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Letter to the Catholic Faithful of the Diocese of Rockville Centre
From Bishop John O. Barres
The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, June 5, 2020


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The mystery of the most Holy Trinity is the center of our Catholic faith. The Holy Trinity are three distinct Persons in one God, sharing the same Divine Nature, co-equal and co-eternal. Each and every day the over 23,000 children in our Catholic schools in the Diocese of Rockville Centre begin their daily prayers in the Name of the Holy Trinity, and end it glorifying the Trinity through their actions.

During this time of uncertainty, our schools have been steadfast in educating their students and fulfilling their mission of fostering an environment of spiritual and intellectual growth by integrating Catholic tradition and faith throughout the educational process. They accomplish this by the promotion of the Gospel, formation in the Splendor of Truth of Catholic moral teaching, lifelong service, global sanctity of human life and social justice awareness, and academic excellence that prepares our students to be compassionate, as well as critical and creative thinkers, in an ever-changing society. As we look toward the future, it is our community that will ensure that our schools can continue their essential mission and serve as a catalyst for deepening the Catholic faith for our families.

To strengthen our schools, the Diocese of Rockville Centre has developed a bold plan for the revitalization of Catholic elementary education on Long Island – the Morning Star Initiative. In partnership with the Marianists, this initiative is being led by Brother Thomas Cleary, S.M., President of Chaminade High School. The Morning Star Initiative aims to position Catholic education for a bright future, with a community of strong and sustainable schools spread across Long Island. The Morning Star Initiative will focus on four pillars of success:

  1. Robustly Catholic Culture centered on the spiritual, intellectual, sacramental, and liturgical life of the Church.
  2. Safe and Supportive Community that recognizes the dignity of every person and promotes human flourishing in a familial atmosphere.
  3. Academic Excellence which fosters individual growth and development according to time-tested, Catholic Faith-based models of teaching and learning.
  4. Our Catholic Schools are Here to Stay.

To accomplish these four pillars, the Catholic Community Foundation of Long Island and the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation, have launched a fundraising effort that seeks to raise $10 million over the next 18 months to support the Morning Star Initiative. Right now, we have an increased need for scholarships and tuition assistance for students whose families are struggling with the impacts of the global pandemic. There is a great need for help to support schools’ financial sustainability and invest in the success of our teachers. Finally, there is an increased need for technology and supplies to help our teachers and leaders continue to innovate and meet the demands of the new ways of educating their students whether it is remotely or in the classroom. Information regarding this fundraising effort may be obtained by going to www.ccfliny.org

With your support, we can provide support for our schools and families as well as ensure the bright future for Catholic education. It has always been our commitment to keeping our Catholic faith alive for our students, and we will need the support of our entire Long Island Catholic community to make it happen.

Please know that you and your family are remembered in my daily prayers and Masses.    

Sincerely in Christ,

Most Reverend John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre