Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. celebrated with faithful of all ages as the Diocese of Trenton welcomed in the newborn Christ child during Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Bishop O’Connell served as the principal celebrant at Christmas Eve Mass in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption, Trenton, Christmas Midnight Mass in St. Paul’s Parish, Princeton and Christmas morning Mass in the New Jersey State Prison, Trenton.
During his homily in St. Paul’s Parish, Bishop O’Connell shared a message of hope with all in attendance: “My dear sisters and brothers, maybe the angels of old are speaking to us now in whatever the particular circumstances of our lives and our world may be – and you know what those circumstances are – listen to the angels as they whisper and sing and shout, “do not be afraid.”
The Monitor has been hard at work over the holiday to capture all the beautiful liturgies with the Bishop during this special day. Check out the following photo galleries from the Cathedral in Trenton and St. Paul’s Parish for a look into each Christmas Mass the Bishop celebrated:
- Bishop celebrates Christmas Eve Mass in Trenton’s Cathedral
- Midnight Mass in Princeton with Bishop O’Connell
Check back with TrentonMonitor.com this weekend for continuing story coverage of Christmas celebrations from around the Diocese of Trenton.
A festive Simbang Gabi Mass in Lawrenceville and Midnight Mass in St. Robert Bellarmine Co-Cathedral, Freehold, were among other Christmastime celebrations throughout the Diocese of Trenton.
Bishop O’Connell participated in the observance of Simbang Gabi when he joined with members of the Filipino community Dec. 23 in St. Ann Church, Lawrenceville, for the celebration of Mass.Simbang Gabi is a Filipino Advent tradition, a nine-day novena of spiritual preparation for the Birth of Christ. Similar observances of Simbang Gabi were held by other parishes throughout the four-county
The Co-Cathedral was full with faithful and families of all ages as well at Midnight, Dec. 25 to welcome the Christ child into the world. Msgr. Sam Sirianni, Rector, served as principal celebrant and was joined on the altar by Father Arian Wharff, parochial vicar for the Co-Cathedral.
If you have photos from a Simbang Gabi or Christmas Mass celebrated in your parish, please send photos to The Monitor at Monitor-News@dioceseoftrenton.org to be considered for an online photo gallery.
Bishop O’Connell celebrated Mass and hosted the annual Christmas dinner for seminarians of the Diocese Dec. 21 in St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown. Because the Trenton seminarians attend different seminaries – Mount St. Mary and St. Charles Borromeo, Wynnewood, Pa. – the annual event provides an opportunity for all of Trenton’s seminarians to come together and share camaraderie.
During the Mass, seminarian Kevin Hrycenko participated in the Rite of Candidacy, which is a formal step in preparation for priesthood.
“This meant a lot to me,” Hrycenko said of the rite in which he publicly declared his intention to complete his studies in Mount St. Mary Seminary, Emmitsburg, Md., where he is a first theology seminarian. Through the Rite of Candidacy, the seminarian acknowledges he is making the petition of his own free will and the Bishop receives the seminarian on behalf of the Church.After Mass, the Bishop hosted a Christmas dinner in the parish hall for the seminarians and the other priests from the Diocese who concelebrated the Mass.