Westchester County Executive George Latimer and Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph K. Spano are  honored to announce that His Eminence Timothy Cardinal Dolan of the New York Archdiocese held Mass on at the Westchester County Department of Correction earlier today. The Mass was attended by both male and female residents as a show of unity and redemption in this coming holiday season.

Latimer said: “It was truly an honor for our Department of Correction to host this solemn ceremony during the Thanksgiving holiday week.  A time to be thankful for what we have and to focus on helping those who are less fortunate. Cardinal Dolan’s support and words of encouragement were impactful and surely benefited attending residents.”

Cardinal Dolan said: "It is always a joy for me to be able to celebrate Mass for residents of a correctional facility, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as their faith always inspires me! My thanks to County Executive Latimer, Commissioner Spano, and all those from the Westchester Department of Corrections, particularly the chaplains, for arranging my visit today."

Spano said: “We are mindful that being incarcerated during the holiday season presents additional challenges for our residents and their families. To have his Eminence Cardinal Dolan say Mass for our residents leading up to the Thanksgiving Holiday is truly a gift and one that is sure to have a positive impact on their lives.”

Deputy Commissioner Michael Gerald, who oversees the Departments Spiritual Care Team, said: “Support from the religious community plays a major role in our rehabilitation efforts both during and after incarceration. This special Mass is a blessing that dovetails well with the robust on-site spiritual care services being offered to support the diverse faiths of our residents.”

Cardinal Dolan’s message focused on hope, love and redemption in the holiday season and was well-received by all in attendance. Cardinal Dolan previously visited the Westchester Department of Correction in December 2015 when he held Mass for approximately 130 residents.

WDOC Director of Pastoral Care, Father Jude Egbeji, participated in the Mass and was joined by his colleagues, Associate Director Evangelist Vicki Mills, Father Gonzalo Morocho, Rabbi Abraham Horowitz, Reverend Rick Vargas and Imam Ismail Rashid. Collectively, they assist in all phases of worship, (including celebration of the sacrament and saying mass), scripture studies, correspondence study programs, religious material distribution, and follow-up ministry.