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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Ireland Native Assigned to St. Peter of Alcantara Parish

Rockville Centre, New York, July 18, 2006 – Bishop William Murphy appointed Father Patrick J. Whitney pastor of St. Peter of Alcantara parish in Port Washington, N.Y., effective June 28, 2006.

Father Whitney’s most recent pastorate was at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y., which he founded in 1988.

“There’s still a sadness because I was there for 18 years,” said Father Whitney. “You get to know people—whether they come to church or not.”

Born in Longford, Ireland, Father Whitney attended All Hollows College in Dublin and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1968.

When Father Whitney came to Long Island, he served as chaplain of Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, N.Y. He also earned his master’s degree in religious education at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y.

Father Whitney’s first parish assignment was in 1968 at St. Catherine of Sienna parish in Franklin Square, N.Y.

In 1969, he was assigned to St. Anne parish in Garden City, N.Y., followed by St. Mary parish in Roslyn, N.Y. in 1975 and St. Philip Neri parish in Northport, N.Y. in 1980.

Father Whitney described the parishioners at St. Peter of Alcantara parish as “very welcoming.”

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 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, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 80,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit

Sean P. Dolan
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