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Diocese of Rockville Centre


  • David Atanasio of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, West Islip
  • Christopher Mirabal of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Inwood, Manhattan
  • Joseph Scolaro of Church of Saint Dominic, Oyster Bay
  • James Shelton of Saint Edward the Confessor, Syosset

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – June 11, 2014 – On Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 11:00 a.m., the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, will ordain four men who have been in formation at the Saint Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, NY and the Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, NY. This Mass of Ordination will be held at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes and will be broadcast live on Telecare, the diocesan television station (Cablevision, Channel 29/Verizon FiOS 296).

Mass of Ordination
Saturday, June 14, 2014
11:00 a.m.
Cathedral of Saint Agnes
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, New York 11570

Deacon David Atanasio, 32
Home parish: Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, West Islip
Diaconate Year: Church of Saint Barnabas, Bellmore
David Atanasio

Deacon David Atanasio, was born to David and Michele Atanasio in Bay Shore on July 16, 1981. The oldest of eight, David graduated from Brentwood High School and his home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes, West Islip. After graduation, David worked with his father, who at the time delivered bread for Freihofer’s bread company. David was heavily involved in the Life Teen youth ministry program at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish, Lindenhurst. It was there that he first heard the call to become a priest. The moment he knew he wanted to become a priest was during a young adult retreat he attended at Kellenberg Memorial High School. “After hearing a priest give a talk, I felt compelled to go to confession to him, said Deacon Atanasio. “He heard my confession. It was at that moment he asked me if I had ever thought about becoming a priest. I said ‘no’ and I began to cry because I couldn’t believe that the Lord could possibly be calling me to the priesthood with all my brokenness. But He did and He has.” David loves all sports but basketball is by far his favorite.

Deacon Christopher Mirabal, 26
Home parish: Church of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Inwood, Manhattan
Diaconate year: Church of Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Huntington Station
First Mass: Church of Saint Ladislaus, Hempstead – June 15th at 11:45 a.m.
Christopher Mirabal

Born and raised in Inwood, NY, both of Deacon Christopher Mirabal’s parents are from the Dominican Republic. Thanks to the formation of his mother and religious family members and priests, Christopher began to discern his vocation to the priesthood at the age of 14. Divine providence and the need for Hispanic priests brought him to know about the Diocese of Rockville Centre during his third year in Manhattan College, where he studied Philosophy and Religious Studies. He entered the Douglaston Seminary Residence in 2009. After graduating from Manhattan College, he entered the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in 2010. He graduated with an MA in Theology in 2013 and a M. Div. in 2014.

During his time in the major seminary, he served in various parishes, including: Our Lady of Loretto, Hempstead; Saint Mary’s Manhasset; Saint Anne’s, Brentwood; and Saint Hugh of Lincoln, Huntington Station. “I am excited to serve selflessly the communities that form the Diocese of Rockville Centre as a priest with the heart of the Shepherd, Jesus Christ,” said Deacon Mirabal. “My ministerial goal is to be like Christ: bridge communities together into one diverse family, that is, the Church.”

Deacon Joseph Scolaro, 25
Home parish: Church of Saint Dominic, Oyster Bay
Diaconate year: Church of Saint Aidan, Williston Park
First Mass: Church of Saint Dominic, Oyster Bay -- June 15, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.
Joseph Scolaro

Deacon Joseph Scolaro is 25 and grew up in Bayville with his parents, Antonette and Charles and his older sister, Theresa. Though baptized at Saint Gertrude, Bayville, his home parish is Saint Dominic, Oyster Bay where he attended elementary school. He then went on to Chaminade High School and subsequently studied biology and philosophy at The University of Notre Dame, graduating in 2010.

Having been an aspirant to the priesthood through college, he entered the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception the following fall to begin formation. There he spent two years while spending the remaining two years at Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers. As a seminarian, he has spent time at Saint Gertrude parish, Bayville, Saint Patrick parish and Saint Rocco parish, Glen Cove; Ss. Cyril and Methodius parish in Deer Park. He served as a transitional deacon this year at Saint Aidan parish, Williston Park. In his spare time he enjoys reading, playing the piano, running and spending time with family and friends.

Deacon James Shelton, 31
Home parish: Church of Saint Edward the Confessor, Syosset
Diaconate Year: Church of SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Deer Park
Pastoral year: Church of Saint Barnabas, Bellmore
First Mass: Church of Saint Edward the Confessor - June 15th at 2 p.m.
James Shelton

Deacon Jim Shelton is a graduate of Archbishop Molloy High School in Queens. He then graduated from Saint John’s University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Computer Science. During his years at Saint John’s, he was the school mascot for the athletic department, suiting up in costume for all the basketball games on campus and in Madison Square Garden.

Deacon Jim was also a restaurant waiter and manager. Deacon Jim went to the college seminary in Douglaston, Queens before entering the seminary in January 2008. On Sept. 1, 2013, Deacon Jim was ordained into Holy Orders as a Deacon at Saint Agnes Cathedral. Since that time he was assigned to Ss. Cyril and Methodius parish, Deer Park where he learned from Rev. Msgr. Robert Clerkin.

Editor’s Note:
Television cameras will be permitted in the Cathedral. Reporters and still photographers will also be permitted inside the Cathedral but are asked to refrain from the center aisle. For more information, please visit and The Long Island Catholic magazine.