On Oct. 6, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., served as the main celebrant and homilist in a Mass for more than 100 married couples from Monmouth and Ocean Counties gathered in St. Robert Bellarmine, Co-Cathedral who are celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries in the year 2019.

Wrapping up a busy weekend in the Diocese; ‘Footsteps of JPII’ pilgrimage set for spring 2020

On Oct. 6, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., served as the main celebrant and homilist in a Mass for more than 100 married couples from Monmouth and Ocean Counties gathered in St. Robert Bellarmine, Co-Cathedral who are celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries in the year 2019.

On Oct. 6, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., served as the main celebrant and homilist in a Mass for more than 100 married couples from Monmouth and Ocean Counties gathered in St. Robert Bellarmine, Co-Cathedral who are celebrating milestone wedding anniversaries in the year 2019.

The annual Bishop’s Anniversary Blessing was an opportunity for couples married in the Catholic tradition for 1, 25 or 50+ years to celebrate the anniversaries of their commitments of faith and love.

“It’s amazing how many people were here today. We’re not alone!” said Maryann Cole of St. Thomas More Parish, Manalapan, who has been married to her husband, Gerard, for 50 years. “Today was beautiful. And 50 years – where did it go? It was like it was yesterday.”

A second Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings Mass is planned for Oct. 20 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, to mark the milestone anniversaries of couples from Mercer and Burlington Counties.

To read more about the two Masses, and view dozens of photos, pick up next month’s issue of The Monitor Magazine, set to be delivered the week of Nov. 1, and visit TrentonMonitor.com


Bishop O’Connell also staff and supporters of Francis House of Prayer Oct. 6 for the celebration of Mass and to bless the retreat house’s new facility located in Allentown. Francis House, which is under the direction of Sister of St. Joseph Marcy Springer, had relocated to the Monmouth County town from its previous quarters in Rancocas, where they were located for 45 years.

Be sure to check in with TrentonMonitor.com later in the week for updates on this story. 


This spring, the Diocese of Trenton is sponsoring a pilgrimage to celebrate the centennial of the birth of a modern-day saint.

“In the Footsteps of St. John Paul II,” a 10-day journey through Poland and Prague, will be held April 29 to May 8 and conducted by Catholic Heritage Tours. It is open to all who wish to immerse themselves in the life of the popular Polish pope.

The pilgrimage begins with an excursion through Warsaw and Niepokalanow, followed by time in Krakow and Wadowice to explore sites where the young Father Karol Wojtyla, who was elected and became Pope John Paul II, lived and worked. Also planned is a visit to Auschwitz to learn about St. Maximilian Kolbe’s sacrifice to spare a fellow inmate and a trip to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, the site where St. Faustina is entombed. St. John Paul II canonized both these saints during his papacy.

As with any pilgrimage that requires extensive daily walking, those interested should consider their physical ability as well as their spiritual desire. The tour recommends that the elderly or those unable to walk up and down slopes and on uneven surfaces be accompanied by a travel companion able to assist them.

Cost for the pilgrimage is $3,300 per person, double occupancy, which includes round-trip airfare from Newark Liberty International Airport, first-class accommodations, most meals, private motor coach transportation and professional guides. Deadline for the initial $250 non-refundable deposit is Jan. 6, 2020; the full balance must be paid by Feb. 4, 2020.

For more information, including the full pilgrimage itinerary, terms and conditions, see the brochure at CatholicHeritageTours.com/DTPP or contact Carolyn Norbut at pilgrimages@DioceseofTrenton.org

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