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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Rockville Centre, New York, October 23, 2006 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced that Monsignor Francis J. Maniscalco has been appointed director of the Diocesan Respect Life office, effective February 1, 2007. He will succeed Mary Bossart and Madelaine Willi, co-directors of the office, who resigned effective October 15, 2006.

Bossart and Willi served as directors of the office shortly after its creation as a separate office by Bishop William Murphy in 2002. Bishop Murphy expressed sorrow over their resignation and gratitude for their service.

“Bishop Murphy was most gracious when we informed him of our plans and was very generous in his thanks to us,” said Bossart and Willi.

Msgr. Maniscalco is returning to diocesan ministry after more than 13 years as communications director for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“I am grateful to Bishop Murphy for giving me the opportunity to serve the diocese in the Respect Life office. The right to life is the foundation of all human rights,” said Msgr. Maniscalco. “It is essential that the Church speak and act in defense of the right to life and on behalf of the dignity of the human person throughout life until natural death. I am glad to be assisting Bishop Murphy in maintaining this commitment.”

Prior to working for the USCCB, Msgr. Maniscalco served as associate publisher and editor of The Long Island Catholic newspaper and director of the Bureau of Public Information. Before editing The Long Island Catholic, he served the diocese in different capacities including: director of the Family Life Bureau and director of the Office of Catechesis and Worship. Ordained in 1971, his first assignment was an associate pastor of St. William the Abbot Church, Seaford. Msgr. Maniscalco holds an M.A. degree in Religious Education and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Fordham University.

Msgr. Maniscalco will also advise Bishop Murphy on public policy issues. He will reside at
St.Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hempstead.

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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
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625
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