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home : features : advent & christmas October 17, 2018

Bishop O'Connell celebrates Feast of the Epiphany with hundreds of Manalapan's faithful
Christmas Visit -- Bishop O'Connell and clergy from St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, celebrate a Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany Jan. 7 in the parish church. Bishop O'Connell was principal celebrant of the Mass and homilist. Mike Ehrmann photos

Christmas Visit -- Bishop O'Connell and clergy from St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, celebrate a Mass for the Feast of the Epiphany Jan. 7 in the parish church. Bishop O'Connell was principal celebrant of the Mass and homilist. Mike Ehrmann photos

In the back of St. Thomas More Church, behind hundreds of faithful, Diana Saverino sat transfixed in the glow of the Feast of the Epiphany.

Calling it a Mass to cherish, the parishioner of 25 years was moved by the Manalapan church that was illuminated by thousands of lights and bathed in soaring music and the reverence of the homily, given by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

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Sunday, January 7, 2018

Young people play big roles as Epiphany's gifts celebrated in Trenton, Marlton

Honoring the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child, young people took center stage during parish observances of the Feast of the Epiphany Jan. 7.

“We are very blessed here,” Deacon Luis Ramos said as children prepared to receive gifts from three young parishioners dressed as the Magi after Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. “People are very good to our parishioners.”

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Middletown youth introduce 'Scrooge' to the Baby Jesus in Christmas play

After watching, “A Christmas Carol” with her family, 15-year-old Angela Gibilisco, wanted to take the story and give it a religious twist.

“It was during the scenes with the Ghost of Christmas Past that I first imagined an angel appearing to a man similar to Scrooge," said Gibilisco, member of the youth ministry in St. Catherine Laboure Parish, Middletown.


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Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Bishop joins in ageless Filipino tradition of Simbang Gabi
For more than two decades, the enduring Filipino Advent tradition of Simbang Gabi – a nine-day novena of spiritual preparation for the birth of Christ – has unfolded seamlessly in coordinated diocesan-wide observances. More ...
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Day of spiritual enrichment for priests, Bishop
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and some 120 priests gathered Dec. 14 in St. Joseph Parish, Millstone, for an Advent spirituality day and Christmas luncheon. The gathering featured a keynote address by Franciscan Friar of the Renewal Glenn Sodano, who led a presentation on “Spirituality Authority.” More ...
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Faithful around the Diocese commemorate Birth of our Lord
Whether it was by answering the call of church bells on a cold Christmas Eve night or rising early to joyfully sing “O Come, All Ye Faithful” Christmas morning, faithful from throughout the Diocese commemorated the Birth of Our Lord Dec. 24-25 in a myriad of ways. Along with coming together in prayer and worship with their brothers and sisters in their parish communities, some also chose to spend their Christmas by bringing comfort, joy and friendship to others through works of service. At the heart of each celebration, the message resounded on giving glory to the newborn King. More ...
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Diocese of Trenton churches decorated for Christmas featured in photos
From life-sized Nativity scenes to poinsettias, trees and candles, beautiful symbols of faith and decorations greeted those who worshipped in parishes around the Diocese of Trenton this Advent and Christmas season.

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Thursday, December 28, 2017
Pope proclaims hope, pleads for migrants during Christmas Eve Mass
VATICAN CITY – Christmas calls believers to see God's presence where he is often perceived as absent, especially in the "unwelcomed visitor, often unrecognizable, who walks through our cities and our neighborhoods, who travels on our buses and knocks on our doors," Pope Francis said Dec. 24 as he celebrated Christmas Mass. More ...
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Bishop O'Connell's Christmas homily 2017
Every year, the entire world pauses on December 25 to remember the birth of a Child – not just any child but the Christ Child, the Chosen One of God, the Messiah who had been prophesied and foretold from the beginning of human history. More ...
Sunday, December 24, 2017
Poll shows most Americans want to hear 'Merry Christmas' at holidays
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A majority of Americans, 59 percent, say they prefer the greeting "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" during this season, according to a new Knights of Columbus-Marist poll. More ...
Saturday, December 23, 2017
Study: Number of Americans who view Christmas as religious keeps eroding
WASHINGTON –The percentage of Americans who see Christmas as a religious holiday continues to slide across nearly all demographic lines. More ...
Saturday, December 16, 2017
Bereavement ministry, remembering loved ones key to coping with grief during holidays

Grief at the loss of a loved one can be a constantly evolving process.

Just ask Bob Rizzo of Mother of Mercy Parish, Asbury Park, who has been missing his wife, Theresa, for five years. While life certainly goes on for the 85-year-old, he said he still cries for the “lady who lit up his life” since 1952.

Memories of their family Christmas celebrations are especially apt to flood back at this time of year, said Rizzo, who after his wife’s death, devoted much of his time to a bereavement ministry in his parish. 

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Thursday, December 14, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Celebration of Christmas is not just for children

Every once in a while, at parties or dinners before Christmas, I’ve asked adults about their holiday plans only to hear some lament, “Oh, Christmas is for children.” I must confess that such a comment saddens me a bit. 

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Thursday, December 14, 2017
Parishes, schools celebrate Advent, Christmas
As December ushered in the Christmas season, schools and parishes across the Diocese made their to-do lists and checked them twice when it came to helping those in need or bringing smiles and good will. More ...
Thursday, December 14, 2017
Papal Christmas events to be telecast, streamed live
The Vatican has released information regarding the worldwide telecasts of Christmas events presided over by Pope Francis.

On Dec. 24, Pope Francis will celebrate the Solemn Mass of Christmas Eve in St. Peter’s Basilica at 9:30 p.m. in Rome. The Mass will be aired live on the Eternal Word Television Network at 3:30 p.m. EST. Pope Francis will deliver his Christmas blessing at noon Dec. 25. EWTN will air the blessing live at 6 a.m. EST.
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Thursday, December 14, 2017
Youth pack boxes of toys, surprises for underprivileged children

Since early November, youth ministries in four of the Diocese’s parishes have been working hard to ensure that impoverished children will have a merry Christmas.

“It’s just kind of unfathomable that a kid would get only one gift or no gifts at all come Christmastime,” said Andrew Scala, youth ministry coordinator in St. David the King Parish, West Windsor.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017
Advent and Christmas events in the Diocese throughout December, January

From Christmas pageants and choir concerts to Advent series discussions, parishes in the Diocese's four counties have all you need to get prepared for Christmas and the Advent season.

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Monday, December 4, 2017
Capital Singers bringing Hanukkah, Christmas music to Trenton
The Capital Singers of Trenton will be performing for the last time under founding conductor Richard Loatman for its Hanukkah and Christmas show, “Winter Songs XI.” More ...
Monday, December 4, 2017
Philadelphia Boys Choir coming to Belmar parish

St. Rose Parish, Belmar, is welcoming the world-renowned Philadelphia Boys Choir and Chorale to its church to celebrate the Christmas season. Known as “America’s Ambassadors of Song," the choir will perform at 3 p.m., Jan. 7 in the church.

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

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