The joyful 11-year-old featured on this month’s cover is among the thousands of children and adults who will have received one or more of the Sacraments of Initiation this year, particularly during the Vigil and the Easter season. In this issue, The Monitor’s reporting is a reflection on them all, but we also focus in a special way on the story of 11-year-old Emma Close and the unique connection she has with Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.

Bishop O’Connell covers several topics in the new issue, beginning with his essay on May as the Month of Mary. He also shares some of the inspiring messages he delivers to Confirmation candidates throughout the Diocese each year and describes his role as a great privilege.

And in a timely teaching, with the release this year of two movies on the subject of Exorcisms, the Bishop revisits the subject, explaining their purpose and practice. 

Other key content to look for in this issue:

ORDINATION PREVIEW . . . The Monitor introduces the men who will be ordained in the coming month to the diaconate and priesthood.

PRIEST ASSIGNMENTS . . .  The May issue will have the full list of retirements, new pastors, parochial vicars and special assignments.

APRIL HIGHLIGHTS . . . News and photos recapping a very busy month in the Diocese

STORIES ON OUR PEOPLE, PARISHES AND SCHOOLS . . . Including the 100th anniversary of St. Peter School in Point Pleasant Beach, an innovative program in St. Rose High School, Belmar, to support mental health needs and a round-up about youngsters from across the Diocese who are reaching out to help others.

CHURCH IN ACTION . . . A report on the final document of the worldwide Synod’s North American phase; Pope Francis’ trip to Hungary; World Communications Day and Pope Francis’ words on how we can communicate in loving ways.

ALSO …. Father Koch’s Scripture reflection on “The Greatest Gifts”; Mary Morrell’s thoughts on where to find food for the soul, and a digest of Spanish-language coverage.

The May magazine’s print edition has been mailed to all PREMIUM SUBSCRIBERS and the digital edition link has been sent to their inboxes. Subscribers also have unlimited access to all content on

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