Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., convened a day-long meeting Oct. 24 of all pastors and administrators of the Diocese in order to provide them with an in-depth analysis and presentation of the finances of the Diocese.
“It is very important,” the Bishop explained, “that those responsible for the financial oversight of our parishes also understand how the Diocese stewards and administers its resources and goods, especially in those areas where those financial resources intersect.”
Kevin Cimei, chief diocesan financial officer, and Joseph Bianchi, chief diocesan administrative officer, along with Joseph Cahill, diocesan director of risk management, provided the pastors with substantial information to help clarify the ways in which the Diocese funds its operations and activities, and the controls that are in place to ensure proper financial management.
Mrs. Terry Ginther, diocesan chancellor and executive director for pastoral life and mission, concluded the day with an overview of the planning process “Faith In Our Future” and moving forward with incorporating the “cohorts” into diocesan structures.
Following the presentations, the pastors were given the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any issues they may be facing in the administration of the Diocese’s 99 parishes.
On Nov. 7, the bishops of the United States will begin travels to Rome in 13 regional groups to participate in visits to the Departments of the Holy See culminating in a meeting with the Holy Father.
Required by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, these visits (called “Ad Limina visits”) occur every five years or more, following the preparation and submission of an exhaustive confidential statistical and narrative report (called “The Quinquennial Report”) by the residential diocesan bishop on virtually every aspect of his diocese since the year of the last visit (2011-12). The visits are called “Ad Limina” because of the Latin term referring to their destination – “as limina apostolorum” – meaning “to the threshold/tomb of the apostles.”
“Although I had been to Rome many times before, my first and only ‘Ad Limina’ visit so far took place December 5-9, 2011,” recalled Bishop O’Connell. “I had been diocesan Bishop for only a year, and the experience was fascinating. In addition to carrying the entire life of the Church in our Diocese with me ‘to the threshold of the apostles,’ the visit gave me a more profound spiritual sense of our belonging to the universal Church. I was particularly moved praying with my brother bishops as ‘successors to the apostles’ before the tomb of St. Peter in the Basilica that bears his name.
Along with all the bishops of the dioceses of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, who constitute Region III of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the “Ad Limina” visit is scheduled for the week of Nov. 25-29. Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, vicar general, and Father Carlos Calisin, assistant to the Bishop and Master of Ceremonies, will accompany the Bishop for the visit. The group will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thanksgiving Day.
The Diocese of Trenton and the Department of Pastoral Care hosted chaplains, volunteers and spiritual caregivers Oct. 25 for the Chaplains Appreciation Luncheon in the Lawrenceville Chancery.
The annual event rounds out the end of the observance of Pastoral Care Week, which takes place Oct. 20-26 and according to the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, serves as an opportunity to “recognize the spiritual caregivers…and the ministry which the caregiver provides.”
Chaplains and caregivers who minister in hospitals, prisons and other institutions shared a meal before listening to a brief talk by Deanna Sass, director of the Department of Pastoral Care, who spoke about the shifting culture in the field of Pastoral Care. Those attending the luncheon were invited to share their thoughts during a round table discussion.
When asked why this luncheon, which has taken place every year since 2007, was of importance, Sass responded, “These are people who give and give and give, and this is an opportunity to do something for them.” She noted that this is a “day just for them, we want to thank them for taking care of the Catholic people, to whom they minister.”
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