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.
Although my mobility issues will limit my ability to participate in some of the larger and more crowded venues and Masses, I look forward to seeing the Holy Father again as he prays with and speaks to all the bishops of the United States in Washington, D.C.. on Wednesday, September 23. As during previous papal visits, I will offer some television studio commentary throughout the rest of the Pope's travels here.
Our seminarians in St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia will have the opportunity of a lifetime to be with the Pope during his stay there. Our other seminarians, clergy, religious and lay faithful will join those participating at Masses and other events in New York, Washington and during the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.
It promises to be an awesome experience! It is hard to contain the excitement that everyone feels, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. We offer Pope Francis our prayers, love and support as he spends this extraordinary time with us!
Most Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton