ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, April 26, 2007 – Pope Benedict XVI has named Msgr. Peter A. Libasci, 55, as the new auxiliary bishop for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He will be ordained as bishop at a Mass of Ordination on Friday, June 1, at 2 p.m. at St. Agnes Cathedral in the Village of Rockville Centre.
The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, will ordain Bishop-elect Libasci admitting him to the Order of Bishops. During this Eucharistic liturgy, Bishop Murphy will say the ancient prayer of ordination, and anoint Bishop-elect Libasci with the Oil of Chrism. Bishop-elect Libasci will then receive his Episcopal ring, the miter, and the crosier, the sign of his pastoral office. Cardinals and bishops from around the nation will be invited to attend, as will hundreds of family, friends and clergy.
Once ordained, he will assist Bishop Murphy in leadership of the 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island and will serve as Episcopal Vicar, or the Bishop’s representative, for the Eastern Vicariate (Suffolk County). Bishop-elect Libasci is the ninth auxiliary bishop named in the 50-year history of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He will join two active auxiliary bishops, Bishop John C. Dunne, 69, and Bishop Paul H. Walsh, 69. Auxiliary Bishop Emil Wcela retired April 2007 and Auxiliary Bishop James Daily retired in 1996.
“I am deeply grateful to Almighty God whose hand is always guiding this Church,” said Bishop Murphy. “I express my fraternal and filial appreciation to the Holy Father for this latest expression of his care for our Diocese as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee,” added Bishop Murphy.
Since 1999, Bishop-elect Libasci has served as pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux parish in Montauk. Bishop-Elect Libasci presided over the entire construction process of the new church, which was dedicated by Bishop William Murphy on March 31, 2007.
Bishop-elect Libasci will move next month to Southampton, where he will reside at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Church. Bishop-elect Libasci is also bi-ritual and celebrates the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic Church.
Prior to his arrival in Montauk, Bishop-elect Libasci served for 11 years as administrator and then pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish, Inwood. Previously, he served for nearly six years as associate pastor of SS. Cyril and Methodius parish in Deer Park. Bishop-elect Libasci’s first assignment as a priest was as an associate pastor of St. Raymond’s parish in East Rockaway from 1978-1982.
A native of Middle Village, N.Y., Bishop-elect Libasci earned his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s University. He was ordained in 1978 after earning his Master of Divinity degree from St. Meinrad Seminary, Ind.
Bishop-elect Libasci will celebrate his first Mass as bishop on Saturday, June 2, 5:00 p.m. at
St. Therese of Lisieux church, Montauk.
Special Note to Media Representatives: You are invited to cover this event and meet Bishop-elect Peter Libasci. Contact the Office of Public Information to secure needed press credentials: 516-678-5800, ext. 625.
A biographic summary, pictures, statement from Bishop Libasci and Bishop Murphy will be posted on the diocesan website at www.drvc.org
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.8 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 18,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 19,000 first communions and 4,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 22,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. There are also 120,189 total students in religious education. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (4/20/07)
For more information:
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
516-678-5800, ext. 625