Bishop, Trenton priests, return from Rome after meeting with Pope, Holy See offices
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., is returning from his week in Rome, where he, along with his brother bishops from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, took part in Region III’s Ad Limina visit. Occurring about every five years, the pilgrimage included discussion of the quinquennial report prepared by each bishop for his diocese, meetings with officials of the Holy See on an array of topics, time in prayer at some of the holy sites, and an extended meeting with Pope Francis on Thanksgiving Day.
Accompanying Bishop O’Connell from the Diocese of Trenton were Msgr. Thomas Gervasio, vicar general, and Father Carlo Calisin, episcopal master of ceremonies.
For more about the Ad Limina visit, go to and click on NEWS>DIOCESE.
Annual diocesan Respect Life Poster, Essay and Photo-Meme Contest underway

Students across the Diocese of Trenton will have the opportunity to reflect on how their hope in Christ’s promise of salvation connects with everyday life – and the issues everyday life brings.
With the theme “Christ Our Hope – In Every Season of Life,” the Diocese’s annual Respect Life Poster, Essay and Photo-Meme Contest is currently accepting entries. Participation is open to children in kindergarten through eighth grades who are enrolled in Catholic schools, parish religious education programs, junior youth programs and home-schooled students.
Entries must be received by the principal, DRE/CRE, youth minister or their designee by Dec. 6 for preliminary review. (See website for home-schooling participation.)
For more information, go to and click on FAITH & CULTURE>FAMILY LIFE.

Annual collection to assist retired religious in Diocese and throughout nation
The annual Retirement Fund for Religious collection will be taken at Masses across the Diocese of Trenton during the weekend of Dec. 7-8. Coordinated by the National Religious Retirement Office in Washington, the campaign benefits more than 30,000 Catholic sisters, brothers and religious order priests who are older than 70 and currently living in the United States. Each year, about 94 percent of collected funds go to the direct care of aging sisters, brothers and religious order priests who combine these funds with their own income and savings to meet needs for nursing care, medications, therapies and other day-to-day necessities. A portion of the appeal also underwrites programming and education that promote long-term retirement planning.
The 2018 appeal raised $27.7 million, and 360 religious congregations from around the country received financial assistance. In the Diocese of Trenton, more than $18,000 was awarded last year to the Poor Clare Sisters of Chesterfield Monastery.

Visit to learn more.

Giving Tuesday to help Catholic schools

The Diocese of Trenton will again conduct its own #GivingTuesday campaign to promote and advocate for the gift of Catholic schools.
Coming on the heels of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the worldwide charitable campaign of #GivingTuesday falls on Dec. 3 this year.
In the Diocese of Trenton, #GivingTuesday was first conducted in 2016 as a way to benefit Catholic schools across Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties. This year, each participating Catholic school will list specific needs online. Donors will be encouraged to make a financial contribution to the school of their choice, commit to volunteering their time at a school in their area, or to share a prayer for Catholic schools. Anyone can participate – family, friends, alumni or any supporter of Catholic education. To take part, visit

Pastoral care ministry program to offer tools for parish-based ministries:
The Diocese of Trenton is encouraging all those interested in bereavement and similar ministries to take part in a pastoral care training program, spanning 12 sessions that will run from January through May. The program is designed to provide education and formation tools that will support pastoral care work in the parishes.
The program would benefit visitors of the sick, jail and prison volunteers, bereavement ministers and separated and divorced group leaders. Those preparing for any parish pastoral ministry are strongly encouraged to enroll in all 12 sessions of the certificate program. Session topics include the theology of suffering, pastoral spirituality, the art of holy listening, parish support groups, mental health and disabilities, end-of-life health care ethics, ministry to grieving, self-care for caregivers and more.
For details on cost and registration, visit; email or call 609-403-7175.
In Memoriam

For full obituaries on these and other individuals, go to and click on NEWS>OBITUARIES

Father Adam T. Kearns died Nov. 13 at age 91. Father Kearns, a native of Matawan, was ordained to the priesthood in 1954. He served as a parochial vicar and pastor in parishes across the eight-county area that now makes up the Dioceses of Trenton and Metuchen, until his retirement in 1999. He continued to assist in parishes beyond his retirement.
Msgr. James J. McGovern, a priest of the Diocese of Trenton for 61 years, died Nov. 2 at age 87. A native of Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, Msgr. McGovern was ordained in 1958 and served as parochial vicar and pastor in a number of parishes across what is now the Dioceses of Metuchen and Trenton. In 1981, he was assigned as pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown, where he served until his retirement in 2004.
Deacon Richard A. Hauenstein, who ministered in St. Justin the Martyr Parish, Toms River, died Nov. 17 at the age of 87. The husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, was ordained as a deacon in 1984.
Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister M. Jane Frances Dunnigan, who served in Red Bank Catholic High School for 14 years, died Nov. 21. Born in 1943 in Weehawkin, Sister Jane Frances first joined the order in 1960 and has taught in schools in North Carolina, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
December issue of The Monitor Magazine focuses on true spirit of Christmas

For this month’s IN FOCUS package, The Monitor team, in consultation with parish leaders and community members across the Diocese, curated a collection of ideas, resources and reflections to support our readers’ pursuit of a truly spiritual experience of Christmas this year. Beginning with a message from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., coverage includes: Ways to deal with sadness and loss at Christmas; Making room for the child at Christmas; Gifts for good, and an array of ideas to make the most of the coming season.
Other key stories in this magazine issue that you won’t want to miss:
 Parish program aimed at building understanding of the Real Presence
 Recap of the U.S. bishops’ November meeting and its impact for the Church
 Sister Norma Pimentel speaks of the crisis at the border during a recent visit to the Diocese
 Preserving Dignity: Lincroft parish supports work to restore Civil War-era gravesites
 Family, Church keys to helping kids ride out today’s stressors
Not yet a subscriber? Check out our affordable subscription options at Or contact us at (609) 406-7131;


The LAST ISSUE of The Monitor newspaper has been published, and we are now gearing up for the INAUGURAL ISSUE of The Monitor Magazine set for October.  Here are some things to remember as this process moves forward:
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