ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, April 19, 2006 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre is joining in the effort to encourage everyone to take an active role in identifying and preventing all forms of child abuse during April, which has been declared Child Abuse Prevention Month by Governor George Pataki.
The diocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Young People has adapted a booklet prepared by New York State Family Child Services for use as a sequel to the department’s awareness efforts for parents. Each parish and school in the Diocese of Rockville Centre has received a package of booklets and other information about Child Abuse Prevention Month to be used to help educate adults about protecting children from sexual abuse. The booklet is also available at the Diocese of Rockville Centre website, www.drvc.org
Blue ribbons, a symbol of efforts to stop child abuse, have also been distributed to diocesan center personnel to wear. The blue ribbon became the symbol 17 years ago after a grandmother named Bonnie Finney, of Norfolk, Va, tied one on her van in memory of her grandson, a victim of child abuse. It inspired a statewide, community based effort that has spread nation-wide.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre is committed to safeguarding children through the work of the Office for the Protection of Children and Young People whose responsibilities include providing educational programs and resources.
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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 www.drvc.org.
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625