Since the 16th Ordinary Synod of Bishops was called into being by Pope Francis earlier this year, local churches have been gearing up to take part in the diocesan phase, set to unfold in 2022. So, what is this Synod all about, and what will be expected of each of us?

Those are questions we strive to answer for our readers in this issue of The Monitor Magazine. Our IN FOCUS section (starting on page 7) begins with the Pastoral Letter of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., in which he explains the role of Synods in the history of the Church and what are the goals of this new Synod. The Bishop conveys the message of the Holy Father, who invites us all to engage in conversations about our experience of Church. We are encouraged to listen to one another’s stories and to commit to this journey together.

We further report on the Mass celebrated by the Bishop to mark the opening of the Synod’s diocesan phase, and we introduce you to the individuals he appointed to help lead us through this process.

This latest magazine issue also features the beautiful photos and moving stories surrounding October’s Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings. More than 300 married couples were honored by the Diocese in two separate events and had an opportunity to renew their vows.  Don’t miss the special section inside.
Here are other features to look for in this 72-page edition:

  • A LOOK AHEAD:  Bishop O’Connell reflects on the Solemnity of Christ the King and its relationship to religious freedom
  • IN PARISHES: Altars find new homes; New pastor installed in Lakewood; Members of legal community gather for Red Mass.
  • IN SCHOOLS: New mobile learning center in Holmdel; St. Jerome students celebrate heroes; New campus ministry space at NDHS.
  • SPIRITUAL LIFE: Scripture reflections from Father Garry Koch and insight from columnist Mary Morrell; ideas on celebrating the saints at home; The ‘getting’ in giving thanks; and a plenary indulgence for the faithful departed.
  • ALSO, be sure to check out our Spanish-language section, EL ANZUELO; as well as YOUNG CATHOLICS; FAMILY LIFE, and ARTS & MEDIA.

The November print edition has been mailed to PREMIUM SUBSCRIBERS, and all subscribers have unlimited access to content at Not yet a subscriber? Sign up now by clicking HERE, or writing to

Because of the important Synod coverage in this month’s issue, we are providing open digital access. Click HERE for your complimentary access.

With the arrival of Advent later this month, we wish for you all a grace-filled season of preparation.

Rayanne Bennett, Associate Publisher 
and The Monitor team