Our ParishHistory › Part 4 ~ 1976 to 1996


1976 Bishop Kellenberg announces that, at age 75, he will retire. Pope Paul VI appoints Bishop McGann as the second Diocesan Bishop of Rockville Centre. Bishop McGann once again takes up residence at the Cathedral Rectory. St. Agnes opens its storefront Cathedral Service Center on Clinton Avenue under the direction of Sister Josephine Hitlin, O.P., with the guidance of Catholic Charities.

St. Agnes Parish surpasses its goal in the first Bishop's Annual Appeal conducted to improve the financial condition of the diocese. 
1980 Bishop McGann ordains the second class of permanent deacons, including Robert J. Poh of St. Agnes Parish.

Msgr. Melton adds Sister Maelene Meehan, O. P., to the parish staff as full-time Parish Visitor. Plans are announced for a major renovation of St. Agnes Cathedral.  A temporary chapel is erected in the parking lot across for the Cathedral for daily Masses during the renovation work.  John Hanlon, senior lay member of the Cathedral family and Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, Hits his 25 year mark at St. Agnes.

1982 During Lent, St Agnes Parishioners and others begin attending daily Masses in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension (opposite St Agnes Convent) at the gracious invitation of The Venerable Donald C. Latham, as the temporary "Lady Chapel" in the parking lot proves too small for Lenten communicants. Later in the year the renovation of the Cathedral is completed and St. Agnes is rededicated 25 years to the day that Bishop Kellenberg became the Founding Bishop and St. Agnes became the Cathedral of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

With declining enrollment and increasing costs Bishop McGann announces the need to close two Diocesan High Schools  on Long Island.  To further consolidate costs, St. Agnes High School is moved to the closed Maria Regina Diocesan High School in Uniondale. This high school will eventually become Kellenberg Memorial. 

1985 The parish celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the present day St. Agnes Church, a Cathedral since 1957.

1986 Bishop Kellenberg dies at age 84.  The old Parish High School Building is renamed the Msgr. Williams Building.  (It will now house diocesan agencies and the St. Christopher Ottilie Foster Care Agency until plans are unveiled in 2000 for the eventual construction of a new parish activity center.)

Mother Teresa visits the Diocese and speaks at a Prayer Service held in the cathedral.

Monsignor Melton retires as Rector. He remains in residence at St. Agnes. Monsignor Robert Mulligan PhD. is named as Rector of  the parish.

Monsignor Mulligan dies suddenly of a heart attack at age 69 after serving 10 years as Rector. 
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- "From a Blacksmith Shop To A Majestic Gothic Edifice", 1935
- Leonard, CSJ, Sr. Joan de Lourdes, "Richly Blessed, The Diocese of Rockville Centre 1957-1990", (Walsworth Publishing, 1991)
- O'Neill, James "To Believe In A Vision"  (Delmar, 1983)
- "Rededication Journal", 1982


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We, the parish of Saint Agnes Cathedral, a community of believers, proclaim the presence of Christ in the

world through Word, Sacrament and deeds.  Affirming the sanctity of each person, we minister to all
by committing ourselves to renewal, formation, and living the Gospel. 

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Parish of Saint Agnes Cathedral
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, NY 11570
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