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2014 News Stories with The Monitor


Here is a list of news stories I wrote in 2014 for The Monitor, the newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton.



11/18/2014  Assisted suicide bill rejects God's design for life, death, says bishop

TRENTON -- The state of New Jersey is "now on the road" to legalizing physician-assisted suicide, but "it is an option and a choice that we should never make," said Trenton Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

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11/10/2014  Diocese receives awards for video work that stands up to giants

Two programs produced by the diocesan Department of Radio and TV have been awarded 2014 Silver Davey Awards, which exclusively honor the “Davids” of creativity, the finest small firms, agencies and companies in the world....


11/6/2014  Diocese marks All Souls' Feast with Mass

For the Feast of All Souls, about 130 faithful came to remember and pray for the beloved deceased, and especially those who have no one to remember them, during a Mass celebrated at St. Mary Mausoleum, Hamilton....

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11/6/2014  Luncheon offers time of self-care for spiritual caretakers

Those who provide spiritual care to the wounded and broken are strengthened when their own spiritual and pastoral needs are met....



10/27/2014  Freehold parish marks 150 years of living the Gospel

To the sound of trumpets, an organ and a choir, a procession of about a dozen priests with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., entered St. Rose of Lima Church, Freehold, to begin the parish’s 150th anniversary Mass Oct. 26.

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10/27/2014  Service of deacons appreciated at convocation The 2014 Convocation of Deacons, with the theme "Love Your Neighbor as Yourself: A Deacon's Ministry to Self and Others," was a true community-building event for the deacons of the Diocese....


10/23/2014  UPDATED: Sto Lat! After 110 years, St. Hedwig Parish remains a vibrant presence in Trenton community, Diocese

Radoslaw Dlugowski was heartened to witness the 110th anniversary celebration of St. Hedwig Parish and the 90th anniversary of the building of the church because he finds it to be “a good church and a great community.”

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10/23/2014  Convocation for catechetical leaders calls for prayer

The leaders of parish catechetical programs across the Diocese enjoyed camaraderie, received encouragement and learned important leadership skills at the annual convocation for catechetical leaders Oct. 16 in St. Vincent de Paul Church, Yardville....



10/23/2014  Bishop blesses St. John Paul II statue and chapel

A new statue of St. John Paul II and a chapel with new religious art in St. Hedwig Parish, Trenton, were blessed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., on Oct. 19.

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10/22/2014  Workshop aids pastoral care workers in ministering to the suffering

Pastoral care workers and volunteers were empowered at the eighth annual Pastoral Care Workshop in the St. John of God Community Service Campus, Westville, Oct. 18, where they deepened their understanding of their “Journey with the Suffering”...


10/20/2014  UPDATED: The World Needs Love -- Departed mission director's parish celebrates world missions

Our Lady Queen of Peace Church, Hainesport, was the site for the diocesan celebration of World Mission Sunday Oct. 19, a day when Catholics around the globe recall and celebrate the rich missionary life of the Church....


10/10/2014  UPDATED:Interfaith peace vigil embraces prayer from many cultures News of violence in the Middle East and other parts of the world led several religious communities in the Hightstown area to promote peace together in a unique way...


10/10/2014  St. Rose, Belmar, celebrates 125 years of bearing fruit

In a church that resonated with the joy of song, prayer and words of encouragement and thanks, St. Rose Parish Belmar celebrated “125 years of growing in faith together” with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. Oct. 5.

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10/9/2014  Bishop produces, promulgates new resource for Confirmation prep

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. teaches about one of the most meaningful thresholds in the faith journey of young Catholics in a 16-minute DVD entitled “Confirmation …. Strength for the Christian Catholic Journey Through Life.”

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10/5/2014  Youth group starts with fires ablazing

The bonfire on the grounds of St. Mary of the Pines Church, Manahawkin, on Sept. 20 lit the way for a new year for the high school and junior youth groups of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat.

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9/25/2014  Salesians commission local young adult for missionary service

Karen Dziekonska, daughter of Elizabeth Dziekonska of St. Hedwig Parish in Trenton, was one of 20 young women and men whom the Salesians of Don Bosco commissioned as lay missionary volunteers Aug. 14....


9/24/2014  St. Rose Parish commemorates 125 years of faith

The resilient and eventful 125-year history of St. Rose Parish, Belmar, will be commemorated Oct. 5 with a Mass celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., at noon in the church....

9/24/2014  Prison ministry program welcomes, trains volunteers

Many volunteers are responding to Pope Francis’ call to spread the Gospel to the fringes of society, as they pave the way in a young Jail and Prison Ministry initiative sponsored by the diocesan Department of Pastoral Care. Training for a new class of volunteers began with an orientation Sept. 20 in the Chancery in Lawrenceville....

9/11/2014  Convocation makes strong case for joy among priests

For those serving God in ordained ministry, pursuit of one’s own happiness is not usually seen as high on the priority list. But about 170 priests of the Diocese learned during their annual convocation that happiness in the priesthood is both widely experienced and important to pursue....

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9/10/2014  Hightstown parish invites all faiths to pray for peace

St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown invites all to pray at its Inter-Faith Peace Vigil Sept. 23 from 7-8 p.m....

8/14/2014  Diocese awards $1.3 million in tuition assistance

In an effort to help families provide their children with a Catholic education, the Diocesan Tuition Assistance Program has awarded a total of $1.3 million to families with children in Catholic schools for the 2014-15 school year.

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8/14/2014  Program connects with Catholic schools' alumni

With more than 76,000 alumni of Catholic schools in the Diocese contacted and over $185,000 in gifts received since the program was launched in 2012, the inaugural years of the Catholic Alumni Partnership could be considered a success.

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8/14/2014  Shore area teens build on Mission Jersey impact

For some Jersey shore Catholic teens, summer vacation is more than a welcomed break from school. As part of Mission Jersey II, dozens of teens helped repair their hometowns which are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy....

8/7/2014  Getting the body, mind and spirit in shape in Allentown parish

Coach John McKenna and Father Brian Woodrow work as a tag team, bringing together the well-known coach’s training skills and the enthusiastic priest’s community-building skills, to form the St. John Athletic Club in St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown.

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7/31/2014  Diocese to co-lead World Youth Day pilgrimage

Even though July 2016 seems far off, the time to start planning for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, is now. The Diocese of Trenton is teaming up with the dioceses of Camden and Metuchen, as well as Chris Dube of Dube Travel, to plan the pilgrimage to the native city of St. John Paul II July 22 to Aug. 1, 2016....

7/31/2014  Life Teen helps form new NET missionary

Sam Wong isn’t skipping a beat between his youth ministry formation in St. Raphael-Holy Angels Parish, Hamilton and the next journey of his life as he trains to become a missionary with the National Evangelization Teams....

7/31/2014  UPDATED: Seminarian retreat an opportunity for fellowship, growth in Christ

“The priesthood is nothing more than the heart of Jesus Christ.”

With this single quote from St. John Vianney, patron saint of parish priests, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., described the profound meaning of the priesthood for some 30 men gathered in Stella Maris Retreat Center, Long Branch, for a week of reflection, prayer and camaraderie, July 21-25.

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7/17/2014  Parish group unites diverse mix of young adults

A Catholic young adult group takes a great deal of time, effort and coordination to organize, but as Rosanne Sacchetti and Katie Anderson can tell you, their efforts to start such a group in their Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, definitely have been worth it....

7/17/2014  Msgr. Zaccardo excited as ever about ministry after 50 years

In celebrating his 50 years as a priest, Msgr. Peter J. Zaccardo is inspired by the excitement of the parishioners in the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Trenton to whom he still ministers in his retirement years.

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6/23/2014  Theology on Tap series ends with discussion on relationships

Some drinks go down easy, while others are known for their bittersweet stout and natural bite. The Theology on Tap talk by Matt Greeley, diocesan associate director of communications, conveyed how these qualities of beer are similar to the many and diverse flavors of life and relationships....

6/18/2014  Telly Award acclaims Diocese's Sandy aftermath video

The Diocese of Trenton’s Department of Radio and TV video “Voices from the Storm” –  which tells the story of the communities affected by Superstorm Sandy – recently received an award in the Religion/Spirituality category in the 35th Annual Telly Awards....

6/8/2014  Priest candidates benefit from time with Bishop, one another

When Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., had the chance to spend some quality time with the soon-to-be priests of the Diocese, he told the six transitional deacons to always remember that they are “men of the Church,” and they are called to live out the virtues of faith, hope and love.

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6/8/2014  St. Louis conference unites young adults nationwide

The first national Encounter Conference for Catholic young adults may just have been the beginning of a reawakening for young Catholics.

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6/6/2014  Marian Crowning brings hundreds to St. Mary Parish

With May being Mary’s month, it seems fitting to end it with a Marian Crowning bringing in speakers and artists from around the country for a day of gratitude for the Blessed Mother.

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6/6/2014  Theology on Tap talk recovers the meaning of love

Theology on Tap in the Diocese of Trenton has been going strong thanks to a series sponsored by the Diocese and local parishes. Its success was made clear by an overflowing room reserved in the Alchemist and Barrister, Princeton J...

5/25/2014  Rally at Six Flags more than fast coasters

Six Flags Great Adventure is known for its many roller coasters and safari – among other things – but for the approximately 1,000 people from across New Jersey’s five dioceses who visited for the 19th annual Catholic Youth Rally May 18, the theme park was a place to make a lasting memory and build a community of faith.

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5/22/2014  TruthBooth impartially displays human embryo development

When words are not enough, an innovative display called the TruthBooth demonstrates the beauty of the development of human life in the mother’s womb. St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, espoused this high-tech exhibit at its Respect Life Rally April 30.

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5/22/2014  NJCC: Birth parents must be alerted to changes in adoption law

As a bill allowing wider access to birth certificates of adoptees recently cleared its final hurdles and became state law, the New Jersey Catholic Conference is calling for immediate and broad outreach to birth parents to alert them to the law's ramifications and their rights to protect their privacy....

5/22/2014  Now on Tap: The Bible, the Church and God's calling

Back rooms in breweries and bars may be the last place one would expect to find talks on Scripture and God’s calling, but for Theology on Tap events around the Diocese of Trenton, they are the perfect setting to bring together young adults.

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5/14/2014  High school rally calls students to defend life

St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, offered a vibrant, informative, thought-provoking Respect Life Rally April 30, where the school brought in speakers from the area who are passionate about promoting a culture of life.

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4/22/2014  Bishop leads solemn liturgy on Good Friday in Trenton

In solemn silence, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., processed down the center aisle of Sacred Heart Parish, Trenton, behind a dozen altar servers, then kneeled in front of the altar to begin this year’s Good Friday Liturgy April 18.

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4/21/2014  Bishop celebrates Mass of the Lord's Supper in Allentown Parish

When Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrated Holy Thursday in St. John the Baptist Parish, Allentown, April 17, many in the packed church agreed that it was a great day to be a Catholic.

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4/10/2014  Intentional disciples embrace a relationship with Christ

Sherry Weddell would like to introduce Catholics to someone: Jesus Christ.

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4/9/2014  Teens meet Jesus in Adoration and Mass at DYC

Those who attended the Diocesan Youth Celebration in Monsignor Donovan High School and St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, enjoyed the great talks, workshops, music and games, but the focal point and climax were still worshipping Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and during the celebration of Mass with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

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4/9/2014  Msgr. Strano fondly remembered at funeral Mass

Msgr. Edward D. Strano was known for his many great qualities and talents, but perhaps the best testimony to his well-lived life was the great hope and joy he had when he died April 2.

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4/4/2014  Retreat helps young adults embrace forgiveness

In this season of Lent, young adults from around the Diocese focused on an important aspect of drawing closer to God – forgiveness – in a rare retreat opportunity in Precious Blood Parish, Monmouth Beach, March 29.

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4/1/2014  Christ connects teens in Diocesan Youth Celebration

As the Bible teaches, God wants to connect with youth as with all people, and by the signs of the 2014 Diocesan Youth Celebration March 30 in Monsignor Donovan High School, Toms River, the youth want to connect with God also.

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3/29/2014  Respecting God's special ones is focus for NDHS

In Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, faculty chose to use the proceeds from the Joseph A. Mazzella Memorial Respect Life Educational Grant to sponsor a Respect Life Week with the goal of furthering the students’ knowledge and  appreciation for people with special needs.

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3/27/2014  An Island Mission Adventure -- Diocesan mission director visits Papua New Guinea

With so much talk about the New Evangelization, it’s easy to forget that there are still areas of the world that are yet to be initially evangelized. The outlying islands of Papua New Guinea are prime examples.

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3/14/2014  The Costs of Winter's Wrath -- Parishes, schools grapple with toll of harsh weather

As the Winter of 2013/2014 can nearly be seen in the rear view mirror, parishes, schools and social service agencies across the Diocese of Trenton are breathing a collective, but cautious sigh of relief, happy that there will soon be an end to the significant challenges wrought by the harsh weather of the past few months....

3/13/2014  Annual Respect Life events make faith a visible sign for others

“I hope we all live to see the day when all given life is respected from conception to natural death,” said Father Alberto Tamayo. His thoughts expressed the hopes and faith of those filling St. Anthony of Padua Church, Red Bank, March 8 for the annual Respect Life Mass and Witness.

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3/13/2014  CYO basketball championships display promising talent

The 2014 Msgr. Leonard R. Toomey Diocesan Tournament of Champions came to a climax March 9 with the championship games of girls’ and boys’ junior varsity and varsity finalist teams from the Diocese’s four counties of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean.

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2/24/2014  Courage resounds at annual men's conference

Many men who were looking for a different kind of challenge found what they were looking for in the advice they were given at this year's Catholic Men for Jesus Christ Conference Feb. 22, in St. Mary Parish, Middletown.

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2/20/2014  Society prepares for new pantry in Asbury Park

Just a few months after it officially opened, the St. Peter Claver Center is ready to begin a food pantry to fulfill its mission of serving the local community, thanks to the dedication of some volunteers of the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Holy Spirit Parish, Asbury Park....

2/16/2014  St. Al's camp teaches basketball skills, good manners

The annual St. Aloysius School Gator Basketball Camp, which ran this year from Jan. 10 to Feb. 7, has been giving young athletes an opportunity to learn more about basketball for 10 years, while also learning sportsmanship and good manners.

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2/12/2014  Now on Tap: God and Government

If a pub thrives on the unique atmosphere it offers, then Dooney’s Irish Pub in Delran surely got a boost Tuesday night, when the Dioceses of Trenton and Camden came together to host Theology on Tap there.

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2/12/2014  Bishop visits 'sacred space' for World Day of the Sick

Residents of Morris Hall, St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center and Villa Vianney, the diocesan facility for retired priests, Lawrenceville, were delighted and “blessed” to have Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., celebrate Mass for the diocesan observance of the Diocese for the World Day of the Sick Feb. 11.

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2/12/2014  Princeton-bound altar server links faith and academics

The link between faith and science is hard to see for some; but not for Don Martocello, a Princeton-bound Eagle Scout, altar server and parishioner who says his faith is what has guided his pursuits in biology and biochemistry.



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