Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Timothy Bolger, Rashed Mian & Christopher TwarowskiPope Francis named Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pa., to replace retiring Bishop William Murphy as leader of the Rockville Centre diocese, which includes 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island.Bishop John O. BarresArchbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s U.S. ambassador, announced the decision Friday morning in Washington, D.C. Barres, 56, will become the fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre following a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on Jan. 31.“I must thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last 7 ½ years,” Barres said in a statement. “You will all always be in my heart, my memories, my prayers and my masses as I remember our days of ‘holiness and mission’ together.”Murphy, 76, is retiring 15 years after being tapped to lead the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which ranks as the sixth-largest Catholic diocese in the nation. Under its umbrella are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish, 57 Catholic schools, a Catholic college, and Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island, which has six hospitals, three health care centers, four nursing homes, a home care and hospice network and a community-based agency for persons with special needs.The outgoing diocesan leader has been no stranger to controversy, long criticized by child abuse watchdogs for allegedly protecting priests and clergy members accused of sexually abusing children and covering up their alleged crimes. Before his appointment by Pope John Paul II to succeed the late Bishop James T. McHugh to head the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2001, Murphy served as Auxiliary Bishop of Boston—the epicenter of a sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church’s ranks ultimately exposed as a national and global crisis due to a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe (basis for the 2015 Academy Award-winning film Spotlight).Barres, a native of Larchmont in Westchester County and graduate of Princeton, had formerly served as a priest in Wilmington, Del. and was installed as the fourth bishop of Allentown in 2009. Accompanied by Murphy at a press conference within Monsignor Kelly Parish Center adjacent to St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre on Friday, he recalled fond memories of visiting Jones Beach with his family during his childhood and watching “The Doctor” Julius Erving dominate the court at Nassau Coliseum as a member of a CYO basketball team. Barres also stressed the importance of parishes in supporting the global mission of Pope Francis—adding that he’d even chosen Francis as his confirmation name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi. “I have a passion for parish life and will always have the heart of a parish priest,” he said. “I am looking forward to experiencing the vibrant, welcoming, New Evangelization parishes of the diocese and reaching out together as Eucharistic Bridges of the Divine Mercy to the wonderful inactive Catholics in our midst.“Pope Francis says that ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s Mercy—Mercy is the beating heart of the Gospel and Mercy is the Mission of the Church,’” he continued. “Our parishes are the living bridges and ‘oases’ of that Mercy, Communion and Mission to the world. In our parishes, our families are enriched by the inspired Word of God, the cosmic power of the Mass and the Eucharistic community of faith.”“Vibrant parish life in turn inspires and equips our families to bring their Catholic faith into the neighborhood, the workplace, the public square and every inch of our global society,” added Barres.The new bishop-designate emphasized the power families wield in transforming the world and breaking “the chains of global indifference, consumerism, superficial living,” additionally explaining Catholics’ role in helping improve lives and resolve hardships in countless predicaments across the globe:“We live the parable of the Good Samaritan first within our own marriages and families and then to the poor family, the family living in the crucible of war, violence and persecution, the hurting family, the grieving family, the family reeling from tragedy and trauma, the family that has experienced the agony of sexual abuse and all forms of abuse including abuse by clergy, the broken family, the immigrant and refugee family separated by long distances, the family tending to members that deal with serious sickness and health issues, the family of the war veteran suffering with PTSD and the family taking care of an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.” “It is my deep conviction that [Barres] will be a Bishop for all of us without exception,” said Murphy. “He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly. He has a keen sense of parish life and has a special expertise in education.”Murphy also touted Barres’ support of the nonprofit Catholic Charities mission to help the needy, parish outreach and interfaith cooperation as the fourth Bishop of Allentown, where he worked to strengthen Catholic schools, enhance evangelization and improve the financial condition of the diocese.Featured Photo: Pope Francis named Bishop John O. Barres (L) of Allentown, Pa., to replace retiring Bishop William Murphy (R) as leader of the Rockville Centre diocese. (Long Island Press / Rashed Mian)
Harold Riggins\’ walk-off home run sent Mallards players and fans into a frenzy in Monday\’s home opener.[/media-credit]It was a storybook ending to a sloppy night for the Madison Mallards. In a game that featured 11 errors, the only play that mattered afterwards was the last one.With a runner on, first baseman Harold Riggins crushed a 1-1 pitch over the fence in center to give the Mallards a 7-6 walk-off win over the Rochester Honkers in their home opener.“My approach was just to look for a pitch I could crush,” Riggins said. “He kind of hung a slider…I actually thought I was out in front of that ball, but I haven’t had that feeling in a while.”Before Riggins’ home run, the Mallards appeared headed for a disappointing late-inning loss in a game that was back-and-forth all night. Riggins scored in the bottom of the eighth to give the Mallards the lead, but a costly error let the Honkers back in the game.After first baseman Chris Auten reached on an error by Mallards third baseman Troy Channing, right fielder Rance Roundy singled, putting the go-ahead run on base for Rochester. Aaron Dunsmore bunted the runners over and a single up the middle by pinch hitter Drew Beuerlein gave the Honkers a pair of unearned runs and a 6-5 lead.Nick Chmielewski gave up the single in the ninth and was on the hook for the loss going into the bottom of the inning, but fortunately for the righty from the University of Illinois, Riggins came through with the huge hit in the ninth to give him the win.“There’s no way we want to start a six-game home stand with that kind of loss where we were just one strike or two strikes away from a win and had it swept away from us,” manager C.J. Thieleke said. “To go right back and do it to someone else, that’s huge, and hopefully that will allow this home stand to be a good one.”Although Thieleke did not want to make excuses for his team’s seven errors in Monday night’s game, he did offer one reason that could have led to the sloppy play: the Mallards hadn’t even practiced this season at Warner Park until Monday morning.“The first time we got out here was in the morning for some groundballs to begin to get a feel for it,” Thieleke said. “Excuses, we all have them, but we’ve got to make plays and clean things up.”Starting pitcher Jordan Hershiser struggled early for Madison, allowing three runs on three hits in just 1.1 innings before being lifted in favor of Cody Winiarski. Hershiser hit left fielder Andrew Thomas to lead off the game, and Thomas would eventually come around to score on a groundout to second base, putting the Honkers up 1-0 early.In the second inning, Hershiser gave up a leadoff single to Roundy before hitting Dunsmore. After an infield single by third baseman Jance Jordan loaded the bases, center fielder John Glanis singled to drive in two more runs for Rochester.“We did a horrible job all night of getting that leadoff hitter out,” Thieleke said. “I think they had them on six of nine innings, and then you’re pitching uphill that whole inning and you can’t really get anything going.”Winiarski and Dan Burawa combined to keep Rochester hitters at bay over the next 4.2 innings, allowing just one run on two hits between the two. Heim pitched a strong two innings and was in position for the win before giving up an unearned run in the ninth.The Mallards improved to 3-2 with the win while the Honkers fell to 2-2.An interesting play occurred in the bottom of the fourth when left fielder Chris Barker batted with two on and one out. Barker was hit by a pitch from Honkers starting pitcher Mike Goodman, but the pitch was ruled a ball by the home plate umpire because Barker did not make an attempt to get out of the way of the pitch.In the end it worked out for Barker, who drove in the tying run later in the bat on a groundout back to the pitcher.The Mallards will face the Honkers again Tuesday at the Duck Pond. Matt Jansen will start for the second time this season for Madison, facing off against Zack Robertson of Rochester.
Despite clocking pedestrian times in his two races this season defending 100-meters world champion Usain Bolt has expressed confidence in his ability to win a fourth blue-ribbon title in London next month.The Jamaican was speaking at a press conference in Monaco on Wednesday prior to his 100 meters race at the Monaco Diamond League meeting on Friday. This will be his final warm-up race before the IAAF World Championships in London starting August 4.“I am always expecting to win. If it’s one thing you know about me I am always confident,” said the world-record holder. He is yet to break 10 seconds this season after runs in Kingston on June 10 and Ostrava on June 28.Notwithstanding the slow times, the sprint King believes he will be ready to take on the world as he has successfully done in the past decade.No Stress“The moment you start having doubts it doesn’t make sense you show up at the line. For me, it’s all about winning. I am not worried about world records. I have it already so no stress.”Bolt, who has won 11 World Championships gold medals during his illustrious career spanning 15 years, said his goal in London this summer is a simple one.“My main aim is to just to win. I want to retire on a winning note. That has always been the goal throughout my career, just to continue dominating and to continue winning,” he said.To face off with Omar McLeodBolt will line up in Monaco against compatriot, Olympic 110-metre hurdles champion Omar McLeod. The hurdler is the only one in history to go below 10 seconds in the 100m and 13 seconds in the sprint hurdles. Bolt will also take on the likes of South Africa’s Akani Simbini who boasts a season’s best 9.92, Great Britain’s Chijinduh Ujah, and the USA’s Isiah Young and Christopher Belcher, all of whom have broken the 10-second barrier this season. Sprint King not worried about pedestrian times