Coming Together -- Bishop O'Connell, second from left, chats with priests of the Diocese who reside in Villa Vianney, Lawrenceville, Dec. 5. Every year before Christmas, the Bishop visits the priests during which time he celebrates Mass and gives an address of diocesan happenings. The gathering wraps up with a dinner. Joe Moore photo

Coming Together -- Bishop O'Connell, second from left, chats with priests of the Diocese who reside in Villa Vianney, Lawrenceville, Dec. 5. Every year before Christmas, the Bishop visits the priests during which time he celebrates Mass and gives an address of diocesan happenings. The gathering wraps up with a dinner. Joe Moore photo

Villa Vianney, the retirement home for priests of the Diocese in Lawrenceville, was filled with tidings of good cheer the evening of Dec. 5 as Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., joined his brother priests for a special Christmas visit.

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The evening is an annual celebration of Mass followed by a Christmas dinner with the retired priests and other residents of the Villa.

In his homily, Bishop O’Connell spoke about the importance of keeping the Advent story “fresh and alive in our memories, no matter how often we may hear it.”

Following the Mass, the Bishop gave a presentation to the priests on the “State of the Diocese 2017.”

"I am always inspired to be with our retired priests on whose shoulders all our active priests stand,” Bishop O’Connell said. “To listen to their stories, to enjoy their laughter and to learn from their wisdom is very special and important to me. This happy season of the year provides a joyful context to do all of that with our wonderful senior priests."