May 1, the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker, will be a special day of prayer in the Diocese of Trenton, as Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will celebrate a Mass for all workers, followed by a prayer service to reconsecrate the United States to the Blessed Mother.  

Each year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. This year, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops decided to reconsecrate their nations to Mary, Mother of the Church, especially in the midst of the current pandemic. 

Bishop O’Connell will join bishops from across the United States and Canada in reconsecrating the two nations to the care of the Blessed Mother by leading a prayer service at 3 p.m. from Mary, Mother of the Church, Bordentown. The service will be available to view on all diocesan websites and social media outlets, including and the diocesan YouTube channel, and will be available for viewing after the event.

The title “Mary, Mother of the Church” was given to the Blessed Mother by Pope St. Paul VI at the Second Vatican Council, and a memorial under the title was added to the Church’s liturgical calendar by Pope Francis in 2018 to be celebrated annually on the Monday after Pentecost Sunday.

The reconsecration follows a noon Mass that Bishop O’Connell will celebrate for the intentions of all workers –  from the employed, unemployed and seeking work, to the retired – on the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

Instituted in 1955 by Pope Pius XII, the Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker celebrates the holiness of human labor and Joseph, a carpenter and the foster father of Jesus.

The Mass will be livestreamed without a congregation from the chapel of St. Joseph Church, Toms River. Bishop O’Connell will be the main celebrant and homilist, with the pastor, Father Scott Shaffer, and parish priests concelebrating. The Mass can also be viewed on all diocesan websites and social media outlets and be available for viewing after the event.

During this COVID-19 crisis and until further notice, Holy Communion can only be distributed to the faithful as Viaticum for the dying in the Diocese of Trenton.

Catholic News Service contributed to this report.