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A message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Homily for 2016 Catholic Schools Mass 

Craig Pittelli photo

Craig Pittelli photo

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., delivered this homily to students, teachers and administrators gathered Oct. 4 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton:

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  He is, perhaps, the most well known and popular saints of the Catholic Church.  We see him in paintings, pictures and statues dressed in his brown robe, with a rope belt around his waist, usually with his arms joyfully raised up in prayer, surrounded by birds and other animals.  It is easy to love and admire him.  And we do.  He is loved and admired so much, that even the Pope took his name, Pope Francis, the same way we take the names of saints when we receive confirmation.

St. Francis was one of seven children born into a wealthy family.  His original name at baptism was John Peter but as an infant his father called him “Francesco” or Francis after the country of France that his father loved because he was so successful as a businessman there. The family was Italian, however, and lived in the town of Assisi in Italy. [Continue reading …]


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e all know the kinds of stories about Catholic schools that grab front page headlines. Unfortunately, the good news of Catholic schools is rarely reported in the mainstream media.

Too often our schools are “Best Kept Secrets” in which the value that they bring is known only to the families whose students are already enrolled. We aim to change that. 

Just for starters, here are some things you should know…

Across Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties, there are nearly 17,000 students in Catholic schools sponsored by their local parishes or by the Diocese of Trenton. These schools are strong and vibrant — many are well enrolled; some with waiting lists for certain grades.

Our schools continue to distinguish themselves as places of extraordinary academic advancement; robust science and technology resources, and the best in athletic development and competition, all the while forming young Catholics in their faith and providing opportunities for them to put this faith into action. Our schools provide an educational experience that can be found in no other setting.

We encourage members of the Catholic community to get the good news of Catholic schools by exploring one near you, and to stay connected with this website. Here, we will share new information and resources about our schools on a regular basis.

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View the video message above from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., about Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton.

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  • “… seeds [planted by families] are watered and nurtured in our Catholic schools producing ‘fruit that will last (John 15: 16):’ a community of faith, knowledge and service that reaches far beyond classroom doors.”

    Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
    Tenth Bishop of Trenton
  • “Catholic school teachers, invested in the students whom they teach, are relentless in their pursuit of providing
    an exceptional 21st century educational experience.”

    JoAnn Tier
    Moderator for Catholic Education, Diocese of Trenton
  • “When families invest in Catholic education, they are not only investing in their child, they are really setting up a legacy that will benefit not only their child, but their children’s children and beyond.”

    Dr. Edward Gere, principal
    Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River