From top left: Rev. Msgr. Donald Beckmann, Rev. Walter Kedjierski, Rev. Lachlan Cameron, Rev. Michael Bartholomew and Rev. Irinel Racos.
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – January 13, 2015 – The Diocese of Rockville Centre announced today, the appointment of Reverend Walter F. Kedjierski as the new Director, Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs for the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Father Kedjierski will continue to serve as pastor, Parish of Saint John the Evangelist, Center Moriches, New York. After 26 years of service as Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, Reverend Monsignor Donald Beckmann will retire. Msgr. Beckmann will continue to offer his invaluable experience and knowledge in ecumenical and inter-religious affairs in an advisory capacity. He will also continue to serve the People of God in Long Beach as pastor, Parish of Saint Ignatius Martyr.
Father Kedjierski has served in the office as a research assistant to Bishop William Murphy in his work with the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) dialogue with the Orthodox Union of Rabbis in Manhattan, as a liaison between the Diocese of Rockville Centre and the Islamic community of Long Island, as Associate Ecumenical Officer for Relations with Muslims and Other Religious Groups, and on the Board of Directors of the Long Island Multi-Faith Forum. Father Kedjierski has received advanced training in ecumenical leadership from the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Affairs of the USCCB and holds a doctorate in Ecumenical and Inter-Religious Education from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana.
Father Kedjierski will be working with an outstanding team of four priests who have devoted themselves to Ecumenical and Inter-Faith work, including:
- Reverend Lachlan Cameron, director of worship, Diocese of Rockville Centre will assist the office in relations with the Jewish community.
- Reverend Michael Bartholomew, pastor, Parish of the Immaculate Conception, Westhampton Beach, New York will handle relations with mainline Protestants.
- Reverend Irinel Racos, chancellor, Diocese of Rockville Centre will assist in relations with Eastern Orthodox Christians.
- Reverend Greg Rannazzisi, vice rector, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, New York will continue his work with Muslims and people of other faith traditions.
“Together, we hope to continue to assist the Catholic community here on Long Island with all of the complexities involved in its relationships to the diverse religious communities that surround us,” said Father Kedjierski.
About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
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 1,531,445 baptized Catholics (total population in the Diocese is approximately 3,504,737). There are 134 parishes (1 campus parish) in 115 towns. The Diocese is blessed with 369 priests (221 incardinated, 88 externs, 60 religious), 771 religious women, 72 brothers and 275 deacons in ministry. In 2012, 15,211 infant baptisms, 830 minor baptisms and 417 people were received into Full Communion. In 2012, 16,722 First Holy Communions, 15,250 Confirmations, 2683 Catholic marriages and 520 interfaith marriages took place in the diocese. There are 17,797 students in Catholic elementary schools; 12,655 students in Catholic high schools and 4,400 students in higher institutions. There are 47 Catholic elementary schools (43 parish or regional and 4 private), 10 Catholic high schools (3 Diocesan, 2 parish and 5 private) and one Catholic college (Molloy College, Rockville Centre) in the diocese. We are a Diocese with over 11,000 catechists educating approximately 111,200 children in religious education each year. Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island is comprised of six hospitals, three nursing homes, a regional home care and hospice network, and a community-based agency for persons with special needs. More than 17,500 employees and 4,600 credentialed physicians work within the CHS system. In 2011, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (06/14).
Sean P. Dolan
Director of Communications
(p) 516-678-5800, ext. 625