Bishop addresses Divine Mercy Sunday  retirement of Paterson Diocese’s bishop, School closure extended through May 15

Bishop addresses Divine Mercy Sunday retirement of Paterson Diocese’s bishop, School closure extended through May 15

With the arrival April 19 of Divine Mercy Sunday, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., reflected back on a message he had written for the Year of Mercy in 2016:

“Mercy is the love freely shown to us by God, who first reveals himself to us and makes his presence known and felt. We do not ‘earn’ this mercy; we do not ‘deserve’ it; we do not have a ‘right’ to it. Mercy is a free gift of God that, when given, draws us into God’s very being, making God present ‘to’ us and then, ‘through’ us to others.”

The full message is available here.  Bishop O’Connell also shared a resource for those remaining at home who seek the special graces of Divine Mercy Sunday.  For more information, visit the Divine Mercy website.


Bishop O’Connell issued a statement April 15 regarding the episcopal transition announced for the Diocese of Paterson.  The Bishop wrote:

On behalf of the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Trenton, I write to express heartfelt gratitude and prayerful best wishes to Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, STD, SSL, DD, on the occasion of his retirement as Seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson. 

 Although I am happy for him, I personally greet this long anticipated news with mixed emotions. In the past decade, Bishop Serratelli has been a devoted shepherd to his flock, a joyful witness of the Gospel, a wise and prudent teacher and author, a faithful brother bishop and a dear and much admired friend.  His accomplishments are many and truly outstanding, yet he has served the Church humbly, without seeking any recognition.  May the years ahead bring him good health, joy, peace and the satisfaction he has earned through a life and ministry well-lived.

 It is also and simultaneously a great privilege to offer the congratulations and prayerful support of the Diocese of Trenton to Most Reverend Kevin Sweeney, until now a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn and, as of today, Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Paterson.  I look forward to serving with him here in our beloved Garden State.  Welcome Bishop-elect Sweeney!  May God bless the Diocese of Paterson!

 To read more about Bishop Serratelli’s retirement and the Bishop-elect of the Diocese of Paterson, visit


Parents of Catholic school students in the Diocese of Trenton are being notified this week that all parish and diocesan schools will remain closed along with their public school counterparts through May 15.  The extension followed an April 16 announcement by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and was affirmed in a statement issued by JoAnn Tier, the Diocese’s superintendent of schools.  The statement follows:

As we have from the beginning of this crisis, the Diocese of Trenton will comply with the Governor’s order to close schools, in this most recent announcement — through May 15.  The health and safety of all remain the major focus during this pandemic. We have to get it right when it comes to returning to school and to large gatherings.  Based on the Governor’s previous order that extended social distancing, it was announced to parents that schools would be closed through May 8.  Parents will now be informed that we will follow the Governor’s order and continue remote learning for our students in a cooperative spirit through May 15 or as may be extended by the Governor.

This announcement pertains to the 29 elementary and six secondary parish and diocesan Catholic schools across Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.  For information on independent Catholic schools located in the Diocese, consult the schools’ websites.


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