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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Calls to County Executive’s Office Go Unanswered

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK – September 8, 2015 – The route of the Sunday morning Inaugural Suffolk County, Long Island Marathon effectively closes off, Montauk Highway, the very street that the Church of Saint Lawrence the Martyr is on (Corner of Montauk Highway and Handsome Ave., Sayville, NY) from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Sunday morning – 9/13, thereby preventing access to Mass by hundreds of Catholics. The route also impedes access to the Parish of Our Lady of the Snow, Blue Point (17 Blue Point Ave., Blue Point, NY) and the Parish of Saint Francis de Sales, Patchogue (Corner of S. Ocean Ave., and Amity Street, Patchogue, NY).

“While the idea of a marathon and its support for veterans is laudable, it surprises and dismays me that this road closure seems to have been chosen without any regard for the Christian observance of Sunday Worship,” said the Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Attempts by Saint Lawrence the Martyr parish and the Diocese of Rockville Centre to dialogue with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone’s office have gone unanswered.

“We are asking the organizers of the marathon and its route to respect the rights of Catholics along the route and accommodate their right and obligation for Sunday Worship,” said Bishop Murphy.