Our Pastors and Priests Through the Years

Making a Difference in the Lives of Many

From early on many priests have provided leadership and spiritual guidance to individuals and families of our Franklin Square Catholic Faith Community. In the early years people had to travel to Saint Boniface in Elmont; and later to Our Lady of Loretto in Hempstead.  By the year 1908, Franklin Square had grown in population and desired its own faith community church.  After receiving permission from Bishop of Brooklyn Diocese, Saint Catherine of Sienna began as a “missionary” community as part of the parish of Our Lady of Loretto in Hempstead. 

With the promise and financial support of four men, their families and others the Saint Catherine of Sienna Chapel was built in 1908.  Fr. William B. Farrell would come from Our Lady of Loretto to celebrate Mass over the next five years in our Chapel.  Our “missionary” parish with its Chapel and growing number of families was officially designated as its own canonical parish in 1913 and officially assigned our first pastor.

“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,
who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

                                                                                Jeremiah 3:15

           Rev. Douglas R. Arcoleo

Fr. Arcoleo arrived Wednesday, June 23rd, to Saint Catherine of Sienna and is the 10th Pastor of our parish.  He comes to us from Our Holy Redeemer Church in Freeport having served there as pastor from 2008 to 2021.  He also served in St. Ignatius Parish in Hicksville and St. Patrick's Parish in Smithtown.  He was ordained in 1998.  Be sure to say "welcome" and wish him well when you meet him over the coming weeks!


Our Pastors contributed to the spiritual and social life of the parish.  Each made a difference in the lives of our Parish Family and Faith Community.  It is through their leadership as shepherds of our faith that we have continued to grow in faith through the years. 

Rev.  Msgr. Richard M. Figliozzi   2008—2021 
Our ninth pastor, Monsignor Richard Figliozzi had served as the Director of the Propagation of Faith and the Secretary for the Office of New Evangelization in the Diocese of Rockville Centre. And was Pastor at Our Holy Redeemer Parish in Freeport, and also served in Blessed Sacrament Parish in Valley Stream, at St. Francis de Chantel, Wantagh, and St. Vincent DePaul in Elmont.  Interestingly he met Mother Teresa of Calcutta when in discernment for vocation to the Missionary of Charity Fathers in 1984; and with his invitation spoke when she was in USA at DRVC in June 1986. While our parish had continued to grow it still had growing pains and his initial work included assessment; and then the recognition of need for refurbishing the church. In January 2009, the church was closed for a short time for some renovations. Front pews were removed to make the church more accessible for wheel chairs and the physically challenged. Walls painted, marble buffed, and side altar alcoves gilded in gold. The old marble Baptismal Font was seen again when placed in front of the side altar of Saint Joseph, the stand alone altar was repositioned, statues were cleaned and brass was polished. Msgr. Rick encouraged expansion of family and youth ministry. Having travelled himself to World Youth Day in 2009, he supported the parish youth group to participate in World Youth Day 2011 and each year thereafter. A renewed spirit, our youth ministry was again revitalized and continued to grow. He inspired the formation of new ministry groups and the celebration of Mass in diversified languages. Known for his ministry work for the Missionaries of the Poor, he invited parishioners to join him and traveled to Jamaica annually from 2009 through 2012 creating a bond between us and the mission.  Sadly with extremely low enrollment in parish school, under diocesan assessment of all Catholic elementary schools across Long Island, closed in June 2012.  The school building was renamed the Parish Activity Complex and the first floor was designated for Administration: Parish Office, Faith Formation Office, small meeting offices and the popular Welcome Desk in the lobby with handicap accessibility from Sienna Center and outside providing direct services to parishioners, visitors and guests. The move of Parish Office to Parish Activity Complex (PAC) enabled the Outreach Office to be renovated in east end of Building C and it provides handicap access to the food pantry and outreach services with private space provided for dignity and respect for clients.  The PAC hosts religious education classes; and in 2020 provided a newly designed blended virtual program; serving an average of nearly 1,000 children annually.  Msgr. Rick  always took the time to meet many of  the parish challenges and accepted Bishop Murphy's assignment as Administrator of Saint Vincent DePaul Parish (Elmont). Msgr. Rick led both parishes in uniting as one parish family with care while listening and inspiring parishioners to move forward. He worked diligently in the opening of our Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  He encouraged the laity to get involved in the ministry work of the Church and afforded many the opportunity of leadership.  With his vision and focus on continuing to encourage spirituality of parish he was instrumental in the 2021 renovation/update of the SCS Chapel Sanctuary and Sienna Center building upon its purpose seventeen years earlier.  With a missionary heart and care for all those in need spiritually, physically and emotionally, he indeed strengthened spirituality within the parish!

Rev.  Msgr. Thomas W. Groenewold   1998—2008
Our eighth pastor, Rev. Msgr. Thomas Groenewold, loved written words and the English language; evident in his experience serving Bishop McGann of Diocese of Rockville Centre as a pen for the written word and having taught English as a lay teacher at Christ the King School, Middle Village and Chaminade High School in Mineola. He entered the priesthood later in life; ordained in 1987. He recognized the need immediately for increasing space for worship and ministry.  The Parish Hall had to be demolished; it was condemned. On September 14, 2000, he shared his vision and led a team of parishioners and Pastoral Council members to make his vision a reality.  With many challenges to the ever changing plans influenced by funding it was on April 29, 2001, our patron saint’s feast day, over 400 parishioners gathered behind the rectory on the site for groundbreaking. Care was taken to ensure the building, corners, brick and style was complementary of the church and then due to events of September 11, 2001 progress was halted.  Twenty six community members had been lost in the terror attacks. Under his guidance a SCS Relief Fund was established and the United Clergy of Franklin Square as well. In 2002 they hosted a Community Evening of Prayer and Song held at Rath Park.  Again building plans had to be altered due to new financial constraints. Finally on September 12, 2004, the Sienna Center had a celebratory Mass with Bishop William Murphy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre presiding and his blessing of the new “center.”  It is truly the ‘center’ of the parish as it connects the Church and Parish Activity Complex with its center being the permanent sanctuary of the SCS Chapel. The multi-purpose style enables five areas for parish activities/meetings. Thanks to his foresight and determination our Sienna Center is a permanent monument to the needs of future generations and parish growth.  Visiting the school children he was always being a teacher in heart and welcomed questions about the priesthood. He could be seen at the Annual Family Festival taking part in the festivities.  Even after being diagnosed with cancer Msgr. Tom continued in his compassionate, dedicated and sincere style serving the parish actively with a smile through late January 2008 when he when he was no longer able to celebrate Mass for the parish.  He entered eternal life on March 8, 2008. Msgr. Tom helped the parish grow physically as well as spiritually.  In 2013 Bishop Murphy dedicated the Sienna Center in his memory for our 100th Anniversary Mass and Centennial Celebration.

Rev.  Msgr. William F. Costello   1995—1998
The seventh pastor, Rev. Monsignor William Costello was a faith-filled priest who inspired many with his Irish wit and wisdom. Monsignor Costello also served in several leadership roles in the diocese, including the Priest Senate, the Board of Consultors, the Priest Personnel Board and several terms as a Dean. He served on the Board of Catholic Charities and the Board of Little Flower Childrens' Services in Wading River, all of which showed his willingness to be of service to the diocese, its priests and its people. Upon his “retirement,” Msgr. Costello resided at Saint Anne's Church in Garden City and returned to serve our parish as needed. Tragically, while on retreat in East Hampton he was struck by drunk driver and passed away. More than 1,000 parishioners alternately wept and smiled during the funeral service for Monsignor Costello at the Church of Saint Anne in Garden City. His kindness, compassion and forgiving nature were a gift to all who were blessed by his  ministry. His tenor as our pastor was seemingly short; however his influence still remains.

Rev.  John D. Mott   1990—1995 
Our sixth pastor, Rev. John Mott, was appointed with a specific task of the need of some modernization. Within days of his arrival, parishioners began to see changes. He installed new speaker systems in the church and auditorium, graced the altars with new pulpits, lecterns and bible stands always careful to preserve the architectural integrity of the church while making it a more suitable worship space enhancing post-Vatican II liturgies. Besides the many little facelifts around the church buildings, he also focused on getting the rectory in order.  He revitalized a youth ministry that would reach out to over 2,000 young people. He aggressively instituted liturgical reform in the parish with entrance processions, a fuller music program, and institution of a Liturgy Committee. The RCIA process was brought to the forefront. Other existing programs were revitalized through his efforts and the associate pastors. The Charismatic Prayer Group, Pre-Cana, Baptism Preparation and Hospital Visitation all grew to meet the needs of the parish. Monsignor Mott was transferred in June 1995.

Rev. Msgr. S. Thomas Minogue   1978-1990
Our fifth pastor, Rev. Thomas Minogue, was no stranger to our parish since he had served as an confessor for the Sisters of our parish during the days of Father Holzhiemer.  His focus was to increase the parish’s financial reserves as needed renovation of the parish plant began. He  added a certain fatherly presence to the community with his standard greeting "Hello, my name is Father Minogue; who are you?" and he genuinely tried to get to know the names of all the members of his  flock. Under his tenure was the expansion of the parish social outreach ministry. In 1978 the "Sienna Center Outreach Program" was established and designed to meet a wide variety of human needs. From humble beginnings in the convent, to the use of the Sienna Center “Car” for reaching out to others, the tradition of service for the widowed, the elderly, the poor and the hungry was a reality; and it continues to this day. During his pastorate, programs such as "Spirit Alive", the Pilgrim Statue of Fatima, and the in-home Pre-Cana program began. He died suddenly on April 1, 1990; and will always be remembered for the prayerful example he set for the entire parish and his devotion to Mary, the Blessed Mother.

Rev. Msgr. Matthew A. Houlihan   1969—1978
The fourth pastor, Fr. Houlihan, continued the fine legacy of his predecessors and began several lay ministries and apostolates. During this time, one of his priorities was to reorganize and strengthen the Religious Education Program. Fr. Houlihan convened a Pastoral Council and in June 1973 a parish newspaper, "Sounds of Sienna" was established. Early in his pastorate an immense air conditioning system was built to serve both the church and auditorium. The parish celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the church building in 1976. Father Houlihan had the able assistance of many priest associates during his pastorate.  In 1977, an automated carillon system was installed in the church steeple to replace the old manual bell system.  Father Houlihan retired as a pastor in June 1978.  The auditorium was dedicated and renamed the Father Houlihan Auditorium in January 1979. He was given the title Pastor Emeritus and continued to reside in the rectory until his death on December 23, 1986.


Rev. Anthony L. Holzheimer   1953—1969
The third pastor, Fr. Holzheimer, who had served as an altar boy under the pastor he was to    succeed, was sent here by the Bishop with a special assignment of building a school.  He brought two associate priests and the threesome quickly won over the hearts of the community with their zeal which  resulted in a vigorous fund raising program. Father Holzheimer supported the fund drive from the pulpit when he announced that pledges were made "between you and God" and they were as good as gold. Parents worked on the school project eagerly, for they knew their children would benefit when the job was done; the parish spirit and unity was felt by all.  On Sunday, July 10,1955 a ground-breaking procession stopped behind the church with a ceremony of parish priests and children turning over shovels of dirt. A new school and convent were built by 1956.  The Sisters of St. Dominic moved into the new convent August 25.  There was a delay for the 570 students in grades 1 through 5 to use the school; however, the top floor was open and many had first day of class on September 10, 1956.  By November 10th the school was open and complete.  During Fr. Holzheimer’s tenure Vatican II and his associates ushered in the changes and insights.  In 1959 the children of Saint Catherine of Sienna School presented a plaque that was placed in the lobby of the school in his honor.  The entire parish was saddened by his passing. The street on the south side of parish property, Holzheimer Street, was named in his memory. 

Right Rev. Msgr. Conrad B. Lutz   1917—1953
Our second pastor, Fr. Conrad B. Lutz, arrived from All Saints Church in Brooklyn. It was under his leadership that we grew from a small parish to a vast community of several thousand households. He was a determined man with a strong personality; known as a builder and a dreamer. As the parish grew, there was a need for bigger and better facilities and that became a reality under his guise. The parish and its ministry groups grew. Land was purchase behind the church. A building was purchased and moved across New Hyde Park road and renovated as the Parish Hall!  By 1921 he saw the need for a new church and actively planned and started a fund. The ground was   broken for the new church on July 5, 1925.  On September 30, 1926 the church was completed and furnished.  It would accommodate more than twice the number of people living in the town!  In 1930, Father Lutz showed foresight again and more land was purchased as a future school site. He never saw the school due to depression and war.  He died in his rectory on April 24, 1953, leaving his mark on the parish forever. Lutz Street, to the north of the parish grounds, was named in his memory.

Rev. Tobias Farrenkopf   1913—1917
A city priest, country life was quite new to him. A good choice as first pastor as he spoke both English and German fluently. He faced an immediate challenge of no place for him to live!  The new parish not only needed to be properly organized and put on a sound financial plan; but also needed a rectory.  He took charge of the little parish, poor and few in number, made sacrifices even to the extent of serving the people without salary. According to the parish records, “without a roof over his head” the Hamilton House across the street was rented as a temporary residence.  By 1814 parishioners raised $14,000 for a new three-story rectory built on the south side of the church.  It was Fr. Farrenkopf’s vision to accommodate many more than one priest for future growth of parish.  That same rectory housed over five priests through the years; and still is home to the pastor and priests of today!


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