Bishop David M. O'Connell

Bishop of Trenton

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., 10th Bishop of Trenton, and former president of The Catholic University of America, was born April 21, 1955, in Philadelphia. Bishop O’Connell prepared for the priesthood in Mary Immaculate Seminary, Northampton, Pa., where he received a master of divinity degree in 1981 and a master’s degree in moral theology in 1983.

On May 29, 1982, he was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Mission in Mary Immaculate Seminary by Bishop Joseph McShea of the Diocese of Allentown.

While working toward his canon law degrees, Bishop O’Connell also served as registrar and assistant professor of canon law, theology and philosophy in Mary Immaculate Seminary. In 1990 he joined St. John’s University, Queens, N.Y., where he served in various capacities, including professor of theology and religious studies, associate dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, academic dean and dean of faculty of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and assistant to legal counsel. He also spent one year simultaneously serving as interim academic vice president of Niagara University.

In October of 2012, as part of the Year of Faith proclaimed by Pope Benedict XVI, Bishop O’Connell convened the Diocese of Trenton’s first Eucharistic Congress, bringing together some 20,000 Catholics for worship, learning and prayer. He has written extensively, including three pastoral letters and several series of essays on the tenets of faith.

In addition to his active support of social service programs throughout the Diocese’s four counties, Bishop O’Connell’s efforts on behalf of the less fortunate include the mobilization of a massive relief effort for the victims of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

Bishop O’Connell has been a staunch supporter of Catholic education, implementing strategic planning, leadership development and marketing efforts to build sustainability of the Catholic schools in the Diocese.

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