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home : from the bishop : from the bishop December 9, 2016

Some Thoughts on Advent
It is a wonderful coincidence that our celebration of Thanksgiving occurred before the First Sunday of Advent. More ...
Monday, November 28, 2016

A Thanksgiving message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
I was in a panic Tuesday morning.  I had not yet bought my turkey for Thanksgiving. More ...
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Feast of Christ the King
St. Luke’s Gospel today begins with the sentence: “The people stood by the cross of Jesus, watching” … watching.  What were they watching?  They were watching the final, dramatic moments of the Lord Jesus Christ as he hung on the Cross. Above his head, the Gospel tells us, was an inscription that read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”  It isn’t a very royal scene that we hear described in St. Luke’s narrative, at least, as most people think of royalty. More ...
Monday, November 21, 2016
Do you hear me calling?
The word “vocation” contains a root etymology from the Latin verb “vocare” meaning “to call.” A vocation is defined as a “calling.” It can apply to a job or a way of life that a person feels strongly drawn to or “called” by the work itself and those in need of it. Doctors, nurses and social workers frequently refer to their professions as “vocations.” More ...
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Bishop O'Connell statement on newly announced appointment of Bishop Serratelli
The Holy Father has appointed Bishop Arthur Serratelli, Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson, Oct. 28 as a member of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. More ...
Friday, October 28, 2016
HOMILY FOR ANNIVERSARY BLESSINGS
Every once in a while, we might give in to feeling a little nostalgic.  It can come upon us very suddenly in a quiet moment when we drive through the old neighborhood or see an old relative or friend. More ...
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Consider making Rosary part of daily prayer life this October

October is the month of the Holy Rosary. 

This great prayer, whose origins date before the 12th century, uses a meditative repetition of prayers that invoke the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary as she leads us to consider the mysteries of the life of her Divine Son, Jesus.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: God's gift of life deserves the greatest of respect
Throughout the past year, the Catholic Church throughout the world has celebrated “The Year of Mercy,” an extraordinary Holy Year proclaimed by Our Holy Father Pope Francis. More ...
Thursday, September 29, 2016
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'We the People'
In the United States of America, there is no "state religion." The First Amendment to the Constitution clearly prohibits it. More ...
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Prayer is essential for practicing, conferring the faith
This year, September 18 (and the vigil of September 17) has been designated by the Catholic Church in our country as “Catechetical Sunday,” the annual celebration of our common baptismal mission as Catholics to hand on our Catholic faith and witness the Gospel of Jesus Christ. More ...
Monday, September 12, 2016
A message from Bishop O'Connell: She saw through the eyes of Jesus
Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the newest saint of the Roman Catholic Church, was the “Face of Charity” the world over for much of the 20th century. 

Documentaries have been produced and many books have been written about her. The only thing more moving than seeing her walk among the poor is reading her words which, in effect, give voice to the beating of her heart. 

Wrapped in the white and blue of her simple “sari” habit, rosary at her side, St. Teresa of Calcutta’s irrepressible smile touched the great and the poor alike: those whose names are household words, as well as those who have no place to call home or who will never be known.  She was simply “Mother” to everyone and continues to be.  It is difficult to imagine all that her eyes saw as she glanced at the world around her. 

 More ...
Friday, September 2, 2016
A Message From Bishop O'Connell: Treat God's gift of creation with care, gratitude
The “World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation” was established by Pope Francis last year to be celebrated annually on September 1. It followed the publication of his encyclical letter “Laudato Si, On Care for Our Common Home (May 24, 2015).”  This annual day of prayer was created to offer “to individual believers and the community a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation, raising to God our thanks for the marvelous works that he has entrusted to our care, invoking his help for the protection of creation and his mercy for the sins committed against the world in which we live (Pope Francis, August 6, 2015).” More ...
Friday, September 2, 2016
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: The Facts of Faith
Although often attributed to the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-NY), I often think of the words first stated by American businessman and statesman Bernard Baruch (d. 1965): “Every man (and woman) has a right to his (her) own opinion, but no man (woman) has a right to be wrong in his (her) facts (Deming, NM, Headlight, January 6, 1950).” More ...
Thursday, July 28, 2016
HOMILY FOR DIOCESE OF TRENTON WORLD YOUTH DAY

People born between the years 1980 and 2000 are called “the millennial generation” or, simply, “millennials.” 

Chances are that some of you here today were born after 2000 which makes you “post-millennials,” sometimes called “Generation Z.” 

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Monday, July 18, 2016
"Evangelization: A Call to Mercy" -- Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Evangelization Conference Mass
Today’s Conference has taken the theme “Evangelization: A Call to Mercy,” very appropriate in this Extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy, proclaimed by our Holy Father Pope Francis. More ...
Saturday, June 25, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.-- Making the most out of this summer
Who can forget Alice Cooper's classic ‘70s anthem "School's Out for Summer?" blasting on the airwaves?  Even "millennials" have heard it!  It's funny how we follow the rhythms of the "school year" no matter how old we get, no matter what job we have.  Most of us greet "summer" with the same enthusiasm as kids in school. More ...
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., calls for prayer in wake of latest act of violence
When Americans think of "Orlando, Florida," their first thoughts are usually of Disney World -- happy thoughts of a magic place where children of all ages escape from their ordinary, everyday lives to experience the fantasy and fun that only a place like it can offer.  That all changed in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, when 49 people were brutally, senselessly murdered by a lone gunman and at least that many others were seriously wounded in Orlando.  We awoke to the largest massacre in U.S. history that has left us all horrified and numb with grief. More ...
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Faith will carry you through 'rite of passage' Bishop tells 2016 graduates
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., gave the following homily during Baccalaureate Masses for the Class of 2016: More ...
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., calls for prayer in wake of latest act of violence
When Americans think of "Orlando, Florida," their first thoughts are usually of Disney World -- happy thoughts of a magic place where children of all ages escape from their ordinary, everyday lives to experience the fantasy and fun that only a place like it can offer.  That all changed in the early hours of Sunday morning, June 12, 2016, when 49 people were brutally, senselessly murdered by a lone gunman and at least that many others were seriously wounded in Orlando.  We awoke to the largest mass shooting in U.S. history that has left us all horrified and numb with grief.

We have become accustomed to such tragedies in other places in the world, Paris and Brussels and Tel Aviv among them in recent months.  It would be just a matter of time for us to join their mortally stricken ranks.  Events like Sunday's carnage in Orlando leave us reeling, haunted by the questions "When will the violence and killing stop?  Will we ever feel safe anywhere again?" What was once unimaginable has now become increasingly commonplace and all too real.
 More ...
Monday, June 13, 2016
Ch-ch-ch changes: It's that time again
The time for priest assignments and transfers has again arrived.  As parishes and other ministries of the Diocese prepare to bid farewell to the priests who are moving to other assignments, and welcoming other, newly-assigned priests, we thought it was timely to re-post a column that Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., had written in the spring of 2012.  More ...
Friday, May 27, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Giving thanks as "Faith to Move Mountains" reaches half of goal in pledges
We have some very good news about our diocesan endowment campaign, "Faith to Move Mountains."  With only 47 parishes having  completed the campaign so far, we have surpassed the half-way point of our $75 million goal. More ...
Friday, May 13, 2016
Selections from the homily of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., as delivered at the 2016 Diocesan Youth Conference
In the Lord Jesus, our Shepherd, we are never alone. We “hear his voice. We follow him.” More ...
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Bishop O'Connell's Diocesan Pilgrimage Travelogue in Rome
 APRIL 7, 2016 -- WHILE PILGRIMS HEAD FOR LUCA, PISA AND SIENA, IT'S BACK TO ROME FOR BISHOP AND FATHER JASON -- On April 7, the bus left our hotel in Montecatini for Luca and Pisa.  Everybody was in great spirits as our pilgrimage continued.  All on board, except for Father Jason and me since we had to return to Rome.  Our tour guide, Elena from Unitours, has been marvelous. More ...
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Bishop O'Connell's Diocesan Pilgrimage Travelogue in Rome
APRIL 10, 2016 -- REMAINING TIME IN ROME OFFERS PILGRIMS TIME FOR PRAYER, WORSHIP, SHARING CAMARADERIE -- We departed PNAC on Saturday afternoon, April 9, and made our way to The Cardinal St. Peter Hotel, where we all will spend the rest of our Diocesan pilgrimage together, minutes outside of Rome near the beautiful gardens of Pamphili. More ...
Saturday, April 9, 2016
An Easter message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
For all of us who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Easter is the heart of our faith --- its life, its breath, its hope, its everything. There is no more significant human expression than faith in Jesus’ resurrection. More ...
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Statement on the appointment of Archbishop Bernard Hebda to the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis
On March 24, Pope Francis announced that Archbishop Bernard Hebda will be the next Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese. More ...
Thursday, March 24, 2016
HOMILY FOR THE CHRISM MASS
The blessing of oil to be used in the administration of the sacraments for the coming year is an ancient custom in the Catholic Church.  We can find liturgical evidence of this ritual as early as the 4th century, probably even earlier.  The blessing of sacramental oils is an occasion when the priests of a diocese surround their bishop at the Eucharist in one great show of pastoral and personal unity. More ...
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: PENANCE IS A SACRAMENT OF HEALING

During this Holy Year of Mercy, and especially now during the sacred season of Lent, Pope Francis exhorted Catholics throughout the world to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

As part of a Holy Year of Mercy observance in the Trenton Diocese, The Monitor is reposting a comprehensive, three-part series on the Sacrament of Reconciliation that Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., wrote in 2014, in which he reflected on its theology, included a guideline on how to go to confession and, most importantly, emphasized the infinite love that God has for his people. The Bishop's series on the Sacrament of Reconciliation begins here.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Catholic Men For Jesus Christ Conference Mass
Losing things is the occupational hazard of getting older.  I know!  I can't tell you how many times each week I misplace my keys or wallet or cellphone, even important papers.  It drives me crazy. More ...
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Bishop O'Connell's homily from Rite of Election 2016
The bishop is the chief steward of the mysteries of God and the overseer of all liturgical life in the Church entrusted to his care. More ...
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Bishop O'Connell reflects on passing of Justice Scalia
Having had the privilege of knowing him and enjoying his company on numerous occasions, I did not want to miss the opportunity to add my voice to the chorus of those who mourn the passing of this native son of the Diocese. More ...
Saturday, February 13, 2016
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Much Ado' about Season of Lent

No serious study of English Literature can be complete without consideration of the works of William Shakespeare.  One of his classic comedies, “Much Ado about Nothing,” presents a tale of love and deception in a humorous way with characters caught up in its unfolding drama. 

 
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- Our Catholic schools: 'Fruit that will last'
Over 50 years ago, the Second Vatican Council described the purpose of the Catholic school as creating "for the school community a special atmosphere animated by the Gospel spirit ... (Vatican II, "Declaration on Christian Education, 8")." More ...
Monday, January 25, 2016
Bishop O'Connell: "Life IS the Answer"
When Jesus was speaking to the crowd about being the Good Shepherd in John’s Gospel he assured them, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  Notice that he did not speak conditionally. More ...
A note of thanks
I am so grateful for the thousands of Christmas cards and greetings I received from the faithful in the Diocese of Trenton. More ...
Thursday, January 14, 2016
A New Year's message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
As people the world over celebrate the end of 2015 and the arrival of a bright new year filled with hope and possibility, the Church also marks the annual World Day of Peace. More ...
Thursday, December 31, 2015
Bishop O'Connell's homily for Christmas Mass During the Night in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton
The Christmas story tonight is no different than it has ever been.  Same characters; same stable; same angels; same shepherds; same star year after year after year.  You would think after 2,000 years, Christians would get tired of telling the same story.   And, yet, they never have and I suspect they never will.  The real miracle of the Christmas story is precisely that: it never gets old! More ...
Saturday, December 26, 2015
A Christmas Message from Bishop O'Connell: The splendor of the Incarnation, robed in simplicity
The story that we read in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and see portrayed in manger scenes is so touching and beautiful that one cannot help but be moved. It truly tugs at the heart ... but it also gives us much to ponder.  More ...
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Third Sunday of Advent -- Opening of the Holy Door of Mercy at the Cathedral
For most of us, the idea of "going home" brings eagerness, comfort and joy, whether it be simply after a long day at work or, in some cases, a much longer period of separation.  It's good to be home. More ...
Monday, December 14, 2015
At opening Mass for the Year of Mercy, Bishop reminds faithful that 'Nothing is impossible with God'
Never had our world heard better news than that spoken by the Angel Gabriel to an innocent Jewish maiden, barely a teenager, in today's Gospel from St. Luke. More ...
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Mass he celebrated for the feast of the Miraculous Medal
The Lord Jesus began his public ministry at the Wedding feast of Cana, the scene of today’s Gospel reading.  St. John makes a point of writing: the “Mother of Jesus was there.”  We cannot help but notice this phrase and her presence. More ...
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Family facilitates the spread of gratitude and thanksgiving
Thanksgiving has arrived once again, and our families gather from near and far to celebrate this annual feast. The important word there is “families.” This past year, as Catholics, our attention has been focused on family life. More ...
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Being open to peace in the face of change -- A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
The Apostles were devastated at the crucifixion and death of Jesus. They had lived and traveled everywhere with him for the three years of his public ministry and had placed all their hope in him. And then, suddenly, he was gone. He had warned them, but they paid little attention.  Now what? The change was beyond their comprehension. They huddled together in fear and disappointment, worried about their own future. More ...
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
Being open to peace in the face of change
The Apostles were devastated at the crucifixion and death of Jesus. They had lived and traveled everywhere with him for the three years of his public ministry and had placed all their hope in him. And then, suddenly, he was gone. He had warned them, but they paid little attention.  Now what? More ...
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
HOMILY FOR ANNIVERSARY BLESSINGS
In our Gospel from St. Mark our Lord Jesus and his apostles are traveling again with a large crowd following them.  They are leaving Jericho, some claim the oldest inhabited city in the world. More ...
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Homily for Inauguration Mass of President Joseph Marbach
I remember as though it were yesterday, sitting at my own presidential installation Mass at The Catholic University of America 17 years ago.  I can recall thinking to myself in the midst of it all “what have I gotten myself into?” More ...
Friday, October 16, 2015
World Mission Sunday message from Bishop O'Connell
Every year we remember in a special way our Baptismal call to mission as we celebrate World Mission Sunday, this year on October 18. More ...
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Respect Life Sunday: A time to pray, a time to witness
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I consider it a privilege to invite all members of the Diocese to remember and share our conviction as Catholics with everyone you meet that “every life is worth living.” More ...
Friday, October 9, 2015
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- Pope Francis among us
Few would argue that the pastoral visit of His Holiness Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families 2015 did not move our hearts deeply.  The reason?  Because Pope Francis moved our hearts deeply. More ...
Friday, October 2, 2015
Extending the warmest of welcomes to the Holy Father
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I have the joyful privilege of extending to our Holy Father Pope Francis a heartfelt word of welcome to the United States of America on behalf of all the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese.

This is an especially happy occasion since it is the Holy Father's first trip ever to our country.  We hope that these few days will provide Pope Francis with the opportunity to get to know us as we embrace him with much affection and enthusiasm and as we open our minds and hearts to his messages in New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia.
 More ...
Sunday, September 20, 2015
A message from Bishop O'Connell: We are all we have
As Bishop of the Diocese, I hear it said at times that “all the Church is interested in is money.”

Anyone who is really familiar with the works of the Catholic Church knows that is not true.  But, anyone who lives in this world knows that important works with significant results require support: the support of prayer, the support of talented, hard-working people’s efforts, the support of good people’s generosity.
 More ...
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Bishop O'Connell's Message for Catechetical Sunday: Learning and living as God intended
Our Catholic faith is a precious gift carefully handed down to us through the centuries from the time of the Apostles to the present day. More ...
Monday, September 14, 2015
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Your faith has made you well'
The Gospels are filled with stories about Lord Jesus’ healing the sick.  It is not simply their infirmities and suffering that draws his attention to them: it is their faith in the midst of infirmities and suffering that captures his notice.

He heals them, yes, but more importantly, he offers their human experience to the rest of us as an example of how to live with afflictions that affect our health.  “Your faith has made you well (Luke 17: 19; Mark 5: 34; Luke 8: 48).” 

There is always a deeper, more profoundly spiritual purpose and meaning to the healing miracles of the Lord Jesus.  He wants us to believe in him; to trust him; to hand our lives over to him; to let him make us whole.

 More ...
Friday, August 28, 2015
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: HOLD ON TO HOPE
Watching all of the political craziness that surrounds the 2016 presidential campaign as it currently unfolds, commentators seem to be focused on a common theme: people are angry. Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike are angry with Washington, D.C., and the direction our government and our country have taken in the last decade.  So many candidates make promises that none of them keep.  And they are not helping calm people’s fears.

What does the future hold for our nation?  Only God knows.

 More ...
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Planned Parenthood protests will give voice to those who have been silenced

Once again, the proponents of abortion under their hackneyed banners of “reproductive rights” and “women’s health,” are rallying against pro-life supporters and others who are voicing their outrage at Planned Parenthood’s selling of dismembered aborted fetus’ parts, as discussed by executives on recently revealed videotapes.

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BISHOP O'CONNELL'S HOMILY FOR THE VIGIL OF THE SOLEMNITY OF THE ASSUMPTION
It is hard to conceive or imagine a perfect human being: a person without flaws or defects; a person who has no faults or imperfections.  At the same time, it is easy to identify things that are wrong with another, things that another person lacks.  We do it all the time.  We might easily say he is not smart, she is not beautiful, he or she has no talent for this or that. More ...
Saturday, August 15, 2015
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Revelations about Planned Parenthood practices must bring us to our senses
I am sure that most people who have watched recent video revelations and news reports showing the harvesting and selling of organs and body parts from aborted human fetuses by Planned Parenthood are horrified. More ...
Sunday, August 2, 2015
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- THE ICING ON THE CAKE

The Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law has this to say about bishops:


Bishops, who by divine institution succeed to the place of the Apostles through the Holy Spirit who has been given to them, are constituted pastors in the Church, so that they are teachers of doctrine, priests of sacred worship, and ministers of governance (canon 375.1).

 More ...
Thursday, July 30, 2015
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- NEW LIFE: THE PROMISE OF CHANGE
Every year, I meet with all the pastors and priests in each of the Diocese's four county vicariates.  These visits afford me, as Diocesan Bishop, the opportunity to share some thoughts with the priests and to invite any questions from or discussion with them. More ...
Monday, July 6, 2015
A statement from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- TRUTH AND FREEDOM

Throughout the centuries the Catholic Church believed what it taught and teaches.  It did and does so because those teachings are true, not because they are easy or pleasing.  Truth is true, not because we believe it; truth is true whether we believe it or not.  

 
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Friday, June 26, 2015
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: "No More"
On the night before he died, Jesus cautioned Peter, "he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword (Matthew 26: 52)" as he tried to defend the Lord against his captors in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Neither way of life is good, living by the sword or dying by the sword. More ...
Saturday, June 20, 2015
A statement from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., on the June 16 killing of Tamara Seidle, coordinator of religious education in Mother of Mercy Parish, Asbury Park
Our minds cannot fathom the horror that transpired when Tamara Seidle was shot and killed in front of her own seven-year old daughter on Tuesday morning in Asbury Park. Such senseless and tragic violence has become all too commonplace in society. More ...
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
It's all good, 2015 Graduates of our Catholic high schools
I “played hooky” this year! More ...
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
And so it began ....
Five years ago today, June 4, 2010, I stood here in the Bishop Ahr Conference Room of the Chancery and was introduced to the Diocese for the first time as its new coadjutor bishop by Bishop John M. Smith. More ...
Thursday, June 4, 2015
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Behold, I Make All Things New'
I don't like change.  There, I said it.  And the older I get, the less I like it.  That having been said, I have to admit that "change" seems to be the only constant in our world.  Look in the mirror sometime.  When I do, I often say to myself "where did you come from?"  When did I start losing the hair on the back of my head?  Where did those jowls come from?  I never had that belly before! More ...
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Behold, I Make All Things New'
I don't like change.  There, I said it.  And the older I get, the less I like it. More ...
Thursday, May 21, 2015
A message from Bishop David M. O' Connell, C.M. -- The Catholic Church and the 21st Century
Most Catholics religiously identify with their parish rather than the diocese to which it belongs. That is certainly understandable since most Catholics live their religious life, receive their Sacraments and worship in their own territorial parish. The "parish" is a more concrete reality than the "diocese," which is more abstract. For most Catholics, the parish is “the Church.” More ...
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
STATEMENT FROM BISHOP DAVID M. O'CONNELL, C.M., DIOCESE OF TRENTON, ON THE DEATH OF CHICAGO'S CARDINAL GEORGE
The death of His Eminence Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago, saddens me greatly. More ...
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Bishop's statement on new GCU president
As Bishop of Trenton, I express the gratitude of the entire Diocese to Sr. Rosemary Jeffries, RSM, for her 14 years of incredible service and transforming leadership as Eighth President of Georgian Court University in Lakewood, the only Catholic university in our Diocese. More ...
Thursday, April 9, 2015
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Easter asks us: 'Do you believe this?
Can you imagine what it must have been like for Jesus’ Mother Mary, his followers and friends to witness the absolute brutality of his crucifixion?  The Son that Mary bore and raised with such tenderness and love; the Teacher whom the disciples left everything to follow; the friends who surrounded him with great devotion. More ...
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Diocese does not approve, recognize "Mary's Way Worldwide Apostolate"
It has been brought to the attention of the Diocese of Trenton that an organization called “Mary’s Way Worldwide Apostolate” is operating in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Brick Township, within the Diocese of Trenton. More ...
Friday, March 20, 2015
Message on the Holy Year of Mercy

Our Holy Father Pope Francis commemorated the second anniversary of his pontificate today, March 13, by announcing an extraordinary jubilee — a Holy Year of Mercy– selecting a theme that has frequently accompanied his homilies and messages since ascending the Chair of Peter.

 More ...
Friday, March 13, 2015
Help Me Help Them Help You: New program to prepare prospective priests for demands of parish life
“I never learned that in the seminary!” I have heard priests say that many times after confronting situations that faced them in parish work. More ...
Friday, March 13, 2015
Synod survey draws small sampling from Diocese

The Vatican Office of the Synod continued its historic initiative of conducting a world-wide consultation of Catholics prior to last year’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops by distributing a second such questionnaire to dioceses and eparchies throughout the world in preparation for this year’s Ordinary Synod of Bishops (information on synods can be obtained on the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops’ website: www.usccb.org under the link to “synods 2014-2015”).

 
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Thursday, March 12, 2015
Hey folks, it's Lent again --A Lenten message from Bishop O'Connell
In nostalgic moments, Catholics of my generation and older reflect on their experience of the Catholic Church while growing up.  It would be no exaggeration to say the scene looks very different now from that of the ’40s, ’50s and early ’60s.  When Catholics of this “vintage age” get together, it is not uncommon that these memories surface – good and/or bad – in conversation. More ...
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Bishop invites participation in synod consultation

In October of last year, our Holy Father Pope Francis convened the Third Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, inviting them to reflect upon the theme “the pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.”

 
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Friday, February 13, 2015
'God is with us; have faith'-- A reflection on the 23rd World Day of the Sick
So often in the Gospels we read about the Lord Jesus’ love and concern for the sick. Not only do they seek him out throughout his travels but he actively pursues them. More ...
Friday, February 6, 2015
A message from the Bishop: No substitute for Catholic values, socialization in Catholic schools
One of the greatest contributions of the Catholic Church in our country remains the establishment of Catholic schools. Millions of young Catholics (and numerous non-Catholics) have been educated in Catholic schools since the very foundation of the United States. More ...
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Bishop conveys message on upcoming March for Life

Although the recent amputation of my lower left leg will keep me from marching with you in Washington, D.C. this year, I will be marching with you in my heart.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The true meaning of 'Death with Dignity'
As we witness the slow but steady erosion in our society of the conviction that all human life is sacred and worth preserving at every moment from conception through natural death, I call upon all Catholics within the Diocese of Trenton, indeed, upon all people of good will, to recommit themselves to the belief that God is the only Creator and source of all human life and that, therefore, God alone has the right to determine its natural end. More ...
Monday, January 12, 2015
A Christmas poem by Bishop O'Connell
In love the Father has brought us to be
And gave us the gifts of the earth;
Yet pride turned our hearts and we could not see
Our sin and the need for Christ's birth.
 More ...
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Beginning a new chapter in social communications

Twitter ..... Facebook .....YouTube ..... Instagram ..... Pinterest ....
Web Apps

We live in a world that is dominated by ever-evolving forms of media which have become an integral part of how we communicate with one another and the very language we speak.

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Friday, December 5, 2014
There is always something to be grateful for ...
As we look to Thanksgiving, many of us will gather with our dear loved ones, and sometimes people we do not know, to celebrate God’s abundant blessings in our lives. More ...
Thursday, November 20, 2014
FOR YOUR FAITHFUL, O LORD, LIFE IS CHANGED, NOT ENDED
During the recent commemoration of All Souls’ Day on Nov. 2, Catholics take the opportunity to pray for those who have died, especially our beloved family members and friends, and to offer their souls to God. The entire month of November, in fact, is dedicated to remembering these “holy souls” in prayer. More ...
Thursday, November 6, 2014
DO YOU HEAR ME CALLING?
The word "vocation" contains a root etymology from the Latin verb "vocare" meaning "to call." A vocation is defined as a "calling." It can apply to a job or a way of life that a person feels strongly drawn to or "called" by the work itself and those in need of it. More ...
Monday, November 3, 2014
Bishop O'Connell reflects on Blessed Pope Paul VI
In the early hours of Sunday, October 19, 2014, I watched as His Holiness Pope Francis celebrated the beatification Mass of Blessed Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. More ...
Monday, October 20, 2014
Bishop O'Connell reflects on Blessed Pope Paul VI
In the early hours of Sunday, October 19, 2014, I watched as His Holiness Pope Francis celebrated the beatification Mass of Blessed Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. More ...
Monday, October 20, 2014
Bishop O'Connell's message for World Mission Sunday 2014
“Today vast numbers of people still do not know Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis begins his message for this year’s celebration of World Mission Sunday with these words More ...
Friday, October 10, 2014
Respect Life Month from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.’ (John 10:10)

I am convinced, after almost 60 years on this earth, that all of the problems assaulting us in this world of ours derive from a single root cause: the failure to “respect life.”

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Monday, September 29, 2014
Respect Life Month from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

‘I have come that they may have life and have it to the full’ (John 10:10)

I am convinced, after almost 60 years on this earth, that all of the problems assaulting us in this world of ours derive from a single root cause: the failure to “respect life.” 

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Monday, September 29, 2014
The Sacrament of THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK: "Is Anyone Among You Sick?"
If you have ever been sick, then you know what it is like to want to recover and feel better. If you have ever been so sick that recovery might not be possible, then you know what it is like to want to be at peace. More ...
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Catholic University of America a place of great work for the Church
There are approximately 230 Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States, the first of which – Georgetown University – was founded in 1789. More ...
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Catholic University of America a place of great work for the Church
There are approximately 230 Catholic Colleges and Universities in the United States, the first of which – Georgetown University – was founded in 1789. More ...
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
The more things change, the more they remain the same
One of the guilty pleasures I enjoy is going to the diner for breakfast, especially at the shore. Who feels like going through all the fuss of cooking breakfast for yourself when it’s much easier just to sit down at the counter and hear someone say “the usual?” More ...
Thursday, August 28, 2014
A MESSAGE FROM BISHOP DAVID M. O'CONNELL, C.M.: We must choose pathways to peace
Planes shot down over Ukraine and hundreds of innocent, unsuspecting passengers minding their own business are killed. More ...
Monday, August 11, 2014
Please Pray for Peace

I ask all members of the Diocese of Trenton and all people of good will to join in daily prayer for peace in the world and an end to senseless violence, especially in the Mid-east, mindful of the words of Our Holy Father: "Everything is lost with war!  Nothing is lost with peace!"

 
 
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014
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The Sacrament of Penance: "What I Have Done and What I Have Failed to Do": How to Go to Confession (Part III)
Throughout these catechetical presentations, I have spoken of the Catholic Church as a community of faith, prayer and law. More ...
Thursday, June 5, 2014
The Sacrament of Penance: "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more (John 8: 11)." (Part II)
The Lord Jesus Christ died for our sins.  Christians believe that firmly and deeply.  But what does that mean? More ...
Thursday, May 22, 2014
THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST: DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME (Part II)
The Holy Eucharist draws its name from a Greek word meaning “thanksgiving.”   More ...
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
THE SACRAMENT OF THE HOLY EUCHARIST: DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME
The sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the third of the Church’s “sacraments of initiation,” is the Body and Blood of Christ, whole and entire.  It is not a “sign” or a “symbol” or a “representation” of the Body and Blood of Christ — it IS the Body and Blood of Christ.  More ...
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
CONFIRMATION: Strength for the Christian Catholic journey through life
One of the most frequent ways I get to meet parishioners throughout the Diocese of Trenton as Bishop is when I have the privilege of administering the sacrament of Confirmation to their children, usually around eighth or ninth grade. More ...
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Catechesis on the Sacraments
People ask me all kinds of questions as Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton.  Some also address complaints to me about things they experience, usually something that happened in their parish. More ...
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Bishop O'Connell's essays archived
To read more of Bishop O'Connell's earlier writings, click here. More ...
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
The 'New' Evangelization: What's 'new' about it?
Since the pontificate of Blessed – soon to be canonized – Pope John Paul II, the phrase “new evangelization” has become part of our Catholic vocabulary. As he used it, the term describes an effort in the Catholic Church to reach out to baptized Catholics who have, for any number of reasons, drifted from the practice of the Catholic faith.
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Thursday, August 29, 2013
Embracing our cross as an opportunity for grace
A Message From Most Rev. David M. O'Connell, C.M., Bishop of Trenton
I recently saw a movie entitled, “Hyde Park on the Hudson,” starring Bill Murray as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It told the story of the 1939 visit by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, parents of the current Queen of England, to President Roosevelt at his home in Hyde Park at the time of the New York World’s Fair.
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Thursday, April 25, 2013
World Day of the Sick an opportunity to embrace sick and suffering

A Message From Most Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Although I maintain a rather intense schedule, it is no secret that I have confronted more than a few health issues since becoming Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton in 2010.  In fact, as I visit various parishes or diocesan gatherings for one thing or another, people invariably ask me “how are you feeling?” or say “you are in my prayers.” 

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Thursday, January 31, 2013
'Do Not Cease to Give Thanks'

As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I count my blessings every day. God has been so very good to me in so very many ways.  He has introduced into my life as a priest and bishop so many wonderful people: good priests who generously share ministry with me day in and day out; dedicated religious who generously give witness to Christ's call to holiness by their lives; incredible laity who generously respond to the Lord by embracing their neighbor, especially at times of need.  

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Hey Mom, Did I ever tell you ...
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
Take away the sentimentality attached to greeting cards and flowers on Mother’s Day and what’s left is a relationship.  Mother’s Day is about a relationship — a bond of love between a mother and her child, no matter how old he or she may be.
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Thursday, May 10, 2012
Lapsed Catholics: Where did everybody go?
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
When I first learned through the “Diocesan Parish Headcounts” within the 111 parishes of the Diocese of Trenton in 2010 and 2011 that weekend Mass attendance accounted for only about 25 percent of registered parishioners, I became concerned as the Diocesan Bishop.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Here we go again!

“These forty days of Lent, O Lord, with you we fast and pray.”  

This line from a popular hymn we sing during the season of Lent contains a very important truth.  During the days and weeks of penance that lie ahead, it is with YOU, Lord, with YOU we fast and pray.  The model Jesus gave us for “these forty days” was his own experience of the desert and the temptations that followed him there. 

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Thursday, February 16, 2012
A Spiritual and Academic Heritage
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I write at the beginning of “Catholic Schools Week” to celebrate with you the great gift of Catholic Education that is the blessing of our Catholic Schools. More ...
Monday, February 6, 2012
Bishop O'Connell responds to a threat to religious freedom
As your Bishop, I write to you concerning an alarming matter that negatively impacts the Catholic Church in the United States directly, and that strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith.  The federal government, which claims to be “of, by, and for the people,” has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people—the Catholic population—and to the millions more who are served by the Catholic faithful. More ...
Thursday, January 26, 2012
'I Have Come That You May Have Life'
Illness always seems different when it’s our own we are facing. As difficult as it may be to handle sickness in others, especially those we love most, an adverse medical diagnosis presented to us can be, no, is particularly sobering. More ...
Thursday, January 19, 2012
'For Auld Lang Syne': A New Year's Message

Happy New Year!

I am at the age now when “New Year’s Eve” finds me at home on the couch, snacking on Hickory Farms cheese and summer sausage with a Coke Zero chaser waiting for the “ball to drop” in Times Square on TV at midnight so that I can go to bed!
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Friday, January 6, 2012
A waiting world welcomes the dawn of salvation

A Christmas message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
I wake up very early most days.  I rarely, if ever, have to set my alarm clock.  I love the early morning when everything is peaceful and quiet.  And in the silence of those first moments, it seems that God and I have some of our best conversations.  My mind is not cluttered with schedules and busyness.  The crush of meetings, travel and the day’s activities appear far distant at that time.  I watch the dark of night slowly give way to the light of another day.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A time to give thanks for a loving, generous God
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, one of my favorite days, really. It is a “family day” for sure and an opportunity for folks to be together. I have such great memories of Thanksgivings past when so many family members gathered around the Thanksgiving table. In my home, although those numbers have diminished now to three --- my Mom, my youngest brother Dan and me, I still love the day and look forward to it very much. More ...
Friday, November 18, 2011
'Love Your Neighbor As Yourself'
We have heard this Gospel before, many times.  We know its details fairly well.  And, yet, with all this familiarity, today’s passage from St. Matthew’s Gospel still has something to tell us.  Jesus is in Jerusalem, actually this is his final visit.  He cleansed the Temple, interacted with the elders of the Jewish religion, told several important parables and engaged the Jewish people and those following him in important teachings. More ...
Friday, October 28, 2011
Celebrate the Hope that Saves

Our Lord, before returning to the Father, announced the gift of the Holy Spirit and charged His followers with being His witnesses “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We are familiar with this fundamental duty of all Catholics. Each year we renew this baptismal call, especially during our Easter celebration.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011
Red Mass Homily
If you believe in God, you will have no difficulty understanding the idea of law. If you believe that God created the world, you will have no difficulty understanding the purpose of law. More ...
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Appeal donors brought real hope to Catholic school families
Of all the many things that a bishop is expected to do, insuring the transmission of faith within his diocese is most important. He has a personal responsibility to do that through his own preaching and teaching. More broadly, however, he fulfills his teaching obligations by fostering, promoting and supporting works of Catholic education – Catholic schools and Catholic religious education programs – throughout his diocese. More ...
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Homily from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., for the diocesan pilgrimage

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C., September 17, 2011.

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Monday, September 19, 2011
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., in observance of September 11
Mass of Remembrance of the Diocese of Trenton on the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001, St. Mary, Mother of God Church, New Monmouth, New Jersey More ...
Saturday, September 10, 2011
"Sermons without Words"
The recent visit of hurricane Irene to our region has left devastation that has affected virtually everyone here in New Jersey, either directly or by association with family members or friends affected. While such storms wreak havoc on homes and properties, they also, ironically, are the occasions when the goodness and kindness of human nature shines forth in adversity. More ...
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., on Catholic identity
“Catholic education is not simply about values or even ‘faith values.’ Catholic education is about a vision, an investment in a vision that comes from the Gospel: that creates the values by which the Catholic school is known and identified and that makes its values real and alive and applicable to life. More ...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Bishop O'Connell encourages support of Catholic University of America
As you know, I spent over 12 years as president of The Catholic University of America before becoming your bishop here in the Diocese of Trenton. I attended CUA myself and received my doctorate from there.  So did Bishop Smith. During my time as president I had the joy of meeting many, many students from the Diocese of Trenton. More ...
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Some Thoughts on Father's Day
No matter how “grown up” we may be, when a parent dies, the child dies within us. No matter how “ready” we think we will be, in a parent’s death we lose a part of ourselves that no one can ever replace. More ...
Friday, June 10, 2011
We remain committed to child protection, aiding healing

Any priest who is ordained as bishop of a diocese today understands that dealing with the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other diocesan personnel, as well as protecting the children who are placed in the Church’s care, are among the most important responsibilities one is given. 

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Friday, March 18, 2011
Lent's arrival calls us 'to do something great'
Lent isn't merely about being faithful, following Church guidelines or receiving ashes. It is a calling for each and every one of us to begin anew, marked with the sign of the cross, to do something truly great in our lives. More ...
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Teaching the faith through the Catholic press
For Catholic Press Month, Bishop O'Connell shares his thoughts on how Catholic publications, and The Monitor in particular, help to carry out Christ's commandment - "Go teach." More ...
Thursday, February 17, 2011
A Christmas message from Bishop O'Connell

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord...
Glory to God in the highest and peace to all who enjoy his favor.
(Luke 2: 11-14)

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., shares a message for Christmas with the people of the Diocese of Trenton.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH BISHOP O'CONNELL'S VIDEO MESSAGE

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Thursday, December 23, 2010
A message to the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton
Bishop O'Connell gives his first written message to the people of the diocese after being officially appointed the 10th Bishop of Trenton upon Pope Benedict XVI's acceptance of the retirement of Bishop John M. Smith. More ...
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Years pass and times change, but it's still Thanksgiving Day
No matter what the history that leads up to this present day, no matter what customs – culinary or otherwise – are observed, Thanksgiving Day is one of our greatest and most revered national holidays.  And its original purpose and intent was and still remains gratitude to God our Creator for all that he has given to us as a nation. More ...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Writings of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
The Monitor is pleased to offer its readers a collection of the written essays, as well as the texts of speeches and homilies, by the Diocese of Trenton's Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
Bishop's Journal: An education in the episcopacy
On his recent visit to Rome, Coadjutor Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., kept a log of his experiences as part of a worldwide gathering of recently-ordained bishops in the Catholic Church. The following is Bishop O’Connell’s recap of the events that took place during his nine-day trip. More ...
Monday, October 4, 2010
St. Vincent de Paul lives on in spirit
Following are excerpts from a homily delivered by Coadjutor Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., during the Congregation of the Mission’s commemoration of the 350th anniversary of the death of St. Vincent de Paul. The Mass was celebrated Sept. 25 in St. Vincent’s Seminary, Germantown, Pa. More ...
Thursday, September 30, 2010
School days, school days
As families get ready for another year of school, Coadjutor Bishop David M. O'Connell reflects on the importance of Catholic education not just for children in the classroom but for Catholics at all stages of their lives. More ...
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Happy Birthday, 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae'!
Coadjutor Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., reflects the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s apostolic constitution on Catholic universities and colleges, “Ex Corde Ecclesiae” (“From the Heart of the Church”). More ...
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Address of Bishop O'Connell on the occasion of his ordination to the episcopacy
Following is the complete text of the remarks of Coadjutor Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., as given at the conclusion of his episcopal ordination Mass July 30 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. More ...
Saturday, July 31, 2010
A new bishop's retreat

In preparing for his episcopal ordination upon arriving in the Diocese of Trenton, Bishop David O'Connell had a rather unexpected "retreat" experience that was both humbling and spiritually enriching.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010



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