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home : from the bishop October 19, 2018

A message from Bishop O'Connell:'We are one body in Christ'
 Pope Paul VI presides over a meeting of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this undated photo. CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Ca

 Pope Paul VI presides over a meeting of the Second Vatican Council in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in this undated photo. CNS photo/Giancarlo Giuliani, Ca

I have written before of my admiration for Pope Paul VI (1897-1978).  With his recent canonization — one of only eight popes in the 2,000-year history of the Church —  much attention has been given to him and his papal teachings. More ...
Thursday, October 18, 2018

For World Mission Sunday, Bishop O'Connell calls on faithful to be a 'voice for mission'

Annually, the next to last Sunday of October marks the Church’s Eucharistic celebration for the Missions, World Mission Sunday.

In his message for this year’s celebration on October 21, Pope Francis explains that “life is a mission.” “Each one of us is called to reflect on this fact: ‘I am a mission on this Earth; that is the reason why I am here in this world’ (Evangelii Gaudium 273),” he writes. Focusing on young people, he notes: “In speaking to you, I also address all Christians who live out in the Church the adventure of their life as children of God.”

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Thursday, October 18, 2018
Bishop O'Connell congratulates Diocese's five Blue Ribbon schools
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I am delighted to congratulate the following Catholic schools in the Diocese who have been awarded the coveted “Blue Ribbon” by the United States Department of Education. More ...
Monday, October 1, 2018
The noble fight to Respect Life
The expression “culture warrior” is used in contemporary conversation to describe people who fight for those causes that run counter to prevailing cultural values and preferences, chief among those causes, the protection of human life in all its stages, from conception to natural death. More ...
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio: 'A Poor Kid Who Couldn't Catch a Break'
The birth of a child is usually considered a “blessed  event” for parents, and so it was for Italian Catholics Domenico and Rosa Luciani Sulprizio on April 13, 1817, when a son, Nunzio, was born.  More ...
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell for Catechetical Sunday
The Church that the Lord Jesus Christ asked to “go out to all the world and tell the good news (Mark 15:16)” has had its share of “not so good news” this summer. 

It will make the work of the catechist this particular year harder, for sure.  But it is not a reason to stop catechizing.  In fact, it makes catechesis even more urgent, more compelling, more necessary to follow the Lord’s command.
 More ...
Friday, September 7, 2018
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati: Just One of the Guys - and a Saint
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once wrote, “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference.” Ancient wisdom, eternal truth! I like to think that truth applies to the lives of young saints. It is certainly true of the life of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was born and lived at the beginning of the 20th century. Rather than telling his story from birth, I’d like to start with his death. More ...
Friday, August 24, 2018
Catholic schools want our kids to have it all
“Back to School!” You see the signs everywhere reminding us that it’s that time again. Although they may protest a bit, kids are usually eager to see their friends again after a few months’ absence and get back into their familiar routines. More ...
Monday, August 20, 2018
A response to recent reports about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., published the following message Aug. 16 on diocesan media and has asked that it be read during all Masses the weekend of Aug. 18 and 19:

As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I share with our faithful and clergy of the Diocese the revulsion, disgust and anger you feel at all the recent revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in past decades. 

 More ...
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Assumption of Mary holds a central place in our faith
Yes, this Wednesday, August 15, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven and the Patronal Feast of the Diocese of Trenton, IS a holy day of obligation. More ...
Thursday, August 9, 2018
Why wait to become a saint?
“When I grow up and get out of school, I want to be ... a saint.” 

Whaaaaat?  A saint?  You don’t hear that too often, if at all. 
 More ...
Friday, July 27, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell on USCCB call to pray, fast for pro-life efforts

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Office has invited all the archdioceses and dioceses of the United States to join together in common prayer and action to promote the Church’s Pro-Life efforts.  

To that end, the USCCB has asked that each Friday, from August 3 to September 28, be a time of “prayer and, when possible, fasting for life.” 

 More ...
Monday, July 23, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Humanae Vitae' at 50
Blessed Pope Paul VI, scheduled to be canonized a saint on October 14 of this year, was the first pope I ever saw in person.  The date was May 25, 1975. The place was St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome at the canonization Mass for Saints Juan Garcia Lopez-Rico, O.SS.T., and Vincenta Maria Lopez y Vicuña. 

I had no particular attachment to either new saint but just happened to be in Rome at the time, prior to entering the novitiate of the Congregation of the Mission (C.M.).  I did have an attachment to Pope Paul VI, however, who was Pope since I first entered the seminary in 1969.  I admired him greatly.
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Friday, July 20, 2018
Homily for Senior Spirituality Day
The great gift of growing older is a cherished treasury of memories, memories of family and friends, memories of joyful celebrations and difficult moments, memories that make us laugh and smile, memories that bring a tear to our eyes, memories of a long life most of which has filled decades of our past and which sustain us in the present, for the future. More ...
Thursday, July 19, 2018
SUMMERTIME: A PAUSE THAT REFRESHES
The Church just observed the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29, commemorating the martyrdom of the Apostles, St. Peter as Chief of the Apostles and St. Paul as the Apostle to the Nations. More ...
Monday, July 2, 2018
The powerful witness of pure joy

It is not often that I am surrounded by the experience of pure joy.  My visit to the Motherhouse of the Sisters of Life in Suffern, New York, this past Saturday was such an occasion.  

Mother Agnes Mary Donovan, SV, Superior General, invited me late last year to celebrate Mass for her Sisters of Life during which four of the Sisters would renew their vows.  The special attraction of her invitation was the opportunity to celebrate Mass for the Sisters on the altar I gave them from the chapel of the Bishop’s Mansion in Trenton along with a tabernacle for reservation of the Blessed Sacrament.

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Monday, June 25, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Prayers after mass shooting in Trenton

The epidemic of gun violence has struck once again, this time close to home.  

The people of Trenton awoke this morning to the tragic news that twenty of our brothers and sisters – our families, neighbors and friends – were injured during a mass shooting in the early hours of Sunday morning at the city’s “All Night Art Festival.”  One suspect has been killed, and the motive is under investigation.

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Sunday, June 17, 2018
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- Taking the opportunity to express our love for our dads
Like many veterans of World War II who lived through its conflicts and loss of life, my Dad didn’t talk a lot about what he witnessed. More ...
Friday, June 15, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: Decree on the Year of Youth
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I hereby establish and decree that July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 shall be celebrated throughout the four counties of Diocese of Trenton as a “Year of Youth.” The purposes and goals of this “Year of Youth” shall be: More ...
Friday, June 15, 2018
A Message From Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: God's message for graduates: have faith, hope, love
Graduation from high school is a “rite of passage,” an event shared with your high school classmates here and throughout the United States. The phrase “rite of passage” simply means “a ceremony that marks the transition from one stage of life to another.” And that is certainly true for you.   More ...
Sunday, June 10, 2018
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS
The heart as a symbol of love dates back to ancient times and the writings of philosophers. In the Middle Ages (12th to early 14th centuries), the heart appeared in popular artwork of the time, gradually finding a place in many religious representations associated with Christ. More ...
Thursday, June 7, 2018
Corpus Christi
The Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Body and Blood of Christ, is celebrated throughout the Church in several ways: first, on the altar through the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; second, from that same altar in the Sacred Host brought by priests, deacons and lay extraordinary ministers to the sick in hospitals and to the homebound; third, again from that same altar, in prayer and adoration before the Tabernacle containing Sacred Hosts either reserved or exposed in the rite of Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. More ...
Saturday, June 2, 2018
'Love One Another': A message from Bishop O'Connell about acts of hatred and discrimination
This weekend, our nation celebrates Memorial Day, a day when we remember those women and men in military service who gave their lives for our country and the freedoms we enjoy.  Two elements of this national observance should be kept in mind: sacrifice and freedom.

In the Christian tradition, believers call to mind the words of Jesus about sacrifice: “greater love than this no man has, than that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you ... love one another (John 15:13-17).” 

We show that love for our neighbor in America by honoring the freedoms we enjoy, among them: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

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Friday, May 25, 2018
A reflection on the new document from the Holy See
On Thursday, May 17, two Vatican departments — the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development — released a jointly issued document from Jan. 6 entitled “Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones: Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System (hereinafter, CED).” More ...
Monday, May 21, 2018
Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Hearts of Your Faithful
“The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit dwelling with us (Romans 5: 5).”
 
The Easter Season comes to an end as the Church celebrates the Solemn Feast of Pentecost, traditionally called the “birthday of the Church.”  Before returning to his Father, Jesus promised in the Gospel of John that he would send the Holy Spirit to those who believe in him (John 7: 39); that he would ask the Father to give us another, the Advocate, to be with us forever — the Spirit of Truth (John 14: 16-17); that he would not leave us orphans: “I will come to you (John 14: 18),” that when the Spirit comes, “he will guide you into all Truth (John 16: 13).”  As Jesus ascended into heaven, described in the Gospel of Matthew, he proclaimed, “Behold, I will be with you always, even until the end of time (Matthew 28: 20).”
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Thursday, May 17, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: MOM
I miss her every day. It’s been three years since my Mother passed away. I still find it hard to believe she is gone. She was a wonderful Mom who loved her husband and family without reservation. That’s what mothers do. That’s who mothers are. Unconditional love.

Mother's Day has come once again and our attention turns to the women who gave us life, who took care of us, who raised us and who stood beside us come what may. What a blessing our mothers are, what a gift from God. They deserve more than a single day set aside in their honor. We owe them a lifetime of gratitude and love.

Although, for some of us, death has taken our mom from us, our faith and our memories never separate them from our lives. For those who continue to have their moms with them, Mother's Day is a precious opportunity to let them know how much they mean to us. We are their daughters and sons and always will be. What we have become — the persons we are at any point in our lives, whether young or old — is a reflection of their love, their sacrifices, their guidance, their presence, their dreams, their hopes, their pride. Can we ever repay them for all that they have done, for all that they do for us?  Of course, we know the answer to that question. We also know that our moms never expected or expect us to repay them. Their lives are their selfless, enduring gifts to us, gifts that never stop giving whether they are here or in heaven.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Behold Your Mother'
Love for Mary, the Blessed Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, is as natural to the Christian as love for one’s own mother. More ...
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Behold Your Mother'
Love for Mary, the Blessed Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, is as natural to the Christian as love for one’s own mother.  Mary is, after all, the Mother of the Lord and he is, at once, our Savior and our Brother.  “We never give more honor to Jesus than when we give honor to his Mother and we honor Her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly.  We go to Her only as a way leading to the goal we seek, Jesus Her Son (St. Louis Marie de Montfort).”  We worship him as God.  We love her as his Mother.

In our own time, Blessed Pope Paul VI encouraged us, writing:  “Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ.  Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself.”  This is so natural an experience because it is so true.
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Tuesday, May 1, 2018
From Bishop O'Connell: the need to restore funding for Catholic schools in the State FY2019 Budget
In his proclamation for this year’s Catholic Schools’ Week (January 28-February 3, 2018), Governor Murphy gratefully acknowledged that “Catholic schools in the State of New Jersey have educated millions of New Jerseyans throughout the years in preparation for their responsibilities as residents of this State and as members of society.” More ...
Thursday, April 19, 2018
From Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- 'Rejoice and Be Glad': First thoughts on Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation
When you enter the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC, as the clergy and faithful of the Diocese are invited to do on pilgrimage every three years, your attention is immediately focused upon the mosaic of “Christ in Majesty” that adorns the apse behind and above the high altar. More ...
Monday, April 9, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: It all depends on Easter

St. Paul wrote, “If there is no Resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith (1 Corinthians 15: 13-14).” 

Those are some pretty big “ifs” with some pretty big consequences for us as Christians.  Think about them for a moment.  Everything we preach in the Church and everything we believe comes down to this: Jesus Christ has risen from the dead!  It’s all about Easter!

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Friday, March 23, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell on students' efforts to address gun violence
Today, as young people across this nation took part in a school walk-out to end gun violence, students in some of our Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Trenton walked out of their classrooms to come together in prayer. 

I was deeply moved to stand with the students in Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville as we prayed the Rosary for an end to gun violence in our schools and remembered its victims. I stood in support of several other of our high schools where similar gatherings were held, including St. John Vianney in Holmdel; Donovan Catholic in Toms River; Holy Cross Academy, Delran; St. Rose in Belmar, and Trenton Catholic Academy in Hamilton. 
 More ...
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
LENTEN MEDITATION: Where we start and where we finish
They say “life is a marathon, not a quick sprint.”  I think that is true although the older you get, the faster the days seem to pass.  More ...
Monday, March 12, 2018
WATCH AND PRAY (Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 21:36; John 18:1)
I didn’t know what to expect as I opened the door to St. Joseph Church in Trenton shortly after 10 pm on Friday, March 9. Despite the late hour, well over 100 people were scattered throughout the Church in silent prayer as 10 parish churches in the four counties of the  Diocese celebrated this Lent’s “24 Hours for the Lord,” offering the Sacrament of Penance and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament literally around the clock.  

Msgr. Joseph Roldan, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral Parish and St. Joseph Parish, warmly greeted the faithful as they entered or left this magnificent church on North Olden Avenue late into the night, with coffee and water available to worshippers in the vestibule.  “It’s been like this all day,” Msgr. Roldan whispered.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's 2018 Lenten Meditation

The final prayer in the Breviary for the First Sunday of Lent read:

Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of your Son’s death and resurrection and teach us to reflect it in our lives.

The “alternative” concluding prayer was:    

Lord our God … bring us back to you and to the life your Son won for us by his death on the cross.

It has been clear from the beginning of this holy season of Lent that the Church wants us to focus in a special way on the passion of Christ as the path to Easter glory.  One cannot do that without looking to the four Gospels and what are referred to as the “passion narratives” there, those sections of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that take up the story of Jesus’ saving death on the cross.  I would like to consider one character in that story.

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Monday, February 26, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's homily for Ash Wednesday 2018
We begin again.  The season of Lent begins with the imposition of ashes on our foreheads in the sign of the cross. The ashes are a “mark of our repentance,” the Liturgy tells us, a sign of blessing upon the “sinner who asks for God’s forgiveness.” More ...
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's homily from DYC 2018
The theme of our conference today has been “Fearless 365.”  It’s been pointed out that the words “do not be afraid” appear in the Bible 365 times.  More ...
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Message from Bishop O'Connell for World Day of the Sick 2018
You can learn a great deal studying the lives of the saints and reading their words. Two giants in the field of social service and pastoral care, St. Vincent de Paul (1581-1660) and St. Louise de Marillac (1591-1660), co-founders of the Daughters of Charity, spoke together often about serving the poor and the sick.  Here is one of their conversations: More ...
Friday, February 9, 2018
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: A recipe for 'getting it right' this Lent
My Mom was a great cook and baker. One needs only to look at her sons to see the evidence! Growing up, I would frequently sit with her in the kitchen as she worked her magic. I remember so well a little file box in the kitchen cabinet, decorated with Pennsylvania Dutch symbols. In it she kept clippings from magazines or notes written out in pencil on index cards or scraps of paper. More ...
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's homily from the diocesan formation day for catechists
I want to engage your imagination for a moment. Suppose the Lord God appeared to you in a dream and said to you what he said to young Solomon in the First Book of Kings (1 Kings 3:4-13), "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." What do you think you would say? More ...
Monday, February 5, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: World Day of Consecrated Life: A day to advocate for vocations
I wanted to become a priest for as long as I can remember.  I entered the seminary of a religious congregation rather than a diocesan seminary simply because the diocesan seminary closest to my home closed.  There was no profound or noble attraction to the Vincentian Community at first.  In my young mind I just figured “a priest was a priest,” the Vincentians accepted me, and off I went. More ...
Thursday, February 1, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: Catholic schools: A choice for more
When a child is baptized in the Catholic Church, his/her parents make promises to help their child grow in the Church’s faith. More ...
Friday, January 26, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: Catholic schools: A choice for more
When a child is baptized in the Catholic Church, his/her parents make promises to help their child grow in the Church’s faith.  Parents are their “first teachers,” their “first preachers” of the faith and, as a result, the family home becomes the “first Catholic school” and a “domestic Church.” 

Without their direct and active involvement in their child’s faith formation, however, faith doesn’t happen, it won’t happen.  Simple things like teaching and “hearing” a child’s prayers, telling Bible stories, taking a child to Church, showing a child the difference between right and wrong, giving good example, treating people with respect and charity and so on, these are all part of Catholic parents’ primary responsibilities to their baptized Catholic children.
 More ...
Friday, January 26, 2018
Homily from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., for the Mass for Life, Jan. 22, 2018
Homily from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. for the Mass for Life, Jan. 22, 2018 More ...
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: To truly honor Dr. King, we, too, need to make a difference
In Harper Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch is appointed as defense lawyer for Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of raping a young white girl in Depression-Era Alabama. Toward the end of Chapter Three, Finch shares his uncompromisingly noble moral philosophy regarding racism and its attendant stereo-typing with his six-year old daughter, Scout. “You never really understand a person,” Atticus tells her, “Until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

That is one of those quotes that prompts me to say, “I wish I had said that.”  
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Friday, January 12, 2018
A message from Bishop O'Connell: Life is the most fundamental right of all
In recent years, many moral concerns have been grouped together in the Church under the rubric “Respect Life” and efforts to raise consciousness about them. More ...
Thursday, January 11, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the Feast of the Epiphany 2018

In the Book of Genesis, the sacred author tells us that on the fourth day of creation God said:

Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. ...

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Saturday, January 6, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God homily 2018
Memories are part of our lives as human beings.  They bring us back to experiences that have formed and shaped us into the people we have become now … today.  Christmas is one of those experiences that create many happy memories from our earliest years.  We relive those memories every year as we celebrate Christmas again and again.

Memories, however, are not always happy.  Sometimes the things we remember make us sad.  Some memories we might rather forget.  But, whether memories are happy or sad, good or bad, they serve a purpose: we can learn from them.  And what we learn can change the way we look at things … can even change our lives.
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Monday, January 1, 2018
Bishop O'Connell's Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God homily 2018

Memories are part of our lives as human beings.  They bring us back to experiences that have formed and shaped us into the people we have become now … today.  Christmas is one of those experiences that create many happy memories from our earliest years.
 More ...
Monday, January 1, 2018
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
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
From the Bishop: 'Nothing is impossible with God': the message of the Immaculate Conception

A message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., for the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated on Dec. 8.

Never had our world heard better news than that spoken by the Angel Gabriel to an innocent Jewish maiden, barely a teenager, in the Gospel from St. Luke proclaimed on the Solemn Feast of the Immaculate Conception.

Centuries of longing of the Chosen People of God came to an end as the Angel announced to Mary, "Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you (Luke 1:28)." 

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Wednesday, December 6, 2017
An Advent message from Bishop O'Connell: Emmanuel, 'God among us'
It is always a wonderful coincidence that our celebration of Thanksgiving occurs before the First Sunday of Advent each year. Although Thanksgiving is not a liturgical feast, it is appropriate on that day to bow our heads in grateful prayer to God before beginning a new Church year. More ...
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Bishop O'Connell calls for prayers for persecuted Christians
Those of us old enough to remember the presidency of John F. Kennedy might also remember the attention paid to his being the first Roman Catholic to hold the Office of President.   More ...
Friday, November 24, 2017
A message from Bishop O'Connell on the Solemnity of Christ the King
This Sunday, the Catholic Church throughout the world celebrates the Solemn Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. More ...
Friday, November 24, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Giving Thanks
The Greek root of the word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.” Every celebration of the Eucharist is a thanksgiving for the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ as the priest consecrates bread and wine, transforming them into Christ’s Body and Blood. We should, indeed, be grateful for this greatest of all gifts.

In the American vocabulary, however, the word “thanksgiving” usually conjures up images of family gathered around a table sharing turkey and all that goes with it every year on the fourth Thursday of November. This feast has a history rooted in the celebration of the newly arrived pilgrims’ first autumn harvest in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. All kinds of meats, fruits and vegetables were shared by pilgrim families and members of the native Wampanoag Indian tribe, who helped the first settlers learn to farm and hunt in this new land. Their “thanksgiving meal” probably bears little resemblance to the holiday we have come to know, but both have thanksgiving to God for his abundant blessings as their motivation.
 More ...
Monday, November 20, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Giving Thanks
The Greek root of the word “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.” More ...
Thursday, November 16, 2017
An All Souls Day message from Bishop O'Connell
The month of November has begun with the Solemn Feast of All Saints followed by the Commemoration of the Holy Souls in Purgatory.  More ...
Thursday, November 2, 2017
'Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship'
Catholic voters have both a right and responsibility to exercise faithful citizenship when considering the issues and candidates they will support in an election. More ...
Monday, October 30, 2017
Bishop David M. O'Connell on World Mission Sunday
Each October, the celebration of World Mission Sunday leads us to the heart of our Christian faith – leads us to mission, as Pope Francis explains in his message for this year’s celebration on October 22. More ...
Friday, October 20, 2017
Bishop encourages flock to pray the Rosary
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has issued the following message regarding the Month of the Rosary: More ...
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- RESPECT LIFE: "Be Not Afraid!"
Respect Life Sunday” is observed every year on the First Sunday of October – this year, October 1 – and the entire month of October that follows has been identified by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as “Respect Life Month.” More ...
Thursday, September 28, 2017
The Church in our day, the Church every day

Tradition has it that there is an ancient Chinese curse that threatens “may you live in interesting times.” 

Although it is frequently quoted, experts report that it is not found anywhere in Chinese literature nor is it most commonly used as a curse. It is, rather, an expression that describes the human social reality of moving from one crisis to another. Regardless of its origin, this phrase certainly seems to be fulfilled in the times in which we live.  It is an apt description of current experience in the world and the Catholic Church within it.

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Friday, September 22, 2017
A Message From Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: RESPECT LIFE: "Be Not Afraid!"
“Respect Life Sunday” is observed every year on the First Sunday of October – this year, October 1 – and the entire month of October that follows has been identified by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as “Respect Life Month.”  More ...
Thursday, September 21, 2017
We Forgive
It doesn't take much effort to see that "forgiveness" is the theme that connects our first and third readings today. More ...
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
An updated message from Bishop O'Connell on assisting storm victims
I am so very grateful to all those who shared so generously with the victims of Hurricane Harvey in the recent (9/2-3/17) parish collection throughout the Diocese of Trenton. Keep your prayers going!
 
For those who missed the opportunity or who wish to contribute personally toward Hurricane Irma relief, please send your contributions directly to Catholic Charities USA. One hundred percent of proceeds will go directly to relief efforts in the affected areas.
 More ...
Friday, September 15, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell on DACA
The Trump Administration has announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program or “Dream Act” this morning, establishing an expiration date on the legal status of some 800,000 people who entered the United States illegally as children. More ...
Friday, September 8, 2017
Return to school invites us to begin God's work anew
It’s not all that easy to find something that most people agree with, most of the time. More ...
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Homily for the Mass at the gazebo in Belmar

Following is Bishop David M. O’Connell’s homily from the Mass at the gazebo on Silver Lake in Belmar celebrated the morning of Aug. 13, 2017, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Bishop O’Connell was principal celebrant at the Mass, which was attended by nearly 1,000 people and hosted by five Monmouth County shoreline parishes that comprise Cohort 19.

We are all looking for God in our lives. For many of us, the search is conscious and deliberate. For others, the search is more occasional or sporadic. For still others, the search is hesitant, and we only became aware of God when we deny we are looking or turn away: who are we denying? Who are we turning from? God.
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Wednesday, August 16, 2017
The Best of What May Be

“Summertime and the livin’ is easy,” so says George Gershwin’s aria composed for the 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess,” recorded hundreds of times since then.

 
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Monday, July 10, 2017
In God, You Will Be Found'
There is a show on Broadway titled “Dear Evan Hansen.” It tells the story of its title character as he struggles with the anxieties and confusion that sometimes accompany high school teenage years. More ...
Friday, June 16, 2017
Jesus is the model for graduates, families and community
Each year at this time, we acknowledge and celebrate the many students who graduate from every level – including middle school, high school or institutions of higher learning. More ...
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Bishop recognizes departing diocesan leaders
As two key members of his curia are preparing to leave the Diocese on June 30, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., offered the following statements: More ...
Thursday, June 1, 2017
A Holy Week message from Bishop O'Connell: 'We remember His words'
It often takes a moment or two for things to sink in. When we find ourselves in situations we did not expect, our minds rarely grasp what has happened right away. More ...
Friday, April 7, 2017
A Holy Week message from Bishop O'Connell: 'We remember His words'
It often takes a moment or two for things to sink in. When we find ourselves in situations we did not expect, our minds rarely grasp what has happened right away.

That first Easter Sunday morning at the tomb was just such an occasion. All four Gospel accounts describe the women coming to the tomb but finding it empty. They arrived to mourn and to anoint Jesus’ body, but it was not there. We can be sure a thousand thoughts raced through their confused and frightened minds in an instant as they peered into the burial space to see the funeral cloths lying there but no body.  “They have taken the Lord from the tomb, and we do not know where they put him (John 20: 2).” They had to be reminded by an angel or two of what Jesus himself had foretold. “And they remembered his words (Luke 24: 8).”
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Friday, April 7, 2017
Bishop O'Connell's homily from the Mass for Catholic elementary school educators' in-service
In his day, Jesus was a wonderment to the people who surrounded him.  There were his apostles, the twelve who followed him most closely. More ...
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Something to think about
In all the confusion that surrounds current political debates on providing affordable health care to the people of the United States, it is difficult to predict what the final outcome will be. More ...
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
HOMILY FOR THE ANNUAL CATECHETICAL CONFERENCE

A few moments ago, we heard these words from the Old Testament Book of Deuteronomy:

This day the LORD, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees...

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Monday, March 13, 2017
Bishop O'Connell's homily for the First Sunday of Lent and DYC2017
God created the world and everything within in it, including human beings.  We are God’s creation. More ...
Friday, March 10, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: This Lent, 'repent and believe the Good News'

The Holy Season of Lent arrives once more with its invitation to “repent and believe the Good News.”

Those very words are used as ashes are imposed upon our foreheads to mark the beginning of Lent on Ash Wednesday. Both parts of the liturgical directive refer to an active, continuing disposition of heart and soul, not a “one shot deal.”

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Friday, February 24, 2017
Homily for the elevation of St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral
From St. Mary Cathedral, the Mother Church in Trenton, north to St. Joseph Parish in Keyport, south to St. Theresa Parish in Little Egg Harbor, west to St. George Parish in Titusville along the Delaware River, east to the parishes along the Jersey shore, the Diocese of Trenton rejoices in the elevation of St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Freehold to the dignity of a Co-Cathedral for our Diocese! More ...
Sunday, February 19, 2017
Bishop David M. O'Connell's pastoral letter on our future together
As we move into a New Year, the time is right for us to adjust our vision to “new things” for our Diocese.  While what “has been” in our past experience is comfortable, we are a living, changing Catholic community, a changing local Church that is, in St. Augustine’s words, a “beauty ever ancient, ever new (Confessions, X).” More ...
Friday, February 17, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Sickness can inspire compassion, increase faith
In his message for the Annual “World Day of the Sick 2017,” our Holy Father Pope Francis explained that this commemoration “is an opportunity to reflect ... on the needs of the sick and ... of all those who suffer. It is also an occasion for those who generously assist the sick, beginning with family members, health workers and volunteers, to give thanks for their God-given vocation of accompanying our infirm brothers and sisters.”

Established in 1992 by Pope St. John Paul II, who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, the “World Day of the Sick” reminds the Church that “the sickness of a family member, a friend or a neighbor is a call to Christians to demonstrate true compassion, that gentle and persevering sharing in another’s pain.”
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Thursday, February 9, 2017
A Message from Bishop O'Connell: Consecrated life: A vocation to holiness
Growing up and going to our parish Catholic school, I loved “the nuns” who taught us, the Sister Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM). While some people seem to enjoy telling “horror stories” about their experiences in Catholic school, I for one consider myself very lucky to have been taught by wonderful religious women.  Clad in blue and black from head to toe, these sisters – the “Macs” as we called them – cared deeply for us and we knew it. 

When they would emerge in the morning from the Convent next to the school playground, boys and girls rushed over to “carry Sister’s book bag” into the school building.  Every class began and ended with a prayer, reminding us all of the presence of God.  Classrooms were filled with religious statues and pictures, reminding us all of the heroes of our Church.  And the Sisters themselves in their habits, though a bit mysterious – What was their “real name?”  What color was their hair?  Did they do anything but pray all the time?  – the Sisters were always there for us, reminding us of the joy that comes with loving and serving God.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Catholic schools light a fire
There is a popular quote attributed sometimes to the Irish poet William Butler Yeats (other times to Ralph Waldo Emerson) that states, “Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.” More ...
Friday, January 27, 2017
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: Mass for Life Homily

Following is the Bishop’s homily from Jan. 23 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton:

There is one thing we all have in common, my brothers and sisters. Regardless of our race or place of natural origin, regardless of our religion or absence of it, regardless of our age or status or station in life: God gave us the gift of life, which our mothers carried until the day of our birth. We were allowed to live! Every human being who has ever walked the face of this earth shares that one thing in common. And from the moment of our conception until the day of our natural death, we celebrate with gratitude our God-given right to life.  Nothing is more fundamental and more precious than that one human right.

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Monday, January 23, 2017
A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: A THOUGHT ON INAUGURATION DAY

On this Inauguration Day 2017, the words of Abraham Lincoln come to mind:

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.

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Friday, January 20, 2017
What does it take to be spiritually fit?
More than in previous generations, men and women today take health and physical fitness very seriously.  That is a good thing. More ...
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: "That They May Be One"
The Church’s annual “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” takes place January 18-25. This year, the theme is “Reconciliation-The Love of Christ Compels Us” (cf. 2 Corinthians 5:14-ff.).  It draws its ecumenical impetus from the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper, “that they may be one (John  17: 21).”  As the week approaches, I would like to share a few thoughts that are the fruit of my reading and spiritual reflection.

First, a word about “unity.”  Pope Francis has told us:

Unity does not imply uniformity; it does not necessarily mean doing everything together or thinking in the same way. Nor does it signify a loss of identity. Unity in diversity is actually the opposite: it involves the joyful recognition and acceptance of the various gifts which the Holy Spirit gives to each one and the placing of these gifts at the service of all members of the Church. It means knowing how to listen, to accept differences, and having the freedom to think differently and express oneself with complete respect towards the other who is my brother or sister. Do not be afraid of differences (Address to Catholic Fraternity of the Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowship, October 31, 2014)!

Similarly, his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, noted:

The way to unity remains long and laborious; yet, it is necessary not to be discouraged and to journey on, in the first place relying on the unfailing support of the One who, before ascending into Heaven, promised his followers: “I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Unity is a gift of God and the fruit of his Spirit’s action. Consequently, it is important to pray. The closer we draw to Christ, converting to his love, the closer we also draw to one another (General Audience, January 17, 2007).

 
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.: The legacy of Dr. King: A light in darkness
For generations born after his tragic death in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr., is another honored name in American history books.  By 1986, our country celebrated his legacy for the advancement of civil rights by creating a national holiday to be observed annually on the third Monday of January, close to his birthday on the 15th of the month.  The passage of time has served to solidify his memory as one of the truly great Americans of the 20th century.

For those of us whose lifetime coincided with his almost 40 years, it is difficult to believe  that the 50th anniversary of his assassination in Memphis will be commemorated next year.  His advocacy does not mark the beginning of the history of the American civil rights movement and his untimely death, thankfully, did not establish its end.  Our nation still has a long way to go to reach the goals that he advanced.  But I believe it is right to say that the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., represented and continues to represent a turning point in our nation's struggle for the non-violent resolution of the racial tensions that still plague American society.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., on the elevation of St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Freehold, to the status of Co-Cathedral for the Diocese of Trenton

In the early and mid 1970s, the area of Central New Jersey was experiencing a steady settling by professionals who worked in New York and Northern New Jersey and wanted to provide a wholesome life for their families in the more affordable suburbs. The already thriving churches in the area became insufficient to serve the people of God in this area. 

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Monday, January 2, 2017
Thank You
As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I extend my gratitude to all those many parishioners who have been so generous.... More ...
Friday, December 30, 2016
A CHRISTMAS MORNING
When people ask me how I spent Christmas, they are a bit startled when I reply, “I went to prison.” More ...
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., on the elevation of St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Freehold, to the status of Co-Cathedral for the Diocese of Trenton:
In the early and mid 1970s, the area of Central New Jersey was experiencing a steady settling by professionals who worked in New York and Northern New Jersey and wanted to provide a wholesome life for their families in the more affordable suburbs. The already thriving churches in the area became insufficient to serve the people of God in this area. More ...
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Christmas narratives illustrate core belief of 'God with us'
If you are looking to find out what the Bible says about Christmas, you don’t have to look far. The story of Christ’s birth is only mentioned in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke in what students of the Scriptures call the “infancy narratives.” As you look and compare the two accounts of the same event, you quickly realize that they differ from one another in detail. More ...
Monday, December 19, 2016
On Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bishop O'Connell urges call to prayer for immigrants, refugees
A Day of Prayer with a focus on the plight of refugees and migrants will take place across the United States on December 12, 2016, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe More ...
Monday, December 12, 2016
A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. -- SOME THOUGHTS ON MARY'S FEAST
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.  Centuries of longing of the Chosen People of God came to an end as the Angel announced to Mary, "Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you." More ...
Thursday, December 8, 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: 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: 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. 

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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.
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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 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
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
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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.”

 More ...
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.” 

 More ...
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



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