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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Catholics at the Capitol set for March 19 Print E-mail

Timothy Cardinal Dolan and the Bishops of New York State will join hundreds of fellow Catholic New Yorkers at the annual Catholics at the Capitol public policy advocacy day Wednesday, March 19, at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. [Direct link to sign-up page is HERE.]

Participants will represent all eight dioceses of New York State. Many will meet with their legislators, while others will serve as a visible presence in the halls of the state Capitol. Following a boxed lunch, there will be a Rosary procession led by the Knights of Columbus to the nearby Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception for 1:30 p.m. Mass with the Bishops. Cardinal Dolan will be the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass.
Participants will lobby their legislators on five issues identified as priorities by the bishops. They are:

  1. Support Pregnant Women and Oppose Abortion Expansion
  2. Preserve Catholic Schools
  3. Ensure Sufficient Funding for Programs for Vulnerable Populations
  4. Support Humane Treatment for Incarcerated Individuals 
  5. Support Equitable Labor Standards for Farmworkers

Most dioceses are providing bus transportation (with the exception of Albany and Ogdensburg). There is no cost to attend and a boxed lunch will be provided. A goodwill offering will be taken at Mass to offset the costs of the day. For more information and to register online, go to or contact your local diocesan coordinator. Knights of Columbus and their families attending with their council should contact Louis Pepe, administrative state Catholic advocacy coordinator, at for bus information and other details.

The Bishops will honor two Catholic New Yorkers for their work on behalf of the public policy concerns of the Church. James F. Gill, a prominent Manhattan attorney, who has served as an informal public policy adviser to the Bishops for many years, will receive the John Cardinal O’Connor Award for Extraordinary Service. Long Island native Barbara Samuells, who founded an organization of grassroots Catholic laypeople called Catholics for Freedom of Religion in the Rockville Centre Diocese, will receive the J. Alan Davitt Award for Exemplary Service.
The Catholic Conference represents New York State’s Bishops in matters of public policy.

Editor’s Note: Below is the list of diocesan coordinators.

Albany: Mary Pat Hickey, (518) 453-6650,
Brooklyn: Sheldon Peters, (718) 726-9790 x 8061,
Buffalo: Deacon Don Weigel, (716) 864-9525,
New York: Tom Dobbins, (212) 371-1011 ext. 2473,
Ogdensburg: Sister Donna Franklin, (315) 393-2255,
Rochester: Jack Balinsky, (585) 328-3210,
Rockville Centre: Jan Jamroz, (516) 733-7059,
Syracuse: Father Charles Vavonese, (315) 470-1491,

Dennis Poust
Director of Communications
New York State Catholic Conference
(518) 434-6195
(518) 225-4882 (cell)