Bathed in stage lights, Msgr. Edward J. Arnister and Bishop David O'Connell enjoy the show from a front-row vantage point.
Bathed in stage lights, Msgr. Edward J. Arnister and Bishop David O'Connell enjoy the show from a front-row vantage point.

Domestic Church Media fans came out in droves for a benefit concert Sept. 24 to support Catholic radio in the Trenton Diocese and to be transported back in time – and among them, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., cheered from a front-row seat.

With the big band sounds and American Songbook standards filling Lawrenceville’s Notre Dame High School auditorium, Jim Manfredonia, DCM co-founder, CEO and radio host, wowed more than 500 attendees with his best Frank Sinatra musical impressions, backed up by Flemington’s Summer Swing Orchestra and his wife Cheryl Manfredonia on piano. Their daughter, Angela, joined Jim and Cheryl on several numbers, and soloed on hits from Broadway musical hits made famous by Judy Garland, Liza Minelli and Barbra Streisand.

The crowd included attendees from across the state and even beyond. “Even my dentist is here,” Jim quipped during the performance, “and several of my old friends from St. Peter’s High School in New Brunswick!”

Accompanying Bishop O’Connell for the show was Msgr. Edward J. Arnister, pastor of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Belmar, and Father Angelo Amaral, a retired priest of the Diocese and chaplain at Morris Hall/St. Lawrence Rehabilitation Center, Lawrenceville. Father John Butler, pastor of St. Michael Parish, West End, and longtime friend of Jim Manfredonia, came early to NDHS to celebrate Mass for the performers and volunteers and offered a prayer to open the show.

“We are blessed and overwhelmed at the enthusiastic support and encouragement of the Bishop, priests and our Trenton diocesan family!” Jim and Cheryl noted gratefully following the concert.