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.
The pattern in our Diocese is generosity. And during this holiday season, all of us in the four counties of the Trenton Diocese, should be generous in giving thanks to God.
The past several weeks have been very difficult, even tragic for so many of our sisters and brothers throughout the state and our Diocese. The response of so many to the devastation encountered by people because of the hurricane has been nothing short of marvelous!
Whether preparing food or packing clothing or opening their homes or helping to rebuild or making contributions or simply offering a shoulder to cry on, the people of our Diocese have not hesitated to put their faith into practice by offering hope and love to their neighbors and even to strangers.
In fact, in these difficult days, there were no strangers among us, only members of an extended suffering family.
Yes, there is much more to be done and the road ahead will not be easy for many who must rebuild their lives. But, at Thanksgiving, as we gather in love around our family tables, let's lift one another up --- the fortunate who have been generous and the not so fortunate who have needed our generosity --- in grateful, hope-filled prayer.
You are all in my heart and prayers this Thanksgiving, more than ever before. You are a blessing to me as your bishop and a blessing to one another. Happy Thanksgiving!
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13)!"
Most Reverend David M. O'Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton