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Thirteen Men To Be Ordained To The Permanent Diaconate For The Diocese Of Rockville Centre Print E-mail

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, (May 10, 2005) - Bishop William Murphy, Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, will ordain thirteen men as permanent deacons for the Diocese of Rockville Centre at an ordination Mass on Saturday, May 21 at 11 a.m. at St. Agnes Cathedral here.

Those to be ordained and their parishes are:
     Geoffrey R. Anisansel - St. Joseph, Babylon
     Michael A. Aprile - St. Martin of Tours, Amityville
     Francis X. Bice - St. Dominic, Oyster Bay
     John J. Blakeney - St. Raphael, East Meadow
     Richard D. Brunner - St. James, Seaford
     Joseph F. Connelly - St. Aidan, Williston Park
     Anthony S. D’Auria - St. Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead
     John J. Failla - St. Elizabeth, Melville
     John H. McGonigle - Holy Family, Hicksville
     Michael Montelione - Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary, Centereach
     Vincent Pozzolano - St. John the Baptist, Wading River
     Thomas F. Reilly, Jr. - St. Edward the Confessor, Syosset
     Dominique Silien - Saint Boniface, Elmont

The diaconate is a permanent vocation and is not a step in preparation for the priesthood. Like priests, deacons receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders and are members of the clergy.

The men ordained this year will be able to administer the Sacrament of Baptism and preside at weddings. They can officiate at prayers for the Commendation of the Dead, wake and burial services as well as other forms of liturgical prayer, including Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. They can also sometimes preach the homily at the direction of the priest celebrant. They cannot celebrate Mass or administer the Sacraments of Penance, Confirmation or the Anointing of the Sick.

While a permanent deacon can be married or single, many are married. A widowed or single man who is ordained a permanent deacon makes a life-long promise of celibacy. A married deacon whose wife dies cannot marry without a dispensation.

The majority of deacons continue in their secular occupations and serve in their ministry during their free time. Some, however, are full-time members of parish staffs or institutions. The 232 deacons currently active in the Diocese of Rockville Centre minister in 100 parishes as well as serving in hospital and prison ministries.

Short biographies of those who will be ordained in the Diocese of Rockville Centre follow.

Geoffrey R. Anisansel, a retired turbine and ship repairman, is involved with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and Ministry of Praise at his home parish of St. Joseph, Babylon. As a deacon, he looks forward to working with families in all aspects of ministry. He lives in Deer Park with his wife Lorraine. They have two sons and two daughters.

Michael A. Aprile is mechanical engineer who looks forward to working with parish outreach and the disabled community in the church. Currently he serves as a Lector and Extraordinary Minister of Communion at his parish, St. Martin of Tours, Amityville. A graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx who attended City College, the Air Force veteran enjoys fishing and playing tennis and golf in his spare time. He and his wife Elizabeth live in Amityville. They have a son and a daughter.

Francis X. Bice holds a Master of Arts degree in Theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception as well as a Master of Arts degree in Religion from Yale University. A financial advisor and former teacher, Bice serves on the Board of Directors of St. Ignatius Retreat House and Tuesday’s Children, a group dedicated to helping children who lost parents on September 11, 2001. He also coaches lacrosse and basketball. A resident of Oyster Bay, Bice looks forward to working with the spiritual formation of adults as well as ministering to families at St. Dominic’s. His wife, Elizabeth, has two daughters.

John J. Blakeney is a tax audit manager who chairs the Finance Committee at his parish of St. Raphael, East Meadow, which he expects to continue as a deacon. He currently is the coordinator of the parish pre-Cana program and is a member of St. Raphael’s youth advisory board. A graduate of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst, Blakeney holds an M.B.A. in taxation from St. John’s University. He lives in East Meadow with his wife, Terese. They have two sons.

Richard D. Brunner was baptized into the Catholic faith in 1996 and serves as a lector and Extrordinary Minister of Communion at his parish, St. James, Seaford. He is also involved with the RCIA and Baptismal programs at the parish. A self-employed heating contractor who enjoys gardening and reading in his spare time, Brunner holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from the New York Institute of Technology. The father of two daughters, he lives with his wife Marguerite in North Massapequa.

Joseph F. Connelly plans to retire in June after 33 years of working in human resources so he can focus on completing his Master of Arts degree in theology at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. He looks forward to working as a deacon with the Baptismal program at his parish of St. Aidan’s in Williston Park. A former Village Trustee and Mayor of the Village of Williston Park, Connelly enjoys traveling, reading and is a fan of the Mets. He lives in Williston Park with his wife, Mary. They have a son and a daughter.

Anthony S. D’Auria is involved with the pre-Cana, Antioch and RCIA programs at his parish of St. Thomas the Apostle, West Hempstead where he also serves as a lector and Extraordinary Minister of Communion. He looks forward to working with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and ministering to the homebound as a deacon. D’Auria, who works in IT management, holds a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from St. John’s University. He enjoys surf fishing and cooking. He lives with his wife Rosemary in West Hempstead. They have five children and six grandchildren.

John J. Failla, who is active in several ministries at St. Elizabeth’s Parish in Melville and a member of the Board of Governors for the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, has worked in the financial services industry for 31 years. An Army veteran, Failla holds a B.B.A. degree from the University of Georgia and a Master of Arts in Theology from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception. His hobbies include music, travel and gardening. He and his wife Margaret live in South Huntington. They have one son.

John H. McGonigle is active with the Ministry of Consolation program at his home parish of Holy Family, Hicksville and received the Pius X medal for more than ten years of volunteering with the parish religious education program. He looks forward to working with the Outreach, pre-Cana and Prison Ministry programs as a deacon. A Navy veteran who retired after 29 years as a telecommunications engineer and 14 years as a horticulturist, McGonigle’s hobbies include amateur radio, gardening and traveling. He has four children and lives in Westbury with his wife, Virginia.

Michael Montelione is an associate court clerk whose ministries include serving as an Extraordinary Minister of Communion at St. Charles Hospital and his home parish of Assumption of the Blessed Mary Virgin, Centereach. He looks forward to working with the Baptismal Preparation program and Bereavement Ministry as a deacon. A graduate of Fordham University, Montelione holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics. He lives with his wife Louise in Centereach. They have two sons and a daughter.

Vincent Pozzolano is a retired New York City police officer who currently works with security at a Suffolk County hospital. He looks forward to working in several ministries as a deacon, including an Annulment Advocate, at his parish of St. John the Baptist, Wading River. A member of the Knights of Columbus who collects sports memorabilia and enjoys playing golf, Pazzolano has two children. He lives in Wading River with his wife, Anna Marie.

Thomas F. Reilly Jr. grew up in the Syosset area and married his wife Sharon almost 25 years ago in their home parish of St. Edward, Syosset, the same church where Mrs. Reilly was baptized. Reilly, who participates in fund raising and the Pastoral Council at his parish, looks forward to working with the pre-Cana and Public Policy Education Network programs as a deacon. An executive who has worked in media for over 20 years, Reilly enjoys playing softball and golf as well as cooking. He has two daughters and lives in Huntington.

Dominique Silien, a medical doctor specializing in family practice, is an active member of the Haitian community and ministry at St. Boniface Church in Elmont. He is multilingual; speaking French, Spanish, Creole and English. He enjoys sports in his spare time. The father of two, he lives in West Hempstead with his wife Marlene.


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

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