Remembrance of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil on Sept. 11, 2001, has drawn communities together in prayer throughout the Diocese of Trenton for nearly two decades. This year as the nation marks 20 years since 9/11, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., invites the faithful and all people of good will to join in an online prayer service on the diocesan YouTube channel.

Beginning at 6 a.m. on Sept. 11, participants may visit to pray with the service, which will be recorded at the Chancery chapel. The service will include prayer excerpts from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Pope Benedict XVI and a reflection by Bishop O’Connell.

Among the key messages to be shared by the Bishop is that “despite our encounters with evil in this world, we find much more good.  9-11 reminds us of the willingness of people to step up, to step in and to show care and compassion without reservation.” He will also emphasize that, “God is in our midst in good times and in bad.  We are his.” 

Since coming to the Diocese in 2010, Bishop O’Connell has commemorated the 9/11 tragedy by visiting several different parishes, particularly those who were hardest hit by the attacks, such as St. Mary Parish in Middletown.  In a visit there in 2020, Bishop O’Connell underscored the importance of prayerful remembrance.  He said, “For us, ‘9/11’ has become a sacred day and being together in prayer … is most fitting.”

In addition to the video recording, the prayer service text will be posted online for anyone who would like to have it beginning the morning of Sept. 11.