8 June 2012
Bishop William Murphy upon the Appointment of Bishop-elect Robert Brennan and Bishop-elect Nelson Perez as Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
With deep joy I am pleased to share with you the announcement made this morning in the Vatican that His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has given the Diocese of Rockville Centre two new auxiliary bishops.
They are Bishop Elect Robert John Brennan priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Bishop Elect Nelson Jesus Perez, priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Bishop Elect Brennan whose parents are here this morning, was born on June 7, 1962, grew up in Lindenhurst, graduated from St John the Baptist Diocesan High School, received his BA summa cum laude from St John’s University, prepared for the priesthood at our Seminary of the Immaculate Conception and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop John McGann on May 27, 1989. He served as Associate Pastor at St. Patrick, Smithtown and then successively Secretary to three bishops: Bishop McGann, Bishop James McHugh and then myself. In 2002 I asked him to be the Vicar General, a post he continues to hold while serving as well as Pastor of St, Mary of the Isle, Long Beach since 2010.
Bishop Elect Perez was born in Miami Florida on June 16, 1961. His parents, David and Emma Perez are Cuban Americans who left Cuba that year and now reside in Florida. Bishop Elect Perez studied at Montclair State College. Prior to entering the seminary, Bishop elect Perez taught at a Catholic elementary school in Puerto Rico. He then prepared at St. Charles Seminary, Philadelphia and was ordained a priest on May 20, 1989. In 1998, Father Perez was named Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II with the title of monsignor. In 2009, he was made a prelate of honor. Bishop elect Perez is currently the Pastor of St. Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA and has served in various positions in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia including: pastor, Church of Saint William, Philadelphia, PA; founding director for the Catholic Institute for Evangelization, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; adjunct faculty member of La Salle University, Philadelphia; parochial vicar for St. Ambrose Catholic Church, Philadelphia; Assistant director for the Office for Hispanic Catholics, Archdiocese of Philadelphia; and a course instructor at St. Charles Seminary, Church Ministry Program, Overbrook, PA.
I wish to express my fervent thanks to the Holy Father for responding so quickly to my request for two auxiliary bishops to help me pastor this fifth largest diocese in our nation. God has blessed this Diocese with good and holy priests and now two new auxiliary bishops, one a native son, the second, a Cuban American who will bring his many gifts and his Latino language, culture and heritage to enrich this wonderful Diocese.
These two men will be ordained by me on July 25, 2012, the Feast of Saint James the Apostle, whose shrine at Santiago de Campostella in Spain is one of the most historic places of pilgrimage in the Catholic Church. It will take place here at Saint Agnes Cathedral where with great devotion we honor the Roman martyr, Saint Agnes, who watches over and protects this Diocese.
Bishop Elect Brennan will continue to serve as Vicar General. Bishop Elect Perez will serve as Vicar for the Eastern Region succeeding Bishop Peter Libasci who, as you know, is now the Bishop of Manchester, New Hampshire. Both will join Bishops John Dunne and Paul Walsh as my closest collaborators in the pastoral care of our Diocese.
Dear friends, this is great news. We thank the Lord and His Blessed Mother. Praised Be Jesus Christ!
CONTACT: Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
From left: Rev. Mr. Liam McDonald, Rev. Mr. John Wachowicz, Rev. Mr. Michael Bissex, Rev. Mr. Christopher Sullivan and Rev. Mr. Michael Plona.
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK – June 21, 2017 – The Most Reverend John O. Barres, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will ordain five men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. The Mass of Ordination will take place at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes, Rockville Centre on Saturday,
June 24, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. This Mass will be broadcast live on Telecare (rebroadcast at 9 p.m. EDT), the diocesan television station (Cablevision channel 29/137, Verizon FiOS TV channel 296, Time Warner Cable channel 471).
Mass of Ordination
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Saint Agnes Cathedral
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, New York 11571
Those being ordained are: Rev. Mr. Michael Bissex, Rev. Mr. Liam McDonald, Rev. Mr. Michael Plona,
Rev. Mr. Christopher Sullivan and Rev. Mr. John Wachowicz.
Each newly ordained priest will be assigned to a parish in the Diocese of Rockville Centre where he will serve as an associate pastor.
Deacon Michael Bissex, 27
Home parish: Parish of Saint Matthew, Dix Hills
First Mass: Sunday, June 25 at 12:30 p.m. at Parish of Saint Matthew, Dix Hills
Deacon Michael Bissex, 27, was raised in South Huntington, New York, the sixth child in a family of seven, and a parishioner of the Parish of Saint Matthew in Dix Hills. During his elementary school and high school years, he studied classical violin and piano extensively, joining the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and the Long Island Youth Orchestra, traveling with the latter each summer on concert tours. Discerning a call to enter the seminary, Michael entered Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston, Queens, majoring in philosophy as a freshman and sophomore. He then was accepted into the Basselin Scholarship Program at the Catholic University of America, still as a seminarian for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. After completing a Licentiate in Philosophy in 2013, Michael was sent to the Pontifical North American College to begin his theological studies. Michael was ordained a deacon at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome on September 29th, 2016.
Father Bissex will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at 12:30 p.m. at the Parish of Saint Matthew, Dix Hills.
Deacon Liam McDonald, 34
Home parish: Parish of Saint Rose of Lima, Massapequa
First Mass: – Sunday, June 25 at Noon at Parish of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Melville
Liam McDonald was baptized at the Parish of the Cure of Ars in Merrick, but raised in several different states and parish families during his childhood and teenage years. His family spent time in Rhode Island, Southern New Jersey and Northern Virginia before relocating back to Long Island. While completing his undergraduate studies in architecture, he enjoyed playing soccer and Division III rugby. After completing his degree in architecture, he worked for nearly four years as an estimator for a mechanical contracting firm on Long Island. These were formative years for Liam as he was attentive to growing in prayer, partaking in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass before work (Parish of the Holy Spirit, New Hyde Park). During this time he was able to devote himself to charitable outreach on a regular basis and benefited from the many friendships and role models he encountered while volunteering for the Life Center of Long Island and the Sisters of Life. Liam believes the source of his vocation is the Eucharist, the Blessed Mother and the witness of Pope John Paul II. He also attributes his vocation to his family. He is grateful for his parents for forming and raising him in the Faith and his two sisters for their constant love and encouragement. Liam completed his formation at Saint Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie.
Father McDonald will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at Noon at the Parish of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, Melville, New York.
Deacon Michael Plona, 27
Home parish: Parish of Saint William the Abbot, Seaford
First Mass: Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 p.m. at Parish of Our Lady of Loretto, Hempstead
Deacon Mike Plona is a native Long Islander from the parish of Saint William the Abbot in Seaford. He attended the parish grade school and Kellenberg Memorial High School. At Kellenberg, Mike became very involved in the school and first felt a call to serve the Church there. Mike later attended Saint John's University and then Molloy College from where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in history and political science in 2011. During his college years, Mike worked in maintenance and carpentry at Kellenberg, as a vendor at Nikon Theater at Jones Beach, and a record store. After spending a few months discerning a vocation with the Marianist community at Kellenberg, Mike started his seminary formation at Douglaston in January 2012 studying for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Mike spent the two summers between classes at Douglaston working at Boy's Town in Nebraska with highly at risk youth. Mike completed his formation at Saint Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie.
Father Plona will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at 3:00 p.m. at the Parish of Our Lady of Loretto, Hempstead.
Deacon Christopher Sullivan, 26
Home parish: Parish of Saint Patrick, Bay Shore
First Mass: – Parish of Saint Patrick, Bay Shore at 3 p.m.
Christopher Sullivan grew up in the Parish of Saint Patrick, Bay Shore. Christopher is a product of Catholic schooling starting in Saint Patrick's elementary, followed by Chaminade High School, finishing at Loyola University Maryland, where he would earn bachelor's degrees in theology and philosophy. Christopher enjoys staying active by participating in sports. While at Chaminade, he was a member of the cross country and track team and while at Loyola he was a member and captain of the cycling team. Christopher is blessed to have come from a family who made mass a priority every Sunday. Later, while in college, Christopher would begin attending mass daily. Remaining close to the sacraments and to the Blessed Mother led Christopher to hear the Lord's voice and His calling to the priesthood. Christopher completed his formation at Saint Joseph's Seminary and has spent the last two summers at the Parish of Saint Christopher in Baldwin.
Father Sullivan will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at the Parish of Saint Patrick, Bay Shore at
Deacon John Wachowicz, 26
Home parish: Parish of Saint Mary, Manhasset
First Mass: Parish of Saint Mary, Manhasset at Noon
John Wachowicz is a parishioner of the parish of Saint Mary in Manhasset. John was born in Manhattan, raised in Little Neck, and moved to Manhasset at 14. He is a graduate of Saint Mary's Elementary School in Manhasset and Regis High School in Manhattan. After graduating from Fordham University with a B.A. in philosophy, he entered Saint Joseph's Seminary. The past two summers, John served at the parish of Saint John the Evangelist in Center Moriches. His childhood desire to be a priest was strengthened in high school and college by the Christian witness of his family and parish priests, the spirituality of Saint Ignatius Loyola, and his discovery of the Church's teachings in various 20th century encyclicals. He enjoys listening to and playing music, and has played with rock, Irish folk, and bluegrass groups. He also enjoys 19th-Century Romanticism in the arts, Doctor Who, and the New York Mets.
Father Wachowicz will celebrate his first Mass on Sunday, June 25 at the Parish of Saint Mary, Manhasset at Noon.
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.
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625
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