Catholic students arrive at school in Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton, in this 2018 file photo.  Joe Moore photo
Catholic students arrive at school in Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton, in this 2018 file photo. Joe Moore photo
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., shared the following message May 14 to all members of the diocesan community:

Today, the Bishops of NJ and I learned that the House Democrats released The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, the fourth phase of economic stimulus relief or CARES 4. 

H.R.6800 includes several provisions that would protect, and even expand, funding for programs that Congress established in the last CARES Act, such as an extension of unemployment benefits until January 31, 2021, expansion of the SBA payroll protection program loans to include all nonprofits regardless of size, and increased funding for the Supplemental Nutrition assistance program. 

However, unlike the previous CARES Act, H.R.6800 WOULD PROHIBIT NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS INCLUDING OUR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS IN THE DIOCESE OF TRENTON FROM ACCESSING ANY PORTION OF THE PROPOSED $200 BILLION INCLUDED IN THE LEGISLATION FOR EDUCATION.

Our Catholic schools struggle to stay open as it is, and the pandemic will impact them negatively as our neighboring dioceses in New Jersey have revealed.  Please visit njcatholic.org/faith-in-action or click here to contact our New Jersey Senators and Congressmen using the message template there.  We need to work quickly to ask their support.  Thank you and God bless you in these stressful days.

Respectfully yours in the Lord,

Bishop O’Connell