Dominican Father Hyacinth Cordell was the keynote speaker for the 2022 Advent Spirituality Day for priests of the Diocese.
Dominican Father Hyacinth Cordell was the keynote speaker for the 2022 Advent Spirituality Day for priests of the Diocese.
Holy Trinity Church, part of Christ the King Parish, Long Branch, was the site for this year’s “Advent Spirituality Day of Recollection for Priests” Dec. 15, sponsored annually by the Office of Clergy and Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Trenton. Dominican Father Hyacinth Cordell, pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Philadelphia, was the featured guest speaker. Appropriate to the Eucharistic Revival occurring throughout the Catholic Church in the United States, Father Cordell took as his theme “The Transformative Effect of the Eucharist in the Life of the Priest.” Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and 95 diocesan and religious order priests serving in the Diocese of Trenton participated.

In his talk, Father Cordell addressed the relationship of priests to the Blessed Trinity and the role the sacraments he administers to his parishioners play in his life and ministry. He also discussed the spiritual motivation for developing good health habits including diet and exercise as well as daily prayer habits.

“If a priest misses his prayer one day, only he knows,” Father Cordell remarked. “If he misses his prayer two days, others will begin to notice.If he misses his prayers three days, everyone will notice.” 

Father Cordell then spoke about the meaning of the Eucharistic Revival in the spiritual life of the priest.“Priests should speak the words of consecration at Mass slowly and reverently, remembering who is in his hands,” he said.

Following the presentation, the priests gathered in the parish center to share lunch and fraternity.  Visiting priests were available for Confessions as well. The parish staff provided a well-received luncheon for the priests. “These days are always important for our priests,” observed Bishop O’Connell, “especially during the seasons of Advent and Lent, when parish life is so very busy. Our priests work hard for their parishioners and need a break to spiritually renew themselves and to enjoy one another’s company and support.”

Before leaving, Father Cordell reflected to the Bishop and priests that he has rarely felt such “amazing camaraderie and fraternal spirit” among any group of priests he has encountered. “That doesn’t happen by accident,” he said.

Priests then had the opportunity to approach the Sacrament of Penance as the day concluded.