From staff reports
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., visited the Diocese’s southernmost parish of Ocean County May 6, conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation and visiting with the friars and staff of St. Francis of Assisi, Brant Beach.
During the pastoral visit, Franciscan Father James Scullion, pastor, took the Bishop on a tour of St. Francis Community Center – located adjacent to the church – including its gym and aquatic center, as well as the parish’s four worship sites positioned along Long Beach Island’s 18 miles.
Photo Gallery: Bishop visits Long Beach Island
He spent the day with the Franciscan friars who serve on the island and within the parish as well as visited the Retreat Center of the Sisters of Charity.
Bishop O’Connell said that these pastoral visits are essential in strengthening connections with all parishes, especially those most geographically separated from the Diocese’s Chancery and Cathedral in Trenton. He stressed the importance of “a good mutual relationship between the Diocese and its parishes,” adding, “It is so very important that all parishes know their connection to the Diocese and that the Diocese reaches out to all its parishes.”
The day concluded with a dinner with the friars and some staff, after which Bishop O’Connell celebrated the Sacrament of Confirmation. Altogether, 50 students in the parish religious education program were confirmed.
“It was a beautiful day, and Father Scullion was a perfect host,” Bishop O’Connell said.