Bishop asks for generous response on World Mission Sunday  |  Divine Word Missionaries mark 125th anniversary

Bishop asks for generous response on World Mission Sunday | Divine Word Missionaries mark 125th anniversary

In his message for World Mission Sunday, observed throughout the world on the weekend of Oct. 17 and 18, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., emphasizes that we are all called to be missionaries:

During the Mission Month of October, Pope Francis reminds us that, as baptized Christians, we are called personally to mission – especially at this time – to bring Christ’s love to those most forgotten around the world. Jesus is God the Father’s own Missionary; He asks us to respond to this call to mission, this invitation to “step out of ourselves for love of God and neighbor.” 

What will your answer be? “Here I Am, Send Me” is the response we will all endeavor to live out this World Mission Sunday, through prayer, participation in the Eucharist, and generosity to the collection for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.

To read the full messages for World Mission Sunday from Pope Francis, Bishop O’Connell and Father PJ Alindogan, diocesan director of Missions, click HERE.

The Diocese’s observance of World Mission Sunday will take place Oct. 18 during an 11 a.m. Mass celebrated by Father Alindogan in St. Jerome Church, Our Lady of Hope Parish, West Long Branch.  Check in at for coverage of this Mass beginning Oct. 19.

Bishop O’Connell issued a recent message marking the 125th anniversary of the Society of the Divine Word, believed to be the largest religious missionary order in the Catholic Church.  These missionaries have served in the Diocese of Trenton since 1941. Excerpts of his message follow:

Founded in 1875 by St. Arnold Janssen, a German-Dutch Catholic priest of the Diocese of Muenster, Germany, the Society of the Divine Word is also known as the “Divine Word Missionaries.”  On Oct. 15, 2020, the missionary order celebrated the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the first SVD missionary, Brother Wendelin Meyer, in North America (Hoboken, New Jersey) in 1895.

The SVD order remains very active in the Diocese of Trenton.  Its priests continue to keep their mission alive and visible 125 years later through service and evangelization in the three parishes mentioned at the onset of this article.

On behalf of all the clergy, consecrated religious and lay faithful of the Diocese of Trenton, I extend profound gratitude to these members of the Society of the Divine Word and to their predecessors, for their extraordinary service and ministry to the Church of Trenton, and heartiest congratulations on the 125th anniversary of their first foundation in the United States.  Ad multos annos!

To read the full text of Bishop’s message, and to see expanded coverage of Divine Word Missionaries, go to

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