Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., gathered with diocesan officers May 15 to formally sign the decrees for the mergers that will create seven new parish communities out of 14. The mergers, which take effect July 1, 2018, are part of a multi-year implementation phase that followed the Diocese’s Faith in Our Future pastoral planning initiative.
Beginning with a special prayer for the occasion, Bishop O’Connell formally signed the documents, turning them over to Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor and executive director of the Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, who signed and stamped them with the diocesan seal.
Bishop O’Connell stated, “The merging and renaming of several of our parishes is the result of tremendous work and dedication on the part of parishes, cohort leaders, the Diocesan Planning Commission and diocesan officials. I am very proud of their efforts and these results.
“What has been accomplished – although not as radical as in some other dioceses – truly reflects a labor of love with great faith in our future as a Diocese. We are not dismissing or forgetting our history; we are cherishing and honoring it by raising from its roots a new age for the people of God in our local Church.”
The mergers include:
St. Catharine of Siena, Seaside Park and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Seaside Heights, which will become St. Junipero Serra Parish.
St. Jerome, West Long Branch, and St. Mary, Deal, which will become Our Lady of Hope Parish.
Assumption, New Egypt, and St. Andrew, Jobstown, which will become St. Isidore the Farmer Parish.
St. Joseph and Jesus the Lord, both Keyport, which will become Our Lady of Fatima Parish.
Sacred Heart and Blessed Sacrament-Our Lady of the Divine Shepherd, both Trenton, which will become Sacred Heart Parish.
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Avon, and Ascension, Bradley Beach, which will become St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish.
St. Mary, Bordentown, and St. Francis and St. Clare, Florence Township, which will become Mary Mother of the Church Parish.
WATCH FOR SPECIAL COVERAGE from The Monitor in June as these parish communities prepare for these significant milestones. To learn more about the Faith in Our Future process, visit dioceseoftrenton.org/faith-in-our-future.