Father Marion Kokorzycki , parochial vicar of St. Dominic Parish in Brick, and hospital chaplain, visits the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis at Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Assisi, Italy, on Feb. 25. Courtesy photo
Father Marion Kokorzycki , parochial vicar of St. Dominic Parish in Brick, and hospital chaplain, visits the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis at Santa Maria Maggiore Church in Assisi, Italy, on Feb. 25. Courtesy photo
A relic of the first millennial to be beatified by the Catholic Church has arrived in the Diocese of Trenton, and will be featured in a Mass with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

The Bishop will celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. April 28 in St. Dominic Church, Brick, with the relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis present. The Mass will also be livestreamed on Youtube.com/trentondiocese.

The relic came to the Diocese of Trenton through Father Marion Kokorzycki, parochial vicar of St. Dominic Parish in Brick, and hospital chaplain, who recently traveled to Assisi on pilgrimage. While there he met with the Apostolic Nuncio of Poland, Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, and requested a relic of Blessed Carlo for veneration by the faithful of the Diocese, especially young Catholics. Archbishop Pennacchio agreed, allowing the relic to be transported to St. Dominic Church, where it will remain.

A young Catholic from Italy, Blessed Carlo Acutis was devoted to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and showed talent in computer programming, using his technology skills to build an online database of Eucharistic miracles around the world. In 2006 at the age of 15 he died of leukemia, having offered up his suffering for the Church and for the Pope. He was beatified by Pope Francis in October 2020; his tomb is located in the Shrine of the Renunciation, which is part of the Church of St. Mary Major, in Assisi.

In a letter announcing the Mass for the Reception of the Relic of Blessed Carlo Acutis, Bishop O’Connell also stated that during the Mass he is placing all Catholic schools within the Diocese, including parish, diocesan and independent – under the special patronage of Blessed Carlo Acutis.

“Because of his closeness to us in time, the life and holiness of Blessed Carlo Acutis inspire young people of similar age to recognize that holiness is possible for them as it was for Blessed Carlo,” Bishop O’Connell said. “He was a ‘normal kid’ in every way, but he developed a deep and profound spirituality centered upon the Holy Eucharist from a very early age which lasted through his brief life.

“The Diocese of Trenton is blessed to have his memory alive among us through the possession of his relic,” Bishop O’Connell added.

“I encourage all our Catholic schools to share information about him, to promote and foster devotion to him as he moves closer to canonization and to pray for his intercession on behalf of our Catholic schools and the young women and men who strive for holiness in their young lives.”

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen Blessed Carlo as the patron of the first year of a three-year National Eucharistic Revival – a campaign which seeks to “renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist,” its mission statement declares. Its vision calls for “a movement of Catholics across the United States – healed, converted, formed and unified by an encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist – and sent out in mission ‘for the life of the world.’”

Pope Francis has said that Blessed Carlo’s “witness shows today’s young people that true happiness is found by putting God in first place and serving him in our brothers and sisters, especially the least.”

“My prayer is that the presence of the relic of Blessed Carlo will arouse a desire in our American brothers and sisters ... not to waste their lives, but to make them a masterpiece, like Carlo chose and St. Francis before him,” he said.

Some information in this story was first reported by Courtney Mares of Catholic News Agency.