basilica the insignia of its new status.”


About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre ( was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.  The diocese serves approximately 1,737,498 baptized Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.4 million).  There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns.  In 2010, 16,318 baptisms, 16,296 confirmations, 17,123 First Holy Communions and 4,773 marriages took place in the diocese.  There are 18,496 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,328 students in Catholic high schools and 3,500 students in higher institutions.  There are 53 Catholic elementary schools (49 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 high schools (3 diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college in the diocese.  Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice.  In 2010, Catholic Charities assisted more than 53,500 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island.  (09/11).


Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
(c) 516-510-0473
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


CONTACT: Gina Irwin
December 20, 2011
Manager of Community Relations
CHS Continuing Care

(631) 465-6433

Melville, NY- Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island, one of the region’s largest integrated healthcare systems, is sponsoring a training program for volunteers who are interested in becoming a CHS Spiritual Care Companion.  This free program will offer individuals the required skills necessary for caring and listening to people who are sick or elderly. The training classes will cover such topics as: goals of ministry to the sick, how to be a good listener, how to respond to crisis and grief and more.

Learn more about sharing your gift of time and presence as a CHS Spiritual Care Companion and help those who are hospitalized, living in a nursing home, or homebound. We are particularly looking for Spanish speaking volunteers. Those interested may attend an informational session on Tuesday, February 7th from 9:30am – 11:30am at Our Lady of Consolation, 111 Beach Drive, West Islip. There will be 6 training sessions which will run from February 28th through April 3rd. All sessions are from 9:30am – 12:30pm. Light refreshments will be served. 

For further information, please call Carol Cella at 631-465-6307 or Trish Luvin at 631-465-6306.

Founded in 1997, Catholic Health Services of Long Island is an integrated healthcare delivery system that includes some of the region’s finest health and human service agencies. It is comprised of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for people with special needs. More than 15,200 staff and 2,700 medical professionals work within the system.


15 December 2011



WHAT: Solemn Funeral Mass for Cardinal Foley on Telecare

The Solemn Funeral Mass for Cardinal John P. Foley will air live on Telecare from the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. 

Archbishop Edwin O'Brien, administrator of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, will be the principal celebrant for the Mass.

Most Reverend Timothy P. Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will be the homilist.  

WHEN: LIVE -- Thursday, December 16, 2011 beginning at 2:00 PM  (*Rebroadcast at 10:00 PM)

WHERE:  Telecare --

  • Cablevision Channel #29 - Long Island, NY.
  • Cablevision Channel #137 - Remaining regions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • Verizon FiOS TV - Channel #296 - New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
  • Live stream on: - Worldwide



CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
                 Director of Communications
                 (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
                 (c) 516-510-0473
                 E-mail:     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Contact:  Colleen Valdini,
Public & External Affairs Manager
Christine Hendriks,
VP, Public & External Affairs
Phone:          (631) 376-4104

Date:           December 20, 2011

West Islip, NY
– The Guilds of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center recently presented $65,000 to The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation to support the hospital’s Pediatric Emergency Department.  This gift brought the Guilds’ 2011 donations to a total of $221,000 for various programs, including pediatrics, maternity, women’s imaging and emergency medicine.  Made up of volunteers from surrounding communities, the Guilds have helped sustain the hospital for more than 50 years.

“The Guilds not only raise money for the hospital but also are the best ambassadors in communicating the mission within the community,” said Foundation Board Member Henry C. Schreiber, Jr.

This most recent Guild donation will enhance the emergency care of pediatric patients.  It will enable the acquisition of an Olympic Cool-Cap® system to be administered to newborns within the first six hours of life.  This treatment can prevent or significantly reduce the severity of injury to the nervous system from inadequate oxygen.  The Guilds’ donation will also support the use of nitrous oxide.  This mild sedation provides comfort for pediatric patients who must undergo painful procedures.

Good Samaritan ensures that pediatric patients, from newborns to adolescents, receive expert care close to home.  Services include pediatric cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology, neurology, pulmonology, hematology, treatment for sleep and breathing disorders, developmental care, and allergy and asthma treatment.  The hospital also cares for special-needs children and has the most extensive perinatal and neonatal services in southern Suffolk County. 
For more information on the Guilds and volunteer opportunities at Good Samaritan, call (631) 376-4444.

2011 Guild Donation

Pictured (L-R): Good Samaritan Hospital Vice President, Administration, Joseph Loiacono, The Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation Executive Director Kathy Dulanto, Central Council of the Guilds of Good Samaritan Hospital President Gail Sullivan, Good Samaritan Hospital Executive Vice President and CAO Nancy Simmons, Foundation Board Member Henry C. Schreiber, Jr., and Foundation Board Secretary Terese Weber.


Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center is a 537-bed (including 100 nursing home beds), voluntary, not-for-profit hospital located in West Islip.  The medical center, which has more than 4,500 employees and almost 900 physicians on staff, had nearly 30,000 patient admissions and more than 95,000 emergency department visits in 2010.  Good Samaritan is a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island. Visit the website at
Good Samaritan provided more than $49 million in community service and charity care in 2010.  The medical center supplies residents with the tools necessary to maintain good health.  This includes community lectures, screenings, health fairs and other community programs and services.



REV. MSGR. RICHARD HENNINGROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – December 13, 2011 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre has announced the appointment of Reverend Monsignor Richard Henning as the Rector of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (SIC), Huntington, New York, and the Director of the new Sacred Heart Institute for the Ongoing Formation of Clergy.

The appointments, made after consultation with Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, will take effect in the summer of 2012.  Msgr. Henning, a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, currently serves as the Vice-Rector and a professor of scripture at the Seminary of the
Immaculate Conception.

Ordained in 1992, Msgr. Henning takes charge of the 81-year-old seminary at a time when its academic programs will be focusing on the education of laity and permanent deacon candidates in the three dioceses of the downstate region (Archdiocese of New York, Diocese of Brooklyn, and Diocese of Rockville Centre).  The same dioceses have pledged to work together in the continuing education of their clergy through the Sacred Heart Institute.

"I am very grateful to my Bishop, Bishop William Murphy and to Archbishop Dolan and Bishop DiMarzio for their confidence,” said Msgr. Henning.  “I am excited by new possibilities for serving the good of the Church through these initiatives and I look forward to sharing in this work with many others."

The changes in the program at SIC and the creation of the Institute are part of a larger inter-diocesan partnership that took effect on November 10, 2011 when Bishop Murphy, Archbishop Dolan and Bishop DiMarzio signed a Joint Operating Agreement that pledges collaboration in the training of present and future Catholic priests and their co-workers in ministry.

Last September the three dioceses implemented the first phase of their partnership with the opening of the college and pre-Theology programs for training future priests at the Cathedral Seminary Residence in Douglaston, New York.

The current SIC program offers a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies. Beginning next fall, SIC will offer these degrees to laity and permanent deacon candidates from the three dioceses on both the Huntington campus and on the campus of St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York.  At the same time, Saint Joseph’s Seminary will be the location for the single program in priestly formation at the graduate level.

Since joining the faculty in 2002, Msgr. Henning has coordinated a number of efforts to introduce distance-learning technologies to the seminary program in Huntington. “SIC looks forward to offering theological education to laity and deacon candidates through a variety of delivery systems in the coming years,” he said.  There are already some 400 graduates of SIC's programs in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  The use of educational technologies will extend the programs to a larger student body over a larger geographic area.

The placement of the Sacred Heart Institute at the seminary in Huntington fits with its long history of forming the clergy for all of Long Island.  That mission will now expand to priests and deacons of the entire New York Metropolitan region and beyond.  The institute will provide opportunities for intellectual, pastoral, and spiritual renewal as well as programs tailored to the needs of international priests.

Msgr. Henning holds a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome (Angelicum) and a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. For the last two years, he has directed the Parresia Project, a grant-funded initiative working to improve reception processes for international priests serving in the US.



CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
                Director of Communications
                (p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
                (c) 516-510-0473
                E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Media Contact Information


Diocese of Rockville Centre
P.O. Box 9023
Rockville Centre, NY 11571-9023

Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications

Tel: 516-678-5800, ext. 625
Cell: 516-510-0473
Fax: 516-594-0984
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

For emergencies call the cell phone.