Bishop answers questions on Feast of the Assumption; Clergy appointments announced; Advisory on return to school

Bishop answers questions on Feast of the Assumption; Clergy appointments announced; Advisory on return to school

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., addresses the central role that the Blessed Mother has in the faith in his newly-released reflection entitled, “Mary shows us the way: A teaching on the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven.”

Bishop O’Connell writes, “Although this year the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother into heaven is not a holy day of obligation because it falls on Saturday, it remains a pre-eminent Marian feast day that should be honored and remembered.  In the Diocese of Trenton, Mary Queen of the Assumption is our diocesan patroness and the name of our Cathedral.”

Listing several questions about the feast that are often asked, such as “Did Mary actually die?”, the Bishop provides insight and shares messages from St. John Paul II and Pope Francis, among others.

The Bishop observes, “The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is, indeed, more than just an obligation for Catholics. It is a truth of our faith that is rich and full of meaning, so much so that we are drawn to celebrate it regardless of its obligation in the Church’s law. Every feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the Church’s calendar year leads us closer to Christ her Son because of her maternal union with him.”

The full teaching from Bishop O’Connell, is available here.


Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has announced the following clergy appointments, effective Aug. 10:

Father Michael McClane, pastor of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, to medical leave.

Father Miguel Valle, parochial vicar of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, to administrator.


On Aug. 13, the Diocese of Trenton issued the following advisory regarding the return to school:

Since it became clear this past spring that the coronavirus risk would still be a factor as our Catholic schools prepare to return to the classroom, a comprehensive planning process was set in motion that sought, above all, to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and families at large.

This process, which was informed by parent surveys and led by diocesan and local school leaders, was based on the following expectations:

1) Any plan for the return to the classroom would require masking, social distancing and sensitization measures, as well as existing and updated screening and other precautions cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state health officials and other public health and education institutions.

2) Plans must provide for virtual instruction in accommodation of parents who select that option for their children, and in the event that in-school classes might have to be cancelled or delayed.

3) Plans established by the local schools will be guided by the physical realities and limitations of each location.

4) All students and their families will be informed by their schools as to the established plans.

5) The Diocese and the local schools will comply with any executive order issued by Governor Phil Murphy regarding the return to school.

Our local Catholic school administrators and their teams have been working diligently to implement plans that are focused on the health and safety of their community members.  Any parents who have questions about the return to school should consult your school’s website for information or directly contact your school office, since the school itself has the most accurate and up to date information pertaining to its plans.

Planning for parish religious education programs is currently underway; plans will be announced by early September.

We ask the diocesan faithful to remember in prayer all students, teachers and staff who are preparing to return to school in a few weeks.  May God keep all involved safe and well, and ready for a fulfilling new year of learning.


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