- Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., and the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Trenton offer their prayerful congratulations and best wishes to His Holiness Pope Francis on the fifth anniversary of his election to the throne of St. Peter. Ad multos annos!
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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. The same could be said of the holy season of Lent: it is a marathon to Easter!
- Thousands of the faithful streamed in to designated churches across the Diocese of Trenton March 9 and 10 throughout “24 Hours for the Lord,” a special time set aside for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Confessions and other forms of Lenten prayer.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.How blessed we are as Catholics to have Our Lord Jesus Christ present in our churches any hour, every hour, of the day or night. Our Lenten “24 Hours for the Lord” was a deeply moving reminder of his constant presence and of the merciful forgiveness that the Sacrament of Penance offers us simply for the asking.
- Due to the forecast of hazardous weather throughout the day for this area, and the State of Emergency declared in New Jersey, the Chancery offices in Lawrenceville will be closed today, March 7. The Chancery will also be closed on Thursday, March 8, because of the snow. Any updates will be reported on DioceseofTrenton.org, TrentonMonitor.com and the Diocese’s social media sites. Check local websites for any possible closings of Catholic churches or schools in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
- Saint Catherine of Siena Church in Farmingdale, NJ is seeking a part-time parish secretary to work closely with the Pastor. Some of the responsibilities for this position include: general office duties like answering phones, greeting and referring visitors, distributing mail, and typing correspondence. In addition, this individual will also be responsible for: maintaining Mass schedules, preparing the weekly bulletin, accurately recording and filing existing parishioner and sacramental records, updating and maintaining the parish census data.
- St. Mary of the Lakes Catholic Church and School in Medford, a growing parish of 4,200 families with a school of 275 students, is seeking a Full Time Custodian Position at the church.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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.
- The Church of Trenton is seeing growth and renewal following the Rite of Election, held Feb. 18 in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral in Freehold. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. , welcomed 185 adults and youth to the rite, and acknowledged them as members of “the elect.” For their part, they declared to the Bishop that they will continue their formation so that they may receive the Sacraments of Initiation – Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist – for the first time at the Easter Vigil.
- Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., announced Feb. 19 that the Diocese of Trenton will join the worldwide Catholic community in observing 24 Hours for the Lord, an initiative requested by Pope Francis and set for March 9 and 10. In his 2018 Lenten message, Pope Francis invited dioceses, parishes and faith communities to join him in the initiative for the second consecutive year. He asked that at least one church in each diocese remain open for 24 consecutive hours over the prescribed dates. During this time, the faithful will have the opportunity to pray before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, reserved in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance. Confessions will also be made available during this period.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.I frequently visit our Catholic schools throughout the Diocese. On one of those occasions, a student assigned to accompany and lead me around the school asked: “What does a bishop do?” I thought of the words of the psalmist: “Out of the mouth of children, you have formed strength (Psalm 8:2).” It is a good question and an important one in any diocese entrusted to its bishop’s care. The answer is as ancient as the Apostles whose “Successors” the Church’s bishops are. A diocesan bishop’s primary “job” is to share and carry on the Lord Jesus Christ’s mission in and for the Church: “to teach; to govern; to sanctify” the diocese assigned to him by the pope. The ways a bishop fulfills that mission are always “works in progress” as they attempt to meet the evolving needs of the Church in his diocese.
- The 2018 Annual Catholic Appeal is being rolled out in most parishes of the Diocese of Trenton Feb. 17 and 18, with the theme “This Is What Love Looks Like.” In his message for the appeal, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recalls a question posed 1600 years ago by St. Augustine of Hippo: “What does love like?”
- With this week’s arrival of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recently issued his 2018 Lenten message, and instructions to his flock on a faithful observance of Lent.
- With this week’s arrival of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recently issued his 2018 Lenten message, and instructions to his flock for a faithful observance of Lent.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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. That’s an interesting coincidence since there are 365 days in the year. But what does it mean to be “fearless?” To know the answer, to be “fearless,” you have to know what “fear” is.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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.
- In response to questions spurred by the current flu outbreak, the Diocese has issued this advisory: With the guidance of the bishop it is the role of the pastor to judge whatever measures are needed to ensure the well-being of his parish community and to take every opportunity to remind the faithful that they should refrain from receiving Communion from the chalice if they are ill. The sick are not obliged to attend Mass and should use prudence and good judgment before coming into contact with others.
- by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.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 (1Kgs3:4-13), Ask something of me and I will give it to you. What do you think you would say? Does a response come to mind immediately? There were no conditions or boundaries attached when the Lord God spoke to Solomon … there wasn’t a lot of time either. Ask something of me and I will give it to you.
- World Day for Consecrated Life, established in 1997 by Pope John Paul II, is Feb. 2 -- the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord – and will be observed at Masses throughout the United States Feb. 3 and 4.
March 31, 2016
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Bishop O'Connell has just made his annual priest personnel decisions, and I would like to share the ones that affect us here at St. Gregory's.
Effective July 1, 2016, Fr. Mike Hall, who has served our parish as parochial vicar for the past year, will be assigned as administrator of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in West Trenton. As you know, Fr. Mike has been a part of St. Gregory's for many years: as a parishioner, as a longtime participant in our Appalachia mission trip, and now as a member of our clergy. Fr. Hall has inspired many of us with his excellent homilies, jovial nature, and, of course, his skills as a grill master at the Annual Carnival! He was present at practically every weekend Mass, greeting parishioners afterwards in the Gathering Space and talking to them. He gave me advice on liturgical matters and other issues. I am grateful for his support and assistance during the past year, and I pray for God's blessings on Fr. Mike as he begins his ministry at Our Lady of Good Counsel. Fr. Mike will be a very capable administrator. He is knowledgeable about our Church and Diocese and will be dedicated to his future parishioners. We will miss you Fr. Mike!
Fr. Jason Parzynski, who was ordained a priest in 2015, has been appointed our new first parochial vicar effective July 1, 2016. Fr. Jason studied at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, where he was awarded Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Sacred Theology degrees, and at the Pontifical North American College in Rome (where I first met him actually). Most recently, Fr. Jason served as secretary to Bishop O'Connell for over three years. Many of you may already know Fr. Jason, from his visits to the parish with Bishop O'Connell. I know Fr. Jason is looking forward to meeting our parishioners at our Annual Carnival in June. Welcome Fr. Jason!
Deacon "Al" Augusto Lorenzo Gamalo has been appointed as second parochial vicar, also effective July 1, 2016. Deacon Al, who will be ordained a priest on June 4 at 10:00 am at St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton, attended St. Mary Seminary and University, Baltimore, where he is completing Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Sacred Theology degrees. He currently serves as a transitional deacon at St. Aloysius Parish, Jackson. Welcome Deacon Al!
At St. Gregory the Great we will be blessed to have four priests on July 1, including Fr. Jay Bowden, to serve our parish family. I am grateful to Bishop O'Connell for his support in meeting our ministerial needs.
On June 12th, the parish will have a farewell reception for Fr. Mike after the noon Mass. Please watch the bulletin for more details.
May God bless our priests and all those they serve!
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Michael T. McClane