Our Lady of Hope is a parish of
the Roman Catholic
Rockville Centre. It was established on June
17th, 1987 when the parish was created out of
the territory of
Brigid's parish in Westbury, NY, "the mother
parish of Nassau County."
The present church had been known simply as St.
Brigid's chapel since its construction in 1954,
and was served by priests and deacons from the
mother parish for Mass and sacraments. Previous
to the building of the chapel parishioners
attended Mass in a storefront on Westbury
The founding pastor was Father (later Monsignor)
Francis S. Midura who was serving in the
diocesan Tribunal at the time of his
appointment. In 1999 he was appointed pastor of
St. Joseph's parish in Ronkonkoma, NY.
Under Msgr. Midura's leadership, the first
twelve years of the new parish were filled with
great activity and blessed with much growth. The
former chapel (now the parish church) was
restored and an attractive parish hall with
religious education offices and a food pantry
was created in the basement. The grounds were
re-landscaped and the parking expanded. As there
had been no rectory, a house was purchased in
the neighborhood for the pastor and a priest
resident (no longer available) to live.
The second pastor was Father (later Monsignor)
Donald M. Hanson (ord 1971) who began his
ministry at Our Lady of Hope on June 30th, 1999.
Msgr. Hanson also served as Dean of the
Hicksville group of parishes (Deanery),
and on the Diocesan Liturgical Committee and the
Diocesan Priest Personnel Board. During his
eight years of leadership, Msgr. Hanson
instituted several improvements to our
facilities, both in our church and in the small
house behind the church that was purchased by
the former pastor. This building served to store
some of the property that couldn't be kept in
the church building and to provide additional
badly needed meeting space.
Msgr. Hanson gave new emphasis on the Eucharist
and Sacred Liturgy. In the church itself, new
lights, security equipment, electronic bells and
a magnificent pipe organ were either updated or
added. The latter two projects were funded
completely by memorials and not by the use of
parish funds. Msgr. Hanson also led OLH into the
21st century, establishing and managing a parish
website and implementing a parish photo
directory and a self evaluation study (ME 25)
conducted with the Gallup organization.
Our third pastor is Rev. Msgr.
Richard Bauhoff, who began his ministry here as
pastor on July 11, 2007. Msgr. Bauhoff is not
new to Our Lady of Hope, having been in
residence here when he served on the Tribunal.
Msgr. Bauhoff also served as acting
administrator during the Gulf War, when our
pastor at the time, Msgr. Midura, was called to
active duty from his reserve status. Msgr;.
Bauhoff's most recent assignment was as pastor
of St. Mary's in Roslyn, a post he held for 12
Father Thomas V. Arnao is the fourth
pastor of Our Lady of Hope Church, effective
June 23rd, 2010. Father Arnao was ordained in
1982. Currently he is the Adjutant Judicial
Vicar of the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal and was
resident at St. Joseph's Church in Hewlett.
Father Arnao was appointed to the Tribunal in
1993. In 1997, Father began his Doctoral Studies
in Canon Law in Rome. Father Arnao returned to
the Tribunal in 1999 with the JCD in Canon Law.
Father Arnao is no stranger to Our Lady of Hope,
having assisted here during Rev. Msgr. Midura's
call to service during the Gulf War.
Our Lady of Hope continues to grow and to
witness to God's love in Christ as we begin the
third Christian millennium.
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