Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pain and Sorrow on Long Island

Condolences to the church of Rockville Centre... "one of the most beloved priests of the diocese" was struck and killed by a drunken driver last night... The driver's license was already suspended after an April DWI:
The [driver's] blood-alcohol reading was 0.28, more than three times the legal limit of 0.08, at the time of her arrest, said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Karen Fisher, of East Hampton, was driving a 2003 Dodge Caravan minivan in her hometown at about 7:50 p.m. Tuesday when she struck the Roman Catholic priest on Woodbine Avenue near Between Lane, town police Chief Todd Sarris said in a statement.

The priest, William Costello, 79, was taken to Southampton Hospital, where he was declared dead....

"To us, Msgr. Costello was truly the Cure of Ars, the patron saint of priests," Msgr. John Gilmartin, pastor at the St. Anne parish, said in a statement. "He was a friend, a companion and a great priest. I loved him and will miss him deeply."

[Driver Karen Fisher] was also was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in that incident because two children were in the vehicle when she was arrested, authorities said. She was charged with leaving the scene after fleeing to her nearby home on Woodbine Avenue, they said....

Bishop William Murphy, head of the Rockville Centre diocese, called Costello "one of the most beloved priests in the diocese."

Costello, who was a priest for 54 years, served in numerous parishes across Long Island. He held several leadership roles in the diocese, including as a member of the Priest Senate, and was on the board of Catholic Charities and Little Flower Children's Services in Wading River.

"Whenever he returned to visit a parish where he had served, no matter how long ago that might have been, he was greeted with love and enthusiasm by one and all who knew him," Murphy said. "For me personally this is a great loss."