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  • Bishop blesses anniversary couples with prayers 
for never-ending love, faith
    Charles Nixon smiled as he considered what he would tell couples who are preparing for marriage. “Just love one another," the 99-year-old said.
  • Keepsake Edition: The Monitor celebrates Anniversary Blessings couples

    Nearly 350 couples came together for the Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings Oct. 7 and 21 in Freehold’s Co-Cathedral and the Cathedral in Trenton. Among them were Ben and Frances Paolillo of St. Luke Parish, Toms River – the only ones celebrating 75 years of marriage. 

    The Diocese’s annual gatherings brought anniversary couples and their loved ones together with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and area priests for a tribute to married love and fidelity.

  • Hundreds of couples come together for Bishop's annual Anniversary Blessings Masses

    “There’s a lot of love in this room,” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., said as he looked over a sea of smiling couples, each celebrating a milestone anniversary this year.

    “Today is a wonderful occasion for us to celebrate marriage, your marriage, your anniversaries in the midst of a community of faith,” he said. “This is your Sacrament, and this Sacrament that brought you together, this Sacrament that kept you together is a bond that has become stronger and deeper and holier with the passage of time.”

  • Anniversary couples reflect on married love
    After receiving blessings from Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and being enveloped in the warmth of the greater Church community and supported by families and friends, couples mingled with one another at receptions after both Anniversary Blessings Masses, recalling stories of love and faith.

    The sentiments that follow are among those shared by those celebrating their first, silver, golden and more anniversaries as they discussed their stories, the Sacrament of Marriage and how their Catholic faith plays a significant role in their lives as a couple.
  • Slideshows: Anniversary Couples' 'Our Wedding Memories'
    Bishop David M. O'Connell celebrated two Anniversary Blessings Masses throughout the Diocese for couples marking their 1st, 25th, 50th or more wedding anniversaries.

    In these two slideshows, created by The Monitor production staff, are photos of the anniversary couples.
  • Toms River parishioners share love advice after 75 years of marriage

    Ask Ben and Frances Paolillo what the secret is to their 75-years-and-still-going-strong marriage, and one word keeps coming up: respect.

    “The secret is respect,” Ben explained. “Take care of her, and she’ll take care of you.”

    “And don’t argue,” Frances added. “Arguments don’t help – they only make you feel like a bad person.”

  • SLIDESHOW: Anniversary Couples' Hall of Memories
    Bishop David M. O'Connell celebrated two Anniversary Blessings Masses throughout the Diocese for couples marking their 1st, 25th, 50th or more wedding anniversaries.
  • VIDEO: Anniversary Blessings homily
    The Diocese of Trenton presents the homily of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., at the 2017 Anniversary Blessings Mass held Oct. 22 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
  • VIDEO: Stories of love from anniversary couples
    Bishop David M. O'Connell celebrated two Anniversary Blessings Masses throughout the Diocese for couples marking their 1st, 25th, 50th or more wedding anniversaries. Held on Oct. 8 in St. Aloysius Church, Jackson, and Oct. 22 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, these two Masses blessed couples from the four counties of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean.

    In this video produced by the Department of Multimedia, couples share their reflections on the Mass, love and marriage.
  • KEEPSAKE EDITION: The Monitor honors anniversary couples

    Joy, tenderness and gratitude were reflected in the faces of nearly 300 couples honored by the Diocese of Trenton during the annual Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings Oct. 8 and 22. Couples marking one, 25 and 50 or more years of marriage were blessed by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., who affirmed them in their vocation to married life and thanked them for the powerful witness they offer to their families, friends and community.  


  • Anniversary blessings bestowed by Bishop highlight gifts of enduring love

    June may be the month for weddings, but October was the month to reaffirm those vows as some 300 couples pledged their fidelity, faith and love anew during anniversary celebrations hosted by the Diocese of Trenton.

    The couples, from parishes around the Diocese marking one, 25, 50 or more years of marriage, took part in the Bishop’s Anniversary Blessings Masses Oct. 8 in St. Aloysius Church, Jackson, and Oct. 22 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.

  • In their own words, anniversary couples reflect on marriages of faith
    After each Anniversary Mass, couples who gathered for food and camaraderie in the respective parish halls shared stories and reflections of how they met, their experiences as a married couple and how faith has been the root of their love. The sentiments captured below are just a sampling of what the Masses meant to the couples as they marked their first, silver, golden and beyond anniversaries with the blessing of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and the support of faithful from around the Diocese.
  • Highlights of the Bishop's Anniversary Blessing Mass:
  • Love, Fidelity and Faith
The Bishop's Anniversary Blessings

    The Keepsake Edition from The Monitor
    Celebrating Couples Married 1 Year, 25 Years and 50+ Years.
    Click to view

  • Vounteers a key component to anniversary Masses

    As hundreds of couples from across the Diocese were honored by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., priests, deacons, family and friends during two Anniversary Blessing Masses in October, more than a dozen volunteers were working behind the scenes to make sure those moments would become perfect memories.

  • Bishop's words of blessing
    Following the reception of Holy Communion at the end of both Masses, each milestone group of couples was called separately to stand for the blessing bestowed by Bishop O’Connell.
  • Love, faith are keeping them together - here's how
    During both Anniversary Masses, a number of couples shared reflections and experiences on married life, what it means to be observing an important milestone such as a first, silver, golden or diamond wedding anniversary or having the opportunity to participate in the Bishop’s Anniversary Blessing Mass. Here is a sampling of some of their responses.
  • Anniversary couples gather with Bishop to celebrate faith, perseverance in marriage

    Eyes glistened with emotion and loving smiles lit up the faces of some 275 anniversary couples who stood before their loved ones, their Church and their God to renew their wedding vows during celebrations sponsored in October by the Diocese of Trenton.

  • 'Christ in Their Midst'

    Nearly 300 couples celebrating one, 25 or 50 and more years of marriage renewed their wedding vows and received the blessing of their bishop during the Diocese’s 2015 Bishop’s Anniversary Blessing Masses that took place Oct. 11 and 25. ...

  • Anniversary Mass was time for couples to reflect on marital vocation
    It was an afternoon to celebrate milestones, memories and the Sacrament of Marriage as 340 couples gathered Oct. 19 for the Anniversary Blessing Mass in St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Freehold.
  • The Gospel from St. Matthew today is often considered the scriptural basis for the principle of separation of Church and State: render to Caesar what is his and to God what is God's. that principle is derived from the image stamped on a coin.

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The Diocese of Trenton is committed to the initiatives outlined in the U.S. Bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in regard to the reporting and investigation of sexual abuse allegations involving minors.

If you have been sexually abused as a minor by a member of the clergy or anyone representing the Catholic Church, or if you know of someone who was, you can report that abuse through the diocesan Abuse Hotline.

To report the sexual abuse of minors call our hotline 1-888-296-2965 or email us at

Please note: The Diocese of Trenton reports any allegations of sexual abuse to the appropriate law enforcement agencies. Anyone with an allegation is also encouraged to provide that information to local law enforcement authorities.