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Diocese of Rockville Centre

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – October 6, 2015 – The Most Reverend William Murphy, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre, has announced that the Holy Father, Pope Francis has conferred the honor of Chaplains to His Holiness to three priests of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, an honor which carries the title of “Monsignor.” The title is effective immediately. The three priests are as follows:

  •  Reverend Monsignor Peter Dooley, pastor of Saint Philip Neri, Northport
  • Reverend Monsignor William Gomes, pastor of Saint Boniface, Elmont
  • Reverend Monsignor Robert Hayden, pastor of Saint William the Abbot, Seaford


The title of monsignor is one of distinction given by the pope to certain priests in the Roman Catholic Church as part of a papal honor recognizing the priest’s service to the Church. The diocesan bishop nominates candidates for the honor and submits the names and biographies to the Holy See. The Holy Father then, if he wishes, confers the honor upon the priest.

There are three grades of papal honors which carry the title Monsignor: Protonotary Apostolic, which are usually priests who are working in the Vatican; Prelates of Honor to His Holiness, which were historically associates with the chamberlain of the papal court, and Chaplains to His Holiness. This honor can be conferred to priests inside or outside of the Roman Curia. A Chaplain to His Holiness wears a black cassock with fuchsia piping and buttons along with a fuchsia sash.

Priests who are given papal honors and thus named monsignors are considered to be members of the papal household and thus are listed in the Annuario Pontificio, which is the papal yearbook.

Reverend Monsignor Peter Dooley 67, was incardinated into the Diocesan priesthood in 1989. He was ordained into the Marianist order in 1976. He serves as pastor of the Parish of Saint Philip Neri, Northport, New York. Previously, he served as pastor of the Parish of Saint Barnabas, Bellmore, New York.

Ordained in 1969 in India, Reverend Monsignor William Gomes 73, serves as pastor of the Parish of Saint Boniface, Elmont, New York. Previously, he served as pastor of the Parish of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Point Lookout, New York.

Reverend Monsignor Robert Hayden 70, was ordained in 1970 and serves as pastor of the Parish of Saint William the Abbot, Seaford. Previously, he served as pastor of the Parish of Saint Aidan, Williston Park and vice rector/co-director of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, New York.