Prayers from Trenton

Diocesan family joins in prayer for election of new Holy Father
July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Prayers from Trenton
Prayers from Trenton


From Staff Reports

The days and weeks leading up to March 13 were filled with much anticipation and prayer as people from throughout the world eagerly awaited to meet the man who would elected the 266th pope.

The day before Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election as pontiff, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and a throng of more than 300 faithful from around the diocese gathered for midday Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, to fervently pray for the papal conclave’s success.

Click HERE to view the video of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.'s Homily From the Mass for the Election of the Pope

Barely two hours after the opening of the papal conclave when the 115 Catholic cardinals entered the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to begin the election process March 12, Bishop O’Connell was principal celebrant of a Mass for the Election of the Pope scheduled to coincide with the conclave’s opening.

Joining Bishop O’Connell at the altar were more than a dozen concelebrating priests.  All of the celebrants wore red vestments, a sign of their invocation of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Bishop’s Insight

Bishop O’Connell spoke of how the election of a new Holy Father marks an “historic occasion” in the life of the Church and why it was important for the diocesan family to come together and “share in a time of prayer for the election of a new Shepherd of our Church.”

Several times in his homily, Bishop O’Connell answered the question of whether the papal conclave will affect the Catholic faithful of the Trenton Diocese.

“You bet it does,” the bishop said of the conclave that’s taking place more than 4,300 miles from Trenton. That is where 115 men in scarlet robes, bearing the title and honor of “cardinal” are gathered to elect “a new Vicar of Christ, a new successor of Peter, a new servant of servants of God whom we call our Holy Father,” said the bishop.

Speaking on behalf of the diocese, the bishop said: “Our hearts are joined with them in hopeful expectation that God will provide for us a good shepherd for our Church.”

“With the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the conviction of those same cardinals, one among them will be chosen to shepherd the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world.”

Bishop O’Connell looked to the phrase, “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” which is recited in the creed at Sunday Mass and on other important feasts, then reflected on the “awesome responsibility” the new pope, who will be the 266th Holy Father, will have in leading the Catholic faithful.

“That belief, that profession of faith is what the Successor of Peter guarantees not only by his teaching, but also by his very presence,” said Bishop O’Connell. “The pope is the sign and sacrament of unity of the Church present, past and future.”

Filling many of the pews in the cathedral were representatives of Catholic agencies and institutions around the diocese, including staff from the Chancery in Lawrenceville; the Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization, Catholic Charities offices throughout the diocese, including El Centro, Trenton; and St. Francis Medical Center and the New Jersey Catholic Conference, both in Trenton.  Faculty and students from several Catholic schools also took part, including Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton; St. Rose High School, Belmar; Holy Cross High School, Delran; St. Joseph School and Monsignor Donovan High School, both in Toms River, and St. Raphael School in Hamilton.

Watching History Evolve

Mass-goers like Joan and Allan Sullivan of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, were eager to share their thoughts about what it meant to witness the election of a new Holy Father. The Sullivans have been tuning in to Eternal Word Network Television for the latest papal news, and wanted to be in the cathedral for the special Mass with Bishop O’Connell.

Seniors attending from St. Rose High School, Belmar, offered a wish-list on what qualities they were hoping the new pope will possess.

They were praying for a pontiff who, first and foremost, can lead the Church in these difficult, times and be able to, as Caitlin Mannion put it, “convey God’s love to us.”

Francis Peropat, Rachel Marini and Mannion all said it would be great if the new pope was fluent in modern communications methods and could use them to reach out frequently to his worldwide flock.

The seniors, all members of the student council, said they appreciated the chance to attend Mass in the cathedral with Bishop O’Connell. “It is a momentous occasion and the bishop’s homily made (the election of the pope) very relevant. He explained how it affects us,” said Peropat.

 “This doesn’t come along every day, so you want to know what’s going on,” said Peropat.

Holy Cross High School, Delran, juniors, Madeline Dooney and Danielle Hummel, were among a group of students who were in the cathedral. Both Dooney and Hummell said the papal election was a topic of discussion in  the school’s religion classes and many students were fascinated by the turn of events taking place in the Vatican in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know pope could resign; that was news to me,” said Dooney. As for the electing of a new pope, she has become more aware of the process – how the College of Cardinals of the world gather in Rome for the election and, of course, about the “white smoke” that will signal that a new pope has been elected.

Dooney said she was glad to attend the Mass in the cathedral for the Mass with Bishop O’Connell and “have a small part” in witnessing the papal election “by praying as much as I can for someone who is confident to do the job and do it correctly.”

As she looked around the cathedral, Hummel remarked that she thought it was a “really great experience” that so many people from around the diocese were able to come together and pray for “something that’s going to affect us as well as everybody else.”

Paul Moynahan, chair of the religion department in Holy Cross, added that the school was participating in the popular adaptation of the NCAA college basketball’s March Madness “Sweet Sixteen,” creating a “Sweet Sistine” board as a fun way to teach students about the conclave and backgrounds on the voting cardinals.

Vincent Giglio, Vanessa Pellegrino, Sarah Colon and Alica Colon, all seniors from Monsignor Donovan High School, Toms River, agreed that “a younger pope would be exciting, one with a more modern view.”

Their support is for New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Boston’s Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who would “represent America,” the group concurred.

Dr. Edward Gere, MDHS principal, noted that students have been discussing the prospects for a new pope as well as the process for election during classes.

“This is a big experience for them,” he said, “and with media, they can follow everything.”

The historic event is also a highlight of a special year for the school, Gere said, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Speaking about the diocesan Mass for the election of the pope, Dr. Gere reflected, “We, as believing people, gather and celebrate the Eucharist in all important moments of life….Any change brings uncertainty and anticipation, but, no matter past history, change creates a sense of hope. We are thankful for all Pope Benedict did, but this change creates new excitement and hope for the future.”

Students from St. Joseph Elementary School, Toms River, were accompanied by their principal, Michele Williams. Williams shared that students in the school were excited about the historic prospect of a new pope and the eighth grade class, under the direction of teacher, Mary Jo Delaney, was tracking the cardinals of the conclave online.

“Cool” was the adjective used by St. Raphael School, Hamilton, students – fourth grader Max White, fifth grader Sean Vernon and eighth grader Emily Tyler -- as they reflected on both the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Feb. 28 and now as they learn about the papal election process through the school’s campus minister of religious education, Cecilia Chludzinski, and from watching TV coverage at home.

While the three admitted that they are anxious to see “white smoke” come billowing out of the Sistine Chapel smokestack, Tyler said that it is her hope and prayer that the election of the new pope will be “truly led by the Holy Spirit” and that he will be “a good leader for the Church.”

From reports filed by Mary Morrell, managing editor, Lois Rogers, features editor, and Mary Stadnyk news editor

 

[[In-content Ad]]

Related Stories

From Staff Reports

The days and weeks leading up to March 13 were filled with much anticipation and prayer as people from throughout the world eagerly awaited to meet the man who would elected the 266th pope.

The day before Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election as pontiff, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., and a throng of more than 300 faithful from around the diocese gathered for midday Mass in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, to fervently pray for the papal conclave’s success.

Click HERE to view the video of Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.'s Homily From the Mass for the Election of the Pope

Barely two hours after the opening of the papal conclave when the 115 Catholic cardinals entered the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to begin the election process March 12, Bishop O’Connell was principal celebrant of a Mass for the Election of the Pope scheduled to coincide with the conclave’s opening.

Joining Bishop O’Connell at the altar were more than a dozen concelebrating priests.  All of the celebrants wore red vestments, a sign of their invocation of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Bishop’s Insight

Bishop O’Connell spoke of how the election of a new Holy Father marks an “historic occasion” in the life of the Church and why it was important for the diocesan family to come together and “share in a time of prayer for the election of a new Shepherd of our Church.”

Several times in his homily, Bishop O’Connell answered the question of whether the papal conclave will affect the Catholic faithful of the Trenton Diocese.

“You bet it does,” the bishop said of the conclave that’s taking place more than 4,300 miles from Trenton. That is where 115 men in scarlet robes, bearing the title and honor of “cardinal” are gathered to elect “a new Vicar of Christ, a new successor of Peter, a new servant of servants of God whom we call our Holy Father,” said the bishop.

Speaking on behalf of the diocese, the bishop said: “Our hearts are joined with them in hopeful expectation that God will provide for us a good shepherd for our Church.”

“With the assistance of the Holy Spirit and the conviction of those same cardinals, one among them will be chosen to shepherd the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world.”

Bishop O’Connell looked to the phrase, “I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church,” which is recited in the creed at Sunday Mass and on other important feasts, then reflected on the “awesome responsibility” the new pope, who will be the 266th Holy Father, will have in leading the Catholic faithful.

“That belief, that profession of faith is what the Successor of Peter guarantees not only by his teaching, but also by his very presence,” said Bishop O’Connell. “The pope is the sign and sacrament of unity of the Church present, past and future.”

Filling many of the pews in the cathedral were representatives of Catholic agencies and institutions around the diocese, including staff from the Chancery in Lawrenceville; the Mercer County Catholic Youth Organization, Catholic Charities offices throughout the diocese, including El Centro, Trenton; and St. Francis Medical Center and the New Jersey Catholic Conference, both in Trenton.  Faculty and students from several Catholic schools also took part, including Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton; St. Rose High School, Belmar; Holy Cross High School, Delran; St. Joseph School and Monsignor Donovan High School, both in Toms River, and St. Raphael School in Hamilton.

Watching History Evolve

Mass-goers like Joan and Allan Sullivan of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, were eager to share their thoughts about what it meant to witness the election of a new Holy Father. The Sullivans have been tuning in to Eternal Word Network Television for the latest papal news, and wanted to be in the cathedral for the special Mass with Bishop O’Connell.

Seniors attending from St. Rose High School, Belmar, offered a wish-list on what qualities they were hoping the new pope will possess.

They were praying for a pontiff who, first and foremost, can lead the Church in these difficult, times and be able to, as Caitlin Mannion put it, “convey God’s love to us.”

Francis Peropat, Rachel Marini and Mannion all said it would be great if the new pope was fluent in modern communications methods and could use them to reach out frequently to his worldwide flock.

The seniors, all members of the student council, said they appreciated the chance to attend Mass in the cathedral with Bishop O’Connell. “It is a momentous occasion and the bishop’s homily made (the election of the pope) very relevant. He explained how it affects us,” said Peropat.

 “This doesn’t come along every day, so you want to know what’s going on,” said Peropat.

Holy Cross High School, Delran, juniors, Madeline Dooney and Danielle Hummel, were among a group of students who were in the cathedral. Both Dooney and Hummell said the papal election was a topic of discussion in  the school’s religion classes and many students were fascinated by the turn of events taking place in the Vatican in recent weeks.

“I didn’t know pope could resign; that was news to me,” said Dooney. As for the electing of a new pope, she has become more aware of the process – how the College of Cardinals of the world gather in Rome for the election and, of course, about the “white smoke” that will signal that a new pope has been elected.

Dooney said she was glad to attend the Mass in the cathedral for the Mass with Bishop O’Connell and “have a small part” in witnessing the papal election “by praying as much as I can for someone who is confident to do the job and do it correctly.”

As she looked around the cathedral, Hummel remarked that she thought it was a “really great experience” that so many people from around the diocese were able to come together and pray for “something that’s going to affect us as well as everybody else.”

Paul Moynahan, chair of the religion department in Holy Cross, added that the school was participating in the popular adaptation of the NCAA college basketball’s March Madness “Sweet Sixteen,” creating a “Sweet Sistine” board as a fun way to teach students about the conclave and backgrounds on the voting cardinals.

Vincent Giglio, Vanessa Pellegrino, Sarah Colon and Alica Colon, all seniors from Monsignor Donovan High School, Toms River, agreed that “a younger pope would be exciting, one with a more modern view.”

Their support is for New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan or Boston’s Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who would “represent America,” the group concurred.

Dr. Edward Gere, MDHS principal, noted that students have been discussing the prospects for a new pope as well as the process for election during classes.

“This is a big experience for them,” he said, “and with media, they can follow everything.”

The historic event is also a highlight of a special year for the school, Gere said, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Speaking about the diocesan Mass for the election of the pope, Dr. Gere reflected, “We, as believing people, gather and celebrate the Eucharist in all important moments of life….Any change brings uncertainty and anticipation, but, no matter past history, change creates a sense of hope. We are thankful for all Pope Benedict did, but this change creates new excitement and hope for the future.”

Students from St. Joseph Elementary School, Toms River, were accompanied by their principal, Michele Williams. Williams shared that students in the school were excited about the historic prospect of a new pope and the eighth grade class, under the direction of teacher, Mary Jo Delaney, was tracking the cardinals of the conclave online.

“Cool” was the adjective used by St. Raphael School, Hamilton, students – fourth grader Max White, fifth grader Sean Vernon and eighth grader Emily Tyler -- as they reflected on both the sudden resignation of Pope Benedict XVI Feb. 28 and now as they learn about the papal election process through the school’s campus minister of religious education, Cecilia Chludzinski, and from watching TV coverage at home.

While the three admitted that they are anxious to see “white smoke” come billowing out of the Sistine Chapel smokestack, Tyler said that it is her hope and prayer that the election of the new pope will be “truly led by the Holy Spirit” and that he will be “a good leader for the Church.”

From reports filed by Mary Morrell, managing editor, Lois Rogers, features editor, and Mary Stadnyk news editor

 

[[In-content Ad]]
Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Vatican publishes full papal schedule for Holy Week, Easter
Pope Francis' calendar for Holy Week and Easter is just as full...

UPDATE: Pope has full day of appointments after going to hospital for tests
The day after Pope Francis paid a brief visit to Rome's Gemelli Isola Hospita

El Papa propone un propósito para la Cuaresma: Mantener los ojos en Jesús
Esta Cuaresma, los cristianos deben convertirse en "buscadores de luz"...

ACTUALIZACIÓN: Aún enfermo, el Papa cede la lectura de su catequesis sobre la envidia y la vanagloria
Al llegar en silla de ruedas en lugar de caminar con su bastón

Flavorful Fridays: The beauty of the uncooked meal
As much as I love cooking, there are some days when putting something in the oven...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.