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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Former Walt Whitman HS Principal Leads Parish

Rockville Centre, New York, July 18, 2006 – Bishop William Murphy assigned Father John V. O’Farrell pastor of Our Lady of Victory parish in Floral Park, N.Y., effective June 28, 2006.

Father O’Farrell, formerly associate pastor at St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport, N.Y., said he was surprised to hear of the appointment.

“I was not expecting it,” he said. “I’m delighted. The people here are absolutely wonderful.”

The Brooklyn, N.Y. native’s first positions included guidance counselor and social studies teacher at Most Holy Trinity High School in Williamsburg, N.Y., director of pupil personnel services at the Diocese of Brooklyn and assistant principal at St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, N.Y. He was principal of Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, N.Y. for more than 21 years.

After retiring from the South Huntington School District, Father O’Farrell entered the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, N.Y. and graduated in 2002. He completed his pastoral and deaconate experience at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerpoint, N.Y.

Father O’Farrell holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and psychology from St. John’s University, a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Fordham University and a professional degree in school administration and leadership from St. John’s University. He also completed graduate work at New York University, Boston University and Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

Father O’Farrell said he already feels the difference between associate pastor and pastor.

“The buck stops at the pastor’s desk.”

What’s most important to him, however, is “being a leader of God’s people.”

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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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