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home : news : our diocese January 18, 2018

Year In Review highlights milestones in Diocese in 2017
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., and others applaud as Msgr. Sam Sirianni, rector of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, holds a rendering of the new coat of arms Feb. 19 during the church's formal elevation ceremony. Craig Pittelli photo
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., and others applaud as Msgr. Sam Sirianni, rector of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, holds a rendering of the new coat of arms Feb. 19 during the church's formal elevation ceremony. Craig Pittelli photo
Some 700 representatives from 40 Catholic schools filled St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, Oct. 12 for the Diocese's annual Catholic Schools Mass, and heard Bishop O'Connell state,
Some 700 representatives from 40 Catholic schools filled St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, Oct. 12 for the Diocese's annual Catholic Schools Mass, and heard Bishop O'Connell state, "All the subjects we study in Catholic school lead us back to God." Craig Pittelli photo

The last year brought a range of highs and lows around the world and in the Diocese of Trenton. 

Epic disasters devastated vast areas in the southern and western  United States, Central America and the Caribbean, yet the generosity of the Catholic community has been unyielding. Even as hatred, racism and violence erupted, the Catholic community gave witness to their belief in Jesus Christ and the Gospel values that he taught. 

Milestones were prayerfully commemorated including the Fatima Centennial, and new endeavors brought fresh causes for celebration, such as the elevation of a Co-Cathedral for the Diocese.

Following is a recap of the highlights of 2017 in the Diocese of Trenton:


After much prayerful consideration, Bishop O’Connell announced the results of the Faith in our Future pastoral planning initiative Jan. 25. “As we move into a New Year, the time is right to adjust our vision to ‘new things’ for our Diocese,” the Bishop wrote in a pastoral letter. “While what has been in our past experience is comfortable, we are a living, changing Catholic community, a changing local Church, that is, in St. Augustine’s words, ‘a beauty ever ancient, ever new.’”

The decisions announced Jan. 25 will be implemented over a three-year period (2017-2010) resulting in: 9 fewer parishes (107 to 98) and 10 to 12 fewer pastorates (101 to 91/89); 25 cohorts of collaborative parishes focused on working together to carry out the mission of evangelization;  7 linkages: 15 parishes will be sharing their pastor with at least one other parish; potential for 2 additional linkages following review, involving four more parishes; 9 mergers: 17 parishes will be consolidated into 8 new parishes; Suspension of operations at two church sites, with potential for a third site to be added after review; 1 personal parish; Designation of 18 centers for Hispanic ministry, 2 centers for Portuguese ministry, 2 centers for Haitian ministry; Action on four additional parishes has been postponed pending review.

Action on four additional parishes has been postponed pending review. More specific details on Faith In Our Future include:

1) The Diocese providing a project manager to assist each Cohort on an ongoing basis as well as workshops on Building Inter-Parish Collaboration in May with presenter Mark Mogilka, DMin., of Green Bay, Wisc.
2) Parishes in Cohort 6, which is in the Hamilton area, held a combined mission with a nationally known speaker which drew more than 1,000 people.
3) Parishes in Cohort 19 in Monmouth County hosted a Beach-side Mass that drew a large crowd.
4) Parishes in Cohort 24 in Toms River held a Living Rosary and a gathering for people to come together and discuss the future.
5) Other Cohorts have held combined training for hospital and pastoral care visitors, days of recollection for staff, etc.

Regarding FIOF Restructuring /Consolidation:
1) Divine Mercy Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, both Trenton, merged into Sacred Heart Parish, Trenton. There are currently 106 parishes in the Diocese.
2) Jesus the Good Shepherd Parish, Riverside, suspended use of St. Peter Church, Riverside. The parish is now using only St. Joseph Church in Beverly.
3) St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton, suspended use of Holy Angels Church, Trenton. The parish is now using only St. Raphael Church, Hamilton.
4) St. Mary Parish, Bordentown, and Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township, are linked, sharing one pastor.
5) Assumption Parish, New Egypt, and St. Andrew Parish, Jobstown, are linked, sharing one pastor.
6) The Implementation teams from St. Mary Parish, Bordentown, and Sts. Francis and Clare Parish, Florence Township, are preparing to merge in 2018 as are the parishes of Assumption, New Egypt, and St. Andrew, Jobstown.
7) There are five other pairs of parishes that are also preparing for merger in 2018.

The Diocese initiated Together in Mission, which was created to help pastors, parish clergy and staff, parish ministry leaders and families become more intentional about evangelizing at every phase of life. It offers an organizing principle or framework for understanding how the ministries of parish life are related to one another and how they can support the real lives of Catholic families growing in faith.

Symbolism and ritual mixed with joy and tears Feb. 19 as the Diocese gathered to witness and celebrate the elevation of St. Robert Bellarmine Parish, Freehold, to Co-Cathedral status. Bishop O’Connell, and Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., signed an official decree elevating the church to the dignity of Co-Cathedral. A keepsake booklet, “Created for the Glory of God,” detailed the rich history, architecture and service of the parish.

The Diocese’s multi-year endowment major fundraising campaign, “Faith to Move Mountains,” concluded in December. The sole purpose of the campaign was to endow the wide-reaching spiritual works as well and material needs of the Diocese and its parishes for a future. More than 23,000 donors contributed to raise more than $71 million as of Jan. 8, 2018. The program has achieved nearly 95 percent of its original $75 million goal.

Parishes throughout the Diocese rallied around victims of hurricanes which devastated areas of Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico. In August, Bishop O’Connell instituted a collection for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, amassing a total of nearly $820,000 sent to the Diocese of Galveston-Houston. In response to the needs that emerged following the two subsequent hurricanes – Irma and Maria – Bishop O’Connell encouraged those who wished to donate to the Church-run relief efforts to give directly to Catholic Charities USA. These collections, and subsequent visits to the stricken areas, reflected both compassion and the desire of the people to show their gratitude from the Diocese’s own need during Superstorm Sandy five years earlier.

The Diocesan Encuentro was held Sept. 30 in the Holy Trinity Church gymnasium of Christ the King Parish, Long Branch, as part of the national initiative of the V Encuentro (Fifth Encounter). The daylong event, conducted in Spanish and sponsored by the diocesan Office of Pastoral Life and Mission and Hispanic Ministry Initiatives, drew more than 150 parish-level Hispanic ministry leaders, including many Encuentro delegates. The gathering was an opportunity for delegates from parishes, apostolic groups and Catholic organizations around the Diocese to share – with the invited ministry leaders – their experiences of reflection, discernment, consultation and evangelization that were part of their parish community’s participation in the V Encuentro process. A goal of the working retreat was to brainstorm, identify and discuss best ministerial practices so the Church in the Diocese can more fully be Church. The V Encuentro – the fifth national “encounter” of Hispanic/Latino ministry since the first one in 1972 – is a four-year process of ecclesial reflection and action inviting all Catholics in the United States to intense missionary activity, consultation, leadership and development. It has been proposed as a priority activity of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Strategic plan for 2017 to 2020.


Though forecasts for a strong nor’easter canceled the annual Rally for Life on the steps of the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton Jan. 23, dozens of all generations gathered with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. for the annual Mass for Life in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, that same day.

Tens of thousands from across the world were joined by faithful from throughout the Diocese, including Bishop O’Connell, in Washington Jan. 27 to mark the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.  Speakers explored the theme “The Power of One” and called this year’s event “a new day, a new dawn for life.”

Bishop O’Connell served as principal celebrant and homilist of a Mass held during the annual Catholic Men for Jesus Christ Conference in St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, Feb. 25. Hundreds of men and boys from around the Diocese heard presentations by pro-life U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, who is also a member of St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square; director of apologetics for Catholic Answers, Tim Staples, and author Marie Joseph share their stories of faith.

About 200 women, men and children gathered with their godparents, sponsors and family members for the Rite of Election held March 5 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. The Rite of Election marks a milestone in the faith journeys of the catechumens, those who are participating in the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults processes in their parishes and is the occasion when the catechumens publicly declare their intention to become a fully initiated member of the Catholic Church through the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil.

In addition to the 200 persons who became fully initiated members of the Catholic Church through the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist) at the Easter Vigil April 15, some 500 candidates came into full communion with the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil.

The Diocese celebrated the 18th annual Blue Mass for Law Enforcement April 18 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. Hundreds of officers, civic officials and civilians heard Bishop O’Connell speak on the message of Easter and urge the law enforcement personnel to never lose sight of the promise that “Jesus is watching you always.”

In honor of the centennial of the appearance of the Blessed Virgin to three peasant children at Fatima, parishes around the Diocese held May processions, prayed Rosaries and celebrated the Virgin’s intercession for mankind. In an advisory proclamation dated May 5, Bishop O’Connell informed the flock of the Plenary Indulgence opportunity granted by Pope Francis in connection with the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions, part of the Our Lady of Fatima Centennial, which began Nov. 27, 2016 and extended until Nov. 26, 2017.

St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, was the site of a joyous Mass May 20 as Bishop O’Connell ordained four transitional deacons of the Diocese: Rev. Messrs. Christopher Dayton; Michael G. DeSaye; James R. Smith, and Rev. Brother Nicholas Dolan.

Bishop O’Connell ordained four new priests for the Diocese June 3 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral. Father Roy Aris B. Ballacillo, Father Thomas J. Barry, Jr., Father Michael A. Gentile, Jr., and Father Michael Kennedy received the Sacrament of Holy Orders before loved ones, friends and well-wishers.

An all-day Hispanic conference in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, June 10 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. About 700 faithful sang, worshipped, listened to speakers and felt the power of the Holy Spirit.

The diocesan Department of Pastoral Care held its annual Senior Spirituality Day July 12 in St. Leo the Great, Lincroft., drawing more than 500 mature adults to an informative and upbeat day with a keynote address and Mass celebrated by Msgr. Walter Nolan, a retired priest of the Diocese, as well as a presentation by Sandy Mullarkey, a registered nurse and pastoral associate in St. Anselm Parish, Wayside, and the music of Irish-American crooner Bobby Byrne.

Bishop O’Connell rededicated the refurbished St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral Parish center Sept. 17 in honor of the parish’s founding pastor, Msgr. Thomas Dentici.

More than 650 faithful converged on St. Mary Church, Middletown, Sept. 22-23 to praise the Holy Spirit during the 50th anniversary of the N.J. Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Bishop O’Connell served as principal celebrant of the Mass, and speakers included Father Jeffrey Kegley, pastor of St. Mary Parish; Father John Large, parochial vicar in St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan; Sister Lucy Lukasiewicz, superior general of her order, the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, and Father John Gordon of the Archdiocese of Newark.

St. Ann Parish, Lawrenceville, was the site of the annual Diocesan Celebration of Consecrated Life Sept. 30. Bishop O’Connell celebrated Mass for upwards of 65 men and women who have devoted themselves to religious life, serving in scores of ministries throughout the Trenton Diocese.

Nearly 300 couples celebrating one, 25, 50 or more years of marriage renewed their wedding vows and received the blessings from Bishop O’Connell during the Anniversary Blessing Masses held Oct. 8 and 22 in St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson, and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. The Monitor issued a special tribute keepsake magazine of the occasion.

Some 700 representatives from some 40 Catholic schools across the Diocese filled St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, Oct. 12 for the Diocese’s annual Catholic Schools Mass. In his homily, Bishop O’Connell reminded the assembled students, “All the subjects we study in Catholic school lead us back to God.”

A journey rich in familial love and holiness culminated at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, Nov. 4 for some 2,000 people from the Diocese of Trenton during the biannual diocesan pilgrimage. With the theme “United in Christ,” the pilgrimage engaged members in a day of prayer, reflection, education and worship in the Great Upper Church. Bishop O’Connell was principal celebrant of the Mass and concelebrated by nearly 30 priests.

The second annual Our Lady of Guadalupe travelling torches, or “Las Antorchas Guadalupanas,” grew to include more churches and faithful. The seven torches, first lit during the Nov. 4 diocesan pilgrimage, were entrusted to parish after parish throughout the month of November, then joined as one for a procession Dec. 2 to St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, for a Mass celebrated by Bishop O’Connell with a festive gathering that followed in the Cathedral dining hall.


Maureen Fitzsimmons was named chairperson of the diocesan Review Board, a team of professionally trained people who function as a confidential consultative body to the Bishop dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other representatives of the Church.

Terry Ginther, Executive Director of the Office of Pastoral Life, was also appointed as diocesan chancellor.

A reshuffling of roles and responsibilities in the diocesan Chancery and the filling of vacant posts became necessary following numerous retirements. Joseph Bianchi was appointed Chief Administrative Officer and In the Office of Temporal Administration he will oversee the newly created Department of Risk Management, with Joe Cahill as director, and the Department of Human Resources, with Angela Gitto as director.
Kevin Cimei was appointed Chief Financial Officer and in the Office of Financial Administration he will oversee the Departments of: Computer Services, under the direction of Anthony DeLorenzo; Development, with Steve Nicholl continuing as director, Finance, with newly named director Carolynn Thompson succeeding Daryl Rowe; Catholic Cemeteries, with Mark Wilson as director, and Construction and Real Estate Commission and Building Management (Chancery) with Scot Pirozzi as director.
Brian Jefferes was appointed the new associate director of catechesis.
Four priests joined the ranks of their retired brethren: Father Michael Burns, Father Edward Griswold, Father Bernard J. Keigher and Father Felix F. Venza.
About 140 priests spent time together in prayer and Mass and fellowship during the annual three-day convocation of priests Sept. 12-14 in Galloway. Vincentian Father Martin McGeough, now former diocesan coordinator of jail and prison ministry, spoke on the theme “Whatsoever you do to the least of my sisters and brothers, you do to me.”
Brenda Rascher was appointed the Diocese’s new executive director of Catholic Social Services, succeeding Daughter of Charity Sister Joanne Dress, who accepted a new assignment by her religious community.
Rachel Hendricks was appointed new diocesan Respect Life Coordinator in the Department of Pastoral Care.
Deacon Bill Gallagher is named new diocesan Jail and Prison Ministries director, succeeding Vincentian Father Martin McGeough, who was reassigned as pastor of a parish in Emmitsburg, Md.
Deacons of the Diocese and their wives heard the inspiring words of Father Herbert Sperger, director of spiritual formation, Theological Seminary in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, Wynnewood, Pa., during the Oct. 27-28 Convocation of Deacons in Plainsboro.


The Diocese created the new Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, naming Father Martin O’Reilly as diocesan chaplain of youth ministry, and Dan Waddington as diocesan director of youth and young adult ministries.
Hundreds of teens gathered in St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square, March 4 for the annual Diocesan Youth Celebration. Sponsored by the Department of Evangelization and Family Life, the day, themed “Ablaze,” featured song, dance, speakers, games, Adoration and a Mass celebrated by Bishop O’Connell, who reminded the youth “the world throws everything at you to challenge your faith… the Lord Jesus and his Church offer us something to believe in.”
The 22nd annual N.J. Catholic Youth Rally in Six Flags Great Adventure, Jackson, was held May 21 and drew hundreds from all five N.J. Dioceses. Cardinal Joseph A. Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark celebrated the Mass which followed a day of speakers, rides, games and food.
Forty-five teens and youth descended on St. Catharine School, Spring Lake, July 25 for the annual Splash service retreat sponsored by the diocesan Department of Youth, Marriage and Family Life. Talks, praying the Rosary and a Mass punctuated the teens’ hard work at service projects designed to aid the nearby poor.
From July 30 to Aug. 4, teens from five Ocean County parishes came together to serve on six different worksites each day during the fifth annual Mission: Jersey service project. The teens served meals in soup kitchens, sorted and packed canned goods in food banks and helped work on a farm. Each night they returned to their home base, Holy Spirit High School, Absecon, where they ate dinner, shared the day’s experiences, prayed, celebrated Mass and got some well-earned rest in preparation for the next day’s tasks.


Collier Youth Services,Wickatunk, celebrated 90 years of service to at-risk youth Jan. 28.
Bishop O’Connell, C.M., celebrated 35 years of priestly service May 29.
Clergy celebrating 50 years of service included Father Joseph Gnarackatt and Father Edwin Mathias.
Father Joy T.  Chacko, Father Michael P. Lang, Father Michael G. Lankford-Stokes and Father Jeffrey E. Lee marked 25 years as priests.
Religious of the Diocese marking 50 years of service to the Church included Mercy Sister Maureen Christensen, Franciscan Sister Rose Daniel Colanzi, Mercy Sister Nancy Herron, Mercy Sister Rosemary E. Jeffries, Dominican Sister Catherine P. Morgan, Christian Brother Ralph Montedoro, Christian Brother Charles O’Connell and Franciscan Sister Bernadette Schuler.
Men marking 25 years in the permanent diaconate include Edner Andre, James Ayrer and Roger P. Dinella.
Some 200 members of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul representing more than 50 parishes, three Vincentian priests and four seminarians preparing to enter the order gathered Sept. 9 in St. Aloysius Church, Jackson, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Society and its Vincentian charism. Bishop O’Connell, principal celebrant of the Mass, reminded the group, “We are called to the peripheries to serve the poorest of the poor.”


The Diocese mourned the loss of priests who served at one time in the four counties, including Msgr. Joseph C. Shenrock, Feb. 23, 90; Father Conall McHugh, July 5, 89; Father Michael Waites, Sept. 21, 72; Divine Word Father Vincent Burke, Sept. 21, 83; Father Castor Sanchez, Sept. 27, 82, and Father Gerard McCarron, Oct. 19, 78.
Departed deacons of the Diocese included: Paul A. Lachance, St. Paul Parish, Princeton, Jan. 21, 83; Timothy R. Collins, St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Medford, Jan. 31, 53; Theodore J. Kotz, St. Martha Parish, Point Pleasant, Feb. 9, 61, and Bernard J. Kane III, St. Dominic Parish, Brick, April 3, 66.


Marie Gladney, who served as executive director of Mount Carmel Guild for nearly eight years, announced her retirement as of the end of the year. She was succeeded by Mary Inkrot.
Anthony Mingarino retired after nearly 14 years of service to the Diocese, including as diocesan chief administrative officer and chancellor.
Daughter of Charity Sister Joanne Dress, executive director for Catholic Social Services, departed from the Diocese June 30. She was reassigned to a new appointment by her religious community.
Daryl Rowe, diocesan financial director, retired after more than 20 years of service, June 30.
Vincentian Father Martin McGeough, diocesan coordinator of Jail and Prison Ministry, was reassigned by his order to serve as pastor of a parish in Maryland.


The Diocese of Trenton rolled out its new website with an emphasis on evangelization, catechesis and multimedia communication. This decision was one of the goals set by the committee on Digital Media and the New Evangelization, commissioned by the Bishop in 2015.
The diocesan television series “Cristo Para Todos – Christ for All” won its third straight Gabriel Award from the Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals. The program’s “Meme de tu Vida: The Meme of your life” episode won in the category of “Spanish-Language Entertainment, National or Local Release.
The Monitor, newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton, was honored with eight awards June 23 during the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada during the 2017 Catholic Media Conference held in Quebec City, Canada, including first-place awards for Best Sports Photo and Best Reporting on Interfaith Issues, and a second-place nod for Newspaper of the Year.
Jennifer Mauro, who served as associate editor of The Monitor, was named managing editor in July.
Bishop O’Connell’s monthly radio program, “The Shepherd’s Voice” made the leap to live Internet broadcast on Facebook and YouTube via Domestic Church Media, the Ewing-based Catholic multimedia apostolate.
DCM also began broadcasting diocesan parish Masses from faith communities in their listening area, including Visitation Parish, Brick; St. Rose Parish, Belmar, and St. Gregory the Great Parish, Hamilton Square.
The diocesan Department of Multimedia Production taped an Easter Mass with Bishop O’Connell in St. Catharine Church, Spring Lake, Nov. 30. The taping will serve as the Mass to air on ABC across the nation on Easter Sunday April 1.


John McCrone, coordinator of the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, Fix-It Program, received the American Red Cross’ 2017 Outstanding Partner Recipient Award.
Margaret More, a parishioner in St. Rose, Belmar, won the New Jersey State Governor’s Jefferson Award for her work in establishing Vincent’s Legacy, a diocesan-wide ministry that collects furniture donations and distributes then to needy families.


Parishes marking milestones as faith communities included Holy Family, Hazlet, 75 years; St. Mary, Barnegat, 75 years; St. Monica, Jackson, 65 years; St. Mary, Colts Neck, 45 years.
St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, broke ground on an enhanced food pantry to better serve area needy. The former garage was demolished Jan. 11 to leave room for a new, 1,700 square foot edifice.
National speaker Chris Stefanick drew nearly 1,000 faithful to St. James School, Red Bank, Feb. 1 for his “Reboot! Live!” presentation on how and why to become more involved in parish life.
The last Mass was celebrated in Holy Angels Church, a worship site for St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton, June 2. Dwindling attendance and the cost of extensive repairs prompted its closure by the Diocese.
Bishop O’Connell was principal celebrant of an outdoor Mass celebrated before more than 1,000 people Aug. 13 at the Silver Lake gazebo, Belmar beach, as part of a cohort gathering of five Monmouth County parishes: St. Rose, Belmar; St. Elizabeth of Hungary, Avon; St. Catharine-St. Margaret, Spring Lake; Ascension, Bradley Beach, and St. Mark, Sea Girt.
Bishop O’Connell consecrated a new altar in St. Hedwig Church, Trenton, Sept. 24.


More than 1,000 men, women and children braved the frigid Atlantic Ocean by participating in the 11th annual Polar Plunge for Catholic Education Jan. 8 in Long Branch. An estimated $110,000 in funds was raised.
The third annual “Catholic Schools Do It All,” a diocesan-wide day of service April 28, saw students from pre-K to 12th grade performing a multitude of good works to promote service, faith and community.
In May and June, nearly 1,700 young men and women graduated from parish, diocesan and private high schools, earning more than $221 million in college scholarships.
The Diocese of Trenton welcomed new school principals for the 2017-2018 school year: Dr. Mark DeMareo, Holy Cross School, Rumson; Madeline Kinloch, St. Joseph School, Toms River; Deacon Joseph G. Rafferty Sr., St. Paul School, Burlington; Amy Rash, St. Mary of the Lakes School, Medford; John Fonero, St. Rose High School, Belmar, and Maureen Tuohy, Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton.
Paula Pangilinan, a parishioner in St. James, Red Bank, was named the new diocesan PTA president.
Catholic schools marking anniversaries included Holy Cross School, Rumson, 75 years; Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, 60 years, and All Saints Regional School, Manahawkin, 20 years.
Holy Cross Academy, Delran, marked its 60th anniversary Nov. 11. The Diocese of Trenton regretfully announced the Burlington County school’s closure to take effect in June, 2018, due to financial stresses and declining enrollment. An announcement was made that planning is underway to establish a new, independent Catholic high school.
Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, was recognized as Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the United States Department of Education and the Council for American Private Education. This marked the second time the secondary school was thus recognized, and brings to eight the number of schools in the Diocese to receive this designation of excellence in academics in recent years.
Donald Galante was named president of Mater Dei Prep, Middletown.


Former Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, soccer standout Jake Nerwinski was signed to the Major League soccer team, the Vancouver Whitecaps Jan. 13.
The indoor track and field team of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, won their seventh consecutive Shore Conference Championship Jan. 27. A week earlier, the boys’ team had won the N.J. State Interscholastic Athletic Association Non-Public A State Relay championship.
The Red Bank Catholic High School girls basketball team took home the NJSIAA Non-Public A state championship March 11, the ninth state crown for the team.
Alyssa Wilson of Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, broke her own shot put record and clinched gold at the Penn Relays, held April 27-29 in Philadelphia.
May 16 was a great day for baseball in the Diocese as the boys’ Red Bank Catholic High School team and the girls’ team of St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, both clinched the Monmouth County Tournament championships.
For the second straight year, Miguel Jimenez-Vergara, a junior in Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, won gold medals in all seven wheelchair events at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions in June.
Anthony Sherlock was named new soccer head coach in Mater Dei Prep, Middletown.
The girls’ gymnastics of St. John Vianney High School, after a year’s break in the competition, won the Shore Conference Tournament championship Oct. 28.
The Christian Brothers Academy boys cross country team finished first in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions Nov. 18.




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