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10/9/2018
Bishop O'Connell blesses anniversary couples from Monmouth, Ocean Counties at annual Mass
Ben and Frances Paolillo of St. Luke Parish, Toms River, pose for a photo with Bishop O’Connell at the annual Anniversary Blessing Mass Oct 7 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. The Paolillos have been married 75 years. Staff photo

Ben and Frances Paolillo of St. Luke Parish, Toms River, pose for a photo with Bishop O’Connell at the annual Anniversary Blessing Mass Oct 7 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold. The Paolillos have been married 75 years. Staff photo


“There’s a lot of love in this room,” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., said as he greeted married couples celebrating their 1st, 25th, 50th and more anniversaries.

More than 250 married couples from Ocean and Monmouth Counties as well as their families and friends gathered Oct. 7 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, for the first of Bishop O’Connell’s two annual Anniversary Blessing Masses. The couples renewed their vows; received a blessing and certificate of recognition, and were further celebrated during a reception after Mass.

“I think people recognize it’s [unique] to be blessed by the Bishop,” Peg Hensler, associate director of Marriage Ministries and NFP for the diocesan Department of Evangelization and Family Life, said prior to the event. 

A second Anniversary Blessing Mass will be held Oct. 21 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, to celebrate couples from Burlington and Mercer Counties.

Look for full coverage of both Masses – including articles, dozens of photos, a list of the special couples and their original wedding photos – in The Monitor’s Anniversary Blessings keepsake magazine, scheduled for release Nov. 1.

In addition, full photo galleries with dozens of pictures capturing the magic of both days will be posted to The Monitor’s website in the coming weeks.



Related Stories:
• Marriages to be blessed by Bishop at annual Masses in October




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