Friday, June 04, 2010

A Father-Prez Homecoming: CU's O'Connell to Trenton

Good Friday mornin', folks… and a happy one it is 'round these parts: the Pope has named Vincentian Fr David O'Connell, 55 -- the departing president of the Catholic University of America in Washington -- as coadjutor-bishop of Trenton, where he'll succeed Bishop John M. Smith as head of the 800,000-member Central Jersey diocese early next year.

Head of the Trenton church since 1995, the highly-regarded Smith -- known to the universe as "Mort" -- reaches the retirement age of 75 later this month.

Raised a stone's throw across the Delaware River in suburban Philly, meanwhile, it's a homecoming for the bishop-elect, who planned to take a six-month sabbatical at the Jersey Shore after wrapping up his 12-year tenure at CUA this summer, but instead will now prepare to lead the church on the Shore's northern half, likely taking the reins as diocesan bishop within six months to a year from now.

A 10am presser is on at the chancery, followed by a noontime Mass at the capital's Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption, where the ordination has reportedly been set for Transfiguration Day, August 6th.

Full piece to come, so stay tuned… and Father-President, welcome home.

SVILUPPO: As noted above, the ordination date has been changed to Friday, July 30th.

PHOTO: Ed Pfueller/The Catholic University of America