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

Jesus is the model for graduates, families 

Each year at this time, we acknowledge and celebrate the many students who graduate from every level – including middle school, high school or institutions of higher learning.  Whether attending Catholic or public schools, these young members of the parishes throughout the Diocese of Trenton celebrate a milestone in their lives, a turning point commemorated through rites of passages known as “commencement.”  Graduation is a source of pride and accomplishment for them as they close one chapter in their lives only to begin another.  To our graduates I say: Congratulations and Godspeed!

The day, the congratulations, however, do not belong to them alone.  The support and the sacrifice of their wonderful parents, grandparents and guardians make the occasion possible.  Our Catholic schools, in particular, are the recipients of their parents’ trust, hard work and constant sacrifice.  They are their children’s “first teachers” and we owe them our thanks and acknowledgment.  No school is as important as the family home.  And so, to our parents I say: God reward your goodness to your families.

Finally, a word to their parish priests, religious, teachers, administrators, staff and coaches.  You accepted the confidence of parents and their children, alike, as you helped form young minds and hearts to take their place in society and the community of faith.  Be proud of and grateful for your noble calling and its fulfillment.  The Lord Jesus, the Teacher and Master, is the model for what you do each day in and out of the classroom.

As Bishop, I mark this occasion with a prayerful, grateful heart.  May God accompany us all into a joyful future!  Remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase … just take the first step!”  The best is yet to come!

Yours in the Lord,
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., J.C.D.,
Bishop of Trenton

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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Above, watch a 30-second public service announcement regarding proposed transportation funding for NJ’s nonpublic schools.

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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