To Know, Love, & Serve God Ministrare Non Ministrari
In his first State of the Diocese message, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., calls upon the faithful to share in the teaching mission and ministry of the Church | Starts on P3
Jeff Bruno photo
The Bishop’s Annual Appeal, with the theme of “Go Teach” will highlight the importance of Catholic education and identify new ways for Catholics in the diocese to support the cause | Starts on P15
Save the Date pullout A listing of upcoming diocesan events | P20-21 Craig Pittelli photo
Annual Financial Report | Starts on P22
Serving the Catholic Community in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
Craig Pittelli photo
Courtesy photo/Magan Rosidivito
Each year in the parishes and Catholic schools of the Diocese of Trenton, nearly 100,000 children and teens come to know God better and experience his love in their lives. Thousands more of the faithful are drawing closer to God as adults in a growing number of ministries built on Scripture and faith sharing. This year, The Monitor explores the Church’s essential ministry of Catholic education and the many ways that it is making a difference in our homes, our parishes and schools and our communities. Special report begins on page 4.
To Know, Love, & Serve God
State of the Diocese
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Proud Traditions, Bright Future Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton have faced many challenges, but the diocese remains committed to supporting the mission of Catholic education through careful strategic planning
They are Hungry Programs have been implemented around the diocese to satisfy the desire of Catholics to learn more about their faith through Scripture study
Ever Closer to God The diocesan Office of Catechesis helps parishes gain the tools needed to provide specialized religious education for children with special needs
Building Community Diocese prepares to launch brand new website that will engage visitors through various informative and interactive features
We all share in the responsibility to teach God’s children
Craig Pittelli photo
Newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton www.Trenton M onitor. com Business and Editorial Offices 701 Lawrenceville Rd. P.O. Box 5147 Trenton, NJ 08638-0147
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Publisher Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M. Associate Publisher Rayanne M. Bennett | ext. 5569 Business Director George Stevenson | ext. 5637 Photo & Online Editor Scott Alessi | ext. 5634
By Rayanne Bennett | Associate Publisher The theme of this year’s State of the Diocese report, “To Know, Love and Serve God,” brings back vivid memories for those of us old enough to remember the Baltimore Catechism. It was emblazoned in our hearts and minds as we prepared for Confirmation and it gave us a succinct and meaningful understanding of the mission to which we, as young Catholics, were called. While the faith lessons that are taught to Catholic children are far different today, and their understanding of God is cultivated through many different approaches, those simple words – “To Know, Love and Serve God” – seem particularly meaningful when we consider what young people are called to in their lives. This annual collection of articles and information can only begin to tell the story of the many ways we reach out to bring God’s love to the youngest among us. But it offers an introduction of what is accomplished in our Catholic schools and some of the other programs that come under the broad title of Catholic education. It is both inspiring and challenging to EDITORIAL Monitor-News@dioceseoftrenton.org News Editor Mary E. Stadnyk | ext. 5572 Features Editor Lois M. Rogers | ext. 5509 Editorial Assistant Jennifer Britton | ext. 5599
know that so many of our young people are forever shaped by what they receive from their teachers and other leaders. We are heartened to see the many ways their belief in Jesus Christ grows deeper and how they, intent on sharing their faith beyond their homes, parishes and schools, ardently want to make a positive difference in the world. In coming to know them, it is not hard to allow ourselves to imagine a world in which every child knows God’s love. We might begin to wonder how different things would be if more children were able to lead happy, healthy and holy lives. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has identified Catholic education as one of his initial pastoral priorities. He has affirmed this ministry as one of the foundations of the Church and has reminded us that “To be Catholic is to teach.” We all share in the responsibility to which the bishop has called us. Regardless of whether we have children or grandchildren, are married or single, went to Catholic school or public school, every Catholic can join in the effort to build a better world, one young soul at a time.
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THE MONITOR (ISSN #0746-8350) is published biweekly with one additional issue in January, May and September, by THE MONITOR, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648. Periodicals postage paid at Trenton, NJ and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to The Monitor, P.O. Box 5147, 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08638-0147. The acceptance of advertising by The Monitor, for print or online publication, does not constitute an endorsement of any product or service. The Monitor reserves the right to reject any advertising considered objectionable.
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To Know, Love, & Serve God A Message from Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.
State of the Diocese
Ministrare Non Ministrari
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
t is difficult for me to provide a thorough “State of the Diocese” report when I have only been at the helm for little over a month. My first impressions, however, are quite positive and all indications suggest that we are well poised for good things ahead! For that, we owe a debt of gratitude to my predecessor, our beloved Bishop John M. Smith, and his collaborators! I can tell you that I find the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese welcoming, gracious and enthusiastic. For that I am also grateful. A standard part of reports such as these – and I wrote many as President of The Catholic University of America – is always financial in nature, a snapshot of the Diocese’s revenues and expenditures over the past year. This serves the purpose of accountability and transparency and is an integral part of responsible stewardship and fidelity to mission. My initial sense of Diocesan finances is that they are managed effectively and used responsibly. Essentially, a Diocesan Bishop is a “pastor.” As a “Successor to the Apostles,” every Bishop is primarily charged with preaching the Gospel and teaching the faithful under his pastoral and apostolic care. Here in the Diocese, I have already identified the effective transmission of our Catholic faith and Catholic education as priorities. Consequently, I ask all the faithful – clergy, religious and laity – to reflect on the ways that we are called by baptism and our distinct roles in the Church to share in its teaching mission and ministry. Before his Ascension, the Lord Jesus instructed his disciples to “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations… teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you (Matthew 28: 19 -20).” “Go, teach.” That is the theme I have chosen for my first Annual Bishop’s Appeal. Although Catholic education in the Diocese will receive special attention in this year’s appeal, so many other Diocesan works will continue to benefit also from the continuing generosity of the faithful of the Diocese. I think it can honestly be said that without the Appeal some of the greatest needs of the Diocese and its people would go unmet. As Diocesan Bishop, I come to you humbly and with much gratitude. I have nowhere else to turn. Please do what you can. When I became Bishop, I chose as my Episcopal motto the very words of Jesus in St. Mark’s Gospel: “I have come to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:45).” I am often reminded of those words, especially when I have to say “no” to someone’s request! It has become very clear that people have differing interpretations of what those words mean and differing expectations. Some of those expectations can be larger than life, certainly larger than any one person can realistically fulfill. As Bishop, I can only promise to do my best to serve the Diocese in ways that I discern best. My judgments may not always be yours. My decisions may not always find favor. My efforts to serve may not always yield applause. That’s the reality of life this side of heaven. But I do pray every day for God’s wisdom and guidance, God’s grace and strength, God’s justice and merciful compassion. In his presence and with his help, all of us will come to know God’s will and to serve him and one another with love in this place we call our home, our community, our Church – the Diocese of Trenton. May God’s blessings be with us all in the year ahead!
"Before his Ascension, the Lord Jesus instructed his disciples to 'Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...'"
Faithfully yours in the Lord, Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M. Bishop of Trenton Shaping Disciples — Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M., visits students in one of the diocese's Catholic schools. Catholic education is one of the vital ways in which the Church carries out the Lord's commandment to pass on the faith to future generations. Craig Pittelli photo
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Continuing Legacy – Although their numbers have decreased significantly, religious orders still play a part in helping to staff Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton and beyond. Today, however, the majority of Catholic school teachers and administrators are lay persons. Craig Pittelli photos
Proud Traditions, Bright Future
Through changing times, Catholic schools have continued to embody academic excellence grounded in faith By Scott Alessi | Photo and Online Editor There is no doubt that Catholic schools have faced tremendous challenges and seen widespread change throughout the last century. Yet in the schools of the Diocese of Trenton, one thing has remained the same – the mission of providing a high quality education rooted in the values of the Gospel. Today, more than 20,000 students attend the 49 Catholic schools located in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties; 36 of which are elementary schools, eight are high schools, four are private schools and one is a special education school. They are among the more than 7,000 Catholic schools nationwide that currently educate 2.1 million students. These numbers represent a significant decline from the peak period of American Catholic education in the 1960s, when in excess of 5 million students were enrolled in more than 13,000 Catholic schools. But fewer students in the classroom isn't the only change that Catholic schools have weathered. Populations have shifted, resulting in vastly different communities than those that schools were originally built to serve. The decline in religious vocations has required lay teachers to replace the religious sisters and brothers who at one time accounted for nearly all Catholic school staff, which has translated to increased costs. And as the expense of education in all sectors increases, many families who wish to send their children to Catholic schools are simply unable to afford the cost. The diocese has labored continuously, however, to counteract these and other challenges. Through a strategic planning effort, the diocese has worked to ensure Catholic schools continue as institutions that are academically excellent, financially viable and above all, distinctly Catholic.
The history of Catholic education in the United States dates back to the early 17th century, when the Catholic minority sought an alternative for their children to public schools, where anti-Catholic bias was not uncommon. In 1852, bishops at the First Plenary Council of Baltimore listed among their decrees that every parish in the country should establish a parochial school. Two years later, the first Catholic school in Trenton, then part of the Diocese of Newark, was established in St. John Parish (now Sacred Heart). The diocese has worked to As the number of Catholic immigrants to ensure Catholic schools central New Jersey grew, more parishes were continue as institutions that established and several new schools were are academically excellent, opened. The Diocese of Trenton was created in and by 1890, it was home to 25 parochial financially viable and above 1881 schools. The number rose to 45 schools by all, distinctly Catholic. 1909 and during the episcopate of Bishop Thomas J. Walsh, third Bishop of Trenton, the Catholic school population continued to soar throughout the 1920s. Under Bishop Walsh, 47 new parochial schools were built, 11 were expanded and 13 new high schools opened, with the student population leaping from 17,000 to 41,000. After the Diocese of Camden was carved out of the Trenton Diocese, Catholic schools continued to thrive in the remaining eight counties. In the 1940s, See Strategic | P32 For Their Future – More than 20,000 students today receive the benefits of a Catholic education in schools located within the counties of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean.
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Programs that have been used with success in the diocese: • The Catholic Biblical School Program (formerly known as the Denver Catholic Biblical Study Program) is a four-year program designed to provide a thorough knowledge of every book of the Bible, as well as the ability to teach and communicate it to others. It uses the critical and historical approaches and a wide range of teaching methods - from lectures and written homework, to small group sharing and creative activities. • The Great Adventure Bible Timeline Seminar offers an introductory eight-week program, "A Quick Journey Through the Bible," which can be followed with a 24-part Bible Timeline Seminar to answer the desire expressed by many to go deeper into the Bible by exploring the “big picture” of God’s plan of salvation. The result in both formats is a journey through the 14 books of the Bible that tells the story of God’s dealings with humanity structured into 12 periods of salvation history. • Little Rock Bible Study Program brings the layperson to a greater understanding of the Bible, awareness of God’s living presence in Sacred Scripture and an appreciation of how the Bible can be applied to daily life. Each course treats one or more books of the Bible and the courses are usually taken in a specific progressive order. The first study, “Acts of the Apostles,” concerns the birth of the Church and lays the foundation upon which the succeeding courses are built. For more information about these, and other Scripture resources for small faith-sharing communities, go to http:// www.dioceseoftrenton.org/church/scc_scripture.asp
Breaking Open the Word – An ideal way for one to learn about Scripture is through participation in a small faith sharing group. Statistics indicate that parish-originated and parish-led Bible studies comprise more than 40 percent of programs in the diocese.
They are Hungry Growth in faith, Scripture sharing reflects yearning for God’s Word By Mary Morrell | Correspondent As the sun goes down, 12 disciples gather around the heavy wooden table illuminated by a single candle. After reciting a passage from the Hebrew scriptures, one of them recalls Jesus’ sending off the 72 others, commanding them go out and make more disciples and bring laborers to the harvest. Another disciple shares how difficult that is to do when people don’t want to hear about the Kingdom of God. Yet another one nods with understanding. First century Jerusalem? It could have happened then, but scenes like this are happening today all over the Diocese of Trenton as small groups gather to pray, share faith and Scripture, and ultimately, go forth in mission. This growing movement is in refreshing contrast to the reported trend that, “Religious identity today is not less bounded by doctrine or creed; “One day God is going only it is also less nurtured and reinforced by to say, ‘I sent them to community” (LifelongFaith Associates, In fact, because you. What did you do www.lifelongfaith.com). spiritual growth takes place within the Christian community, small faith-sharing with who I sent?’” groups form communities that lead participants to an encounter with God in their daily lives, and subsequently, nourish religious identity. Robert Bursley, coordinator of the diocese’s Small Christian Community Ministry, has been working with parish communities in building faith and Scripture sharing ministries for more than a decade. He has seen a growing number of signs – in pastoral documents and liturgical movements – indicating the need for “a deeper integration of Scripture into daily life.” Bursley has found in the writings of Pope Benedict XVI and documents emerging from the 2008 Synod of Bishops that “Roman Catholics are called to immerse themselves in the Scriptures as the nourishment for their discipleship.”
Growing into Scripture Efforts to cultivate this immersion have been built on a number of resources, but Bursley cites RENEW International as particularly prominent in leading the way for faith sharing among Catholics here in the diocese with the ‘RENEW 2000’ process. He recalls of the process, “Small faith sharing groups were encouraged to allow people to have true human relationships that included a deeper experience of faith, and See Increase | P31 Keeping the Word on Hand – As part of an ongoing effort to provide practical resources for praying the Scriptures, the Small Christian Community Ministry, Office of Catechesis, has distributed more than 4,000 copies of their “Welcome the Word” bookmark to a variety of faith sharing groups. Parishes are invited to order as many bookmarks as they need free of charge. To place an order and to discuss arrangements for pick-up or delivery call 609-406-7400, x5623 or x5554.
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
See the hand of God at work through the Holy Innocents Society By Mary Stadnyk | News Editor Working with the Holy Innocents Society was something neither Angelo Romanello nor Pat Hertz had ever intentionally set out to do. But it was through different life experiences from years ago that led both of them to begin their ministries to children with special needs. Between them, Hertz and Romanello have more than 60 years of loving service to the Holy Innocents Society. Romanello has been president of the diocesan Holy Innocents Society and director of the Holy Cross Learning Center for 36 years, and Hertz has been involved "These children don't with the learning center in St. Justin Parish, Toms River, for expect anything from 26 years. you... They just have While both acknowledged unconditional love." that theirs is a fulfilling ministry in which they receive much more than what they give, Hertz said, that what truly heartens her the most is the children’s “unconditional love.” “These children don’t expect anything from you,” said Hertz, who is also the coordinator of religious education in St. Justin. “They are so willing to give of themselves. They just have unconditional love.” Romanello fondly recalled how his introduction to the Holy Innocents Society came in 1974 by way of his membership in the Trenton Council, Knights of Columbus. The council had been asked to help “reactivate” the learning center in Mercer County. It was previously held in St. Hedwig Parish, Trenton, but then it closed. The second center was opened in Holy Cross Parish, Trenton, which is now part of Divine Mercy Parish. There were 13 in Holy Cross Center of Learning’s first group of students, Romanello recalled. Over the years, the center has had as many as 50 at one time. There are See Holy | P12
‘Our Father…’ – Part of the mission of the Holy Cross Center of Learning is to teach students about various liturgical ministries, including being altar servers. This photo was taken Sept. 11 when the Holy Cross Center of Learning opened the 2010-2011 academic year with a Mass celebrated by Msgr. Edward Arnister, pastor of Divine Mercy Parish, Trenton. Megan Rosidivito photo
Ever Closer to God Catechizing children with special needs By Mary Stadnyk | News Editor Two Sundays a month around Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, the word “can” takes on added and special meaning. Those are the days when the parish holds its WE CAN – We Enrich Children of All Needs – program, where children with special needs, such as autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADD/ADHD (attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and dyslexia come together with their catechists to learn about their faith in a setting and manner that’s geared just for them. Some of the ways they spend their time together includes singing songs, joining in activities, making crafts and taking part in community service projects, such as making crafts for the homeless WE CAN is but one example taking place in the diocese that responds to the overall call of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who, for more than 40 years, has the need for greater care Catholics are reminded emphasized of special needs children and adults in parishes. that all persons have The bishops, in their 1998 statement, dignity and should be “Welcome and Justice for Persons with Disabilities,” exhort inclusion allowed to contribute of persons with special needs into to the community. all facets of parish life by stating that “we are a single flock under the care of a single shepherd. There can be no separate Church for persons with disabilities.” They addressed that liturgies and catechetical programs should be “open to their full, active and conscious participation, according to their capacity.” As people who believe in the sanctity of life, Catholics are reminded that all persons have dignity and should be allowed to contribute to the community. They are told that everyone, with or without disabilities, should be allowed to achieve the fullest measure of personal development possible and that our parishes should be accessible, a concept that goes well beyond providing ramps for our buildings. As more children are diagnosed with developmental disabilities, especially disorders on the autism spectrum, Catholics are developing new catechetical materials and special religious education programs to help prepare these children to receive the sacraments. Pastors and parish leaders are beginning to educate themselves and their parishioners about how to better welcome families of children with developmental See Special | P10
‘O Come Let Us Adore Him’ – Participating in the Christmas pageant is a special event for members of the Holy Innocents Society in St. Justin Parish, Toms River. Photo courtesy of Pat Wertz
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Survey gives scope of diocese’s special needs efforts Following is a statistical recap of two Special Needs surveys that the diocesan Office of Catechesis conducted in 2007 and 2008. The survey was sent to pastors, school principals and catechetical leaders asking them to respond on: awareness of disabled persons within the parish communities; religious education enrollment and offerings; accessibility (elevators, ramps, handrails); preparation of the reception of sacraments for children with disabilities who are of catechetical age; the benefit of having diocesan offices assist parishes in their religious education efforts, and the provision of catechetical formation for teachers, catechists and lay ministers who work with individuals with disabilities. Of the diocese’s now 111 parishes, the number of parishes that responded was 73. • 44 parishes indicated a high level of awareness of persons with disabilities; 27 reported a moderate level of awareness and two reported a low level of awareness. • All parishes reported openness to accepting children with disabilities into their school and/or religious education programs. All parishes reported that they have children who celebrate/receive the sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation in their parishes. • 34 parishes reported that at least 150 children with special needs were enrolled in parish school. • 72 parishes reported that more than 200 children with special needs were included in religious education programs (on-site or in Holy Innocents Societies). • 15 parishes reported that children from their community attended one of the Holy Innocents Learning Centers; in 2007-08, approximately 230 children were enrolled in the Holy Innocent Society. • 19 parishes reported having a formal ministry for working with children and/or adults with special needs. Some of these ministries included parishes that were sites for a Holy Innocents Learning Center or schools that had special programs. • 30 parishes reported that individuals with special needs serve in parish ministry as lectors, catechists and/or members of RCIA teams, consolation ministry, social/welcome ministries and choirs. They assist as office and/or library helpers. • 40 parishes reported that they provide some type of formation for teachers, catechists or lay ministers who work with individuals with disabilities. • 48 parishes reported that all campus buildings and/or meeting rooms were handicapped accessible. • Support requested from the diocese was in the areas of catechist formation, resources, updates on research and networking opportunities. Particular emphasis was on working with children classified on the autism spectrum in light of the increased rate of incidence. 10 | J anuary 13, 2011
‘The Word of the Lord’ – A student in the Holy Cross Center of Learning proclaims a Reading during a Mass marking the opening of the center’s 2010-2011 academic year. The Mass was celebrated Sept. 11 in Holy Cross Church, Trenton. Megan Rosidivito photo
Special needs ministries abound in Diocese of Trenton Continued from P8 disabilities, but much work remains. Ways in which the Diocese of Trenton has ministered to special needs children are primarily through the Holy Innocents Society and Sister Georgine Learning Center, Ewing, which is a diocesan-based school for disabled now in its 41st year. There are also parishes that have developed their own religious education programs. The diocesan Office of Catechesis is doing its part by serving as a resource to those parishes that provide religious education for special needs children as well as to those parishes that might be looking to initiate such efforts.
Aiding the Special Needs Ministry To get an idea of how parishes are responding to people with special needs, the Office of Catechesis conducted two surveys, one in 2007 and a follow-up in 2008, asking pastors, school principals and catechetical leaders to respond on: awareness of disabled persons within the parish communities; religious education enrollment and offerings; accessibility (elevators, ramps, handrails); preparation of the reception of sacraments for children with disabilities who are of catechetical age; the benefit of having diocesan offices assist parishes The diocesan office of in their religious education efforts, and the provision of catechetical formation catechesis is... serving for teachers, catechists and lay ministers as a resource to those who work with individuals with disabilities. parishes that provide Based on the surveys in which 73 parishes responded and in an religious education for effort to better assist parishes in their special needs children. ministries to disabled persons, the Office of Catechesis is introducing a new “Special Religious Education” track to its Certificate Program for Coordinators (CPC) which provides for the formation of those involved in the coordination of parish religious education, adult faith formation, RCIA, sacrament preparation, elementary school religion and now (special needs) inclusion ministry. CPC, which was started about 20 years ago, has a 12-month curriculum that blends spiritual and theological formation along with practical skills development in a variety of administrative areas. According to Jen Hinton, associate director of the Office of Catechesis, who oversees the administration of CPC, the administrative track in Special Religious Education for the Certificate Program will allow participants to apply what they learned through their readings and presentations to develop practical special needs religious education programs and inclusion ministries in their respective parishes. Participants will learn skills on how to provide sacramental preparation for children with special needs, effective communication with parents and families, organization of environment and curriculum adaptation. Continued on P11
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese Continued from P10
Holy Innocents Society – a steadfast presence in diocese
Because of limited resources and ability to provide specialized services, Catholic schools are not always able to serve the needs of children with disabilities. JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of Catholic Education, said every effort is made to integrate students into regular Catholic school classroom settings whenever possible. However, for those who are more severely disabled and have specific learning disabilities, Tier said they are referred to the Holy Innocents Society learning centers or the Sister Georgine Learning Center. The Holy Innocents Society traces its history to 1959 when religious education class for special needs children were developed in St. Mary Parish, Perth Amboy, at the behest of Bishop George W. Ahr and a group of people interested in ministering to persons with disabilities. Three years later in 1962, the society was formally established as a diocesan entity by Bishop Ahr. In 1981, the eightcounty diocese was split and the four northern counties of Middlesex, Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren were extracted to create the Diocese of Metuchen, while the counties of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean comprised the Diocese of Trenton. The Holy Innocents Society remained an organization of the Diocese of Trenton. Today, the Holy Innocents Society continues its mission in providing for the spiritual welfare of special children of all ages. The society operates under the direction of Angelo J. Romanello, who has been president since 1974 and through its county chapters in six centers across the diocese. The centers are located in Jesus the Good Shepherd-St. Joseph Church, Beverly; Divine Mercy Parish-Holy Cross Church, Trenton; St. Mark Parish, Sea Girt; St. Mary Parish, New Monmouth; St. Martha Parish, Point Pleasant, and St. Justin Parish, Toms River. All classes are held on Saturday mornings, with some centers running one-hour sessions and others running two hours. Romanello said that in all, the staff numbers about 160 which includes coordinators, catechists and aides who work on a volunteer basis to help prepare students for the reception of the sacraments; teach them how to become altar servers and involved in other liturgical ministries; lead recreational and social activities, and facilitate information support groups for the parents. For students who have completed www.Trenton M onitor. com
their sacraments, the centers provide adult continuing education classes which focus on topics such as the liturgy, Scripture and the Apostles Creed. Romanello said that all staff members have received certification through the diocese or they are in the process of earning their certification. Student enrollment was 199 in 2009, he said, with students representing about 60 parishes and there were some non-Catholics students in the program as well. “Since the beginning, it’s been our practice not to turn any students away,” he said. There is no cost for the students to attend the program and funding primarily comes from Knights of Columbus councils, the diocese and other generous donors. “So far we have been able to accomplish a great deal through various people’s generosity,” he said, then added that the society has also served as a model and ahs helped with the set up of similar centers in other dioceses including the Metuchen Diocese and a parish in Florida that was interested in beginning a group.
Salvino said she started WE CAN based on the experience her son, Matthew, had when he was enrolled in the kindergarten religious education program with a one-onone aide. Matthew completed the kindergarten class but because he could not speak or read and was not able to advance to the first grade level the following year, it was decided that if he were to continue religious education, he should repeat the kindergarten program for the second time. The problem, Salvino said, was that the material being presented was the same. Matthew was not learning anything new and “I felt that he was able to learn and needed so much more” than what he was receiving. Salvino pursued certification
through the diocesan Office of Catechesis’ Certificate Program for Coordinators and was led to begin WE CAN in Sacred Heart. The first year, there were two children enrolled in the program, and this year, there are 16. Because of her current full time work as coordinator of religious education in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Maple Shade, Salvino is no longer involved with WE CAN at Sacred Heart. The program is now overseen by the parish’s religious education director, Pat Hutchinson, and is conducted by Heidi Divine, along with a number of volunteer catechists and aides. WE CAN, which focuses on sacramental preparation, meets two Sundays a month and is open to See Reaching | P12
Meeting Special Needs in the Parishes Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, is one parish in the diocese that has taken the initiative to provide religious education/sacramental preparation programs for children with special needs through WE CAN. The program was founded in 2002 by Michele Salvino, who is the mother of a child with multiple disabilities.
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Holy Innocents' work is labor of love Continued from P8 currently 32 students enrolled in the center, he said. Romanello chuckled about his training for working with special needs children – it was on-the-job. “I had no previous training in this area and had never focused on making this my life’s work,” he said. “But when I saw the students, I realized that everyone had a right to know of God’s love, including them. They needed to know that Jesus was with them too, and I wanted to help them.” Romanello’s passion for the Holy Innocents Society was enough that his family wanted to become involved as well. His wife, Rose Anna is the current coordinator of the Holy Cross Learning Center, and his two daughters, volunteered at the center as high school students. Both of the daughters are now professional educators with the disabled. One teaches at the Marie H. Katzenback School for the Deaf and the other is an adaptive physical education teacher with Mercer County Special Services.
Stories galore Folks have rich and plentiful stories to share about their experiences with the Holy Innocents Society. One story in St. Justin Parish was told through Debbie Galasso, the mother of student 19-year-old Rebecca Galasso, who was born with SLO. Though Rebecca is described as being a “failure to thrive” and has a disability that has left her severely mentally retarded and affected her growth – she’s only three feet tall and weighs 70 pounds – her mother said “she’s a ball of fire. She’s amazing” Rebecca has been in the Holy Innocents Society for 15 years and, in spite of her disability, “she understands,” Galasso said. “She know Church and she knows when she’s going to Church,” Galasso said, adding that Rebecca likes to sit in the front pew for Mass, and at the end of Mass, Rebecca insists on joining in the closing procession. “I wanted her to make her sacraments” and the Holy Innocents Society enabled her to do so, Galasso said. “She’s getting a good religious education. It’s a wonderful program and it’s wonderful to see the children and how they believe.” Romanello recalled two cherished memories about the Holy Innocents Society. One challenge he faced was trying to find a way to communicate with the young girl of about 16 who had a social disability and wouldn’t speak. “She would sit there and grunt,” he said. “She was very anti-social and if anyone got too close to her, she would bite them.” It took a while, but Romanello eventually hit on a solution. He tried picture drawing. The girl, Romanello said, “had a tremendous talent for putting down on paper what was on her mind,” he said, and for more than a year, the two would have their conversations through drawing pictures, and the young girl would sketch out her weekly activities on paper. After a year, Romanello said, the girl was “saying the Our Father” and began interacting more with her fellow classmates. After two years, he said, the girl was shaking hands and saying “hello.” “Her parents were amazed,” he said. “They found it difficult to believe that she was speaking because she had no verbalization. They never imagined she would be able to.” A second story Romanello remembered was when he was helping “Brian,” a young man with multiple disabilities, prepare to receive his first Holy Communion. One of the requirements was getting him to understand the difference between the host and ordinary bread and “that was difficult,” he said. “I spent one whole year trying to make the differentiation with very little success. I was feeling very discouraged.” After a year, Romanello got his point across with the help of a cookie. “I gave Brian the cookie and he said ‘cook,’ which was cookie for him,” Romanello said. “Then I gave him a host and he said ‘Jesus.’” “That was a great break through,” Romanello said. “I finally got Brian to make his first Holy Communion.” The way Romanello sees it, the work of the Holy Innocents Society is not about what the catechists and aides do, but it’s about what God does. “I find myself standing in awe of God’s work,” he said. “God manifests himself through these children and that is the greatest proof of his love for us that I could ever imagine.” 12 | J anuary 13, 2011
Sharing Faith — It’s activity time for the Holy Innocents Society in St. Justin Parish, Toms River. Photo courtesy of Pat Wertz
Reaching out to children with 'different abilities' Continued from P11 any child with a “different ability” who cannot succeed in a regular classroom setting. The volunteer catechists and aides work one-onone or in very small groups and focus on the children’s individual abilities and needs. Their conditions vary, including Down syndrome, autism, vision problems, developmentally delayed, speech impairments, balance and nutrition issues. A typical class structure begins with the class singing a group song, "Yes, We Can," and prayer. The students then break into their small groups for a lesson, then convene to do an activity or craft. Throughout the year, students also participate in community service projects such as making sandwiches for the homeless. To be eligible to enroll, the children have to be five years old by Oct. 1 and those from other parishes are welcome to attend, Hutchinson said. Another parish with a lengthy "Catechists and aides work history in ministering to children one-on-one or in very small with special needs is Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown. groups and focus on the In 1997, Linda Dix, director of religious education, began working children's individual abilities with children one at a time. and needs." The first child was a Confirmation student with Down syndrome. The following year, a child with autism wanted to receive First Holy Communion. Dix, who had just returned from two years of working with special needs children in Jamaica, wanted to develop a more formalized ministry for special needs children in Good Counsel and was given permission to do so by Msgr. James J. McGovern, who was pastor at the time. By 2001, Dix realized the parish had an increasing number of children with autism and learned that the parents of these children had moved into the Moorestown area because of the number of schools in the vicinity that were known for educating autistic children. One new family who moved into Good Counsel was that of Darlene Altschuler. Not only was she the mother of a child with autism, she also held certification from the Metuchen Diocese to teach religious education to children with special needs. Since 2001, Altschuler had been the program’s coordinator. “The program has been running successfully,” Dix said, noting that since its program’s inception, about 100 children have participated, including those from multiple parishes in the area. In any given year, Dix said there are between 25-42 children in the program and their ages range from five to mid-20s. About 70 children are considered physically challenged, learning disabled, See Healing | P30 The Monitor
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Teaching by example Many ways to teach the faith The 2011 Bishop’s Appeal video presents Go just a sprinkling of folks from around the diocese Teach whose mission is to teach the faith by example. From the elementary school teacher who introduces Catholic tradition to first graders; to advocates for social justice and charitable causes around the four counties; to clergy, coaches and parents, the video opens a window into the many reasons for supporting the appeal. Their views, captured in expanded snapshots by Monitor correspondent Dorothy La Mantia, appear below.
Education is thrust of 2011 Appeal By Mary Stadnyk | News Editor Jesus’ final message to his disciples before he ascended to the Father was “Go teach.” It is that message that inspired Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., to designate “Go Teach” as the theme for the 2011 Bishop’s Annual Appeal, and set a bold new appeal goal of $8 million, with $1 million dedicated to Catholic education efforts taking place within the diocese. As parishes around the diocese gear up for the inauguration of Appeal Weekend Jan. 22-23, Bishop O’Connell reflected on the “Go Teach” theme and emphasized how “Catholic education is truly the mission of our Church in the world, intrinsic to everything we do and who we are as Catholics.” “Catholic education is integral "Catholic education is to carrying out the mission of the truly the mission of our Church,” said Bishop O’Connell. “It is our foundation and our future.” church in the world, Shannon Jordan, director of the intrinsic to everything diocesan Office of Development, we do and who we are." elaborated on the new $8 million goal and said with the increase, $1 million will be dedicated solely for three education-related ministries: 80 percent for tuition assistance for Catholic school families; 10 percent for catechist certification and 10 percent for seminarian education.
Tuition Assistance Through funds collected from parishes without schools, tuition assistance is made available to children in kindergarten through eighth grade. Awards are based on financial need and families who apply can receive up to one-half of the school’s in-parish tuition rate. Jordan explained that the amount requested from the diocese since 2006 has grown by about $400,000 each year. “The gap that exists between what (the diocese) can pay out and what has been requested has grown to about $2.4 million,” Jordan said. See Appeal | P16 Catholic Mission – Bishop O'Connell, shown during a visit with Catholic school students, said that Catholic education is at the heart of the Church's mission. Craig Pittelli photo
'I teach by charity' When asked to expand on her statement in the video for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, Grace Ortiz Magee, human resources coordinator for St. James Parish in Red Bank, responded, “I don’t know why they chose me for the video. I just help in a quiet way, have a smile and try to be positive. I don’t like negativity. There are other people at St. James who give really good example.” Yet giving a charitable and faithful example is in her blood. “I try to follow in my parents’ footsteps. They are loving and honest people,” said Magee, whose family migrated to the United States from Argentina in 1967. Her memories of her father, an accountant in Buenos Aires, settling for a job in construction and sacrificing for his family, provided a model for Magee when she faced the loss of her husband, Kenneth, to cancer in 1996. Her son Derrick had just graduated eighth grade; daughter Lauren was eight. “Living by example is to have faith. I asked, ‘Why me?’ But faith kept me going, and my parents were my rock,” she said. Her parents cared for the children every day, enabling her to work fulltime. Now that the children have reached adulthood, Magee attributes their devotion to family and sense of responsibility to her parents’ influence and unwavering love, which undoubtedly fuel her smile and charge her words in the video: “Everything we do matters. Working together, we can make a difference in the lives of our children and in our community.” For 12 years, Magee, a widow with two children, has supported her family through her position in payroll and accounts payable for the parish, as well serving as corresponding secretary for the annual Blue Mass for fallen law enforcement officers.
Katy & Todd Theroux 'We teach in the home'
“When I think about my teaching in the home, I think about passing on my faith to my children; what I’ve learned from my parents, my pastor and Christ,” said Todd Theroux. He and his wife Katy, residents of Princeton and members of St. Paul Parish, are parents of six: Mary Kate, Claire, Dana, John Paul, Billy and Jean-Luc. While their four school-age children attend Catholic schools, their education in the faith is nurtured at home. Meals begin with grace, then “We talk about our day, thank God for the good things, talk about how we can pray
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese Continued from P15 about the bad things and whom we can pray for,” said Todd. During the half-hour rides from home to Villa Victoria Academy in Ewing, Theroux and his daughters discuss diverse subjects in the light of their relationship with God. Katy reinforces the meaning of school events. Recently, when Villa Victoria was preparing to celebrate Vocations Awareness Week, Katy discussed the concept of a vocation with her daughters. The couple avidly support Catholic education. Katy, now an executive with GS1 US Corporate Center in Princeton, credits her days at Nazareth Academy, a Catholic all-girls high school in Rochester, N.Y., as a defining experience, which gave her not only a strong foundation of faith but also the “opportunity to lead and to spread my wings.” She has worked to keep Catholic schools open and hopes that “all Catholic kids can get a Catholic education, regardless of whether they can afford it.” Todd, a chemist-turned-stay-at-home dad, is a catechist and works with the school’s Catholic Identity Committee, which distributes information about service, prayer and liturgical participation to the families in the school. He expects to earn a master’s degree in theology in May 2012.
'I teach through sports' Through his passion for athletics, Chris Ott, a coach and physical education teacher in St. Raphael School, Trenton, teaches to the body, soul and mind. Ott explained, “I am passionate about sports and being physically fit. I want to pass it on to the next generation.” Ott, formerly a radio talk show host and sports announcer for Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado, weaves Catholic teaching into his health and PE classes and addresses issues of sportsmanship and instilling love of sports as a lifelong practice for physical health. He thrills when a child who never played a sport develops a passion for one. “Sports provide them with lessons that they will use through their entire lives,” said Ott. “When I coach, I say, ‘I don’t care how many baskets you’ve made, it’s how you interact with kids who didn’t make any.’ “In sports radio, I travelled a lot, but I started thinking, ‘This is not what God has in mind.’ Broadcasting did not allow me to give back,” he said. “As a teacher, I’ll never make a million bucks, but I make an impact. That’s more important.” His students have taught him as well. Ott’s friends marvel at his abundant patience, a fringe benefit of his vocation. “You’ll learn patience quickly teaching younger children,” he said. “They enhance my faith life. Not a day passes when I do not feel blessed.”
Kristin Castaldo & Jennifer Armiger
'We teach in the classroom' It is often said that a Catholic education shapes the lives of students well into the Kristin Castaldo future. No doubt that is true of Kristin Castaldo and Jennifer Armiger, graduates of St. Gregory the Great School in Hamilton Square, and now members of its faculty. Castaldo, a newly-minted teacher assigned to the first Continued on P17 16 | J anuary 13, 2011
Forming Our Clergy — Diocesan seminarians Rev. Mr. H. Todd Carter and Rev. Mr. Christopher Picollo walk the campus of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pa. The diocese currently supports the formation of 35 men who are pursuing seminary studies. Monitor photo by Jeanne Scarpato
Appeal to address increasing needs
Continued from P15 “The past few years have been hard for families who are trying to afford a Catholic education for their children.” In the past year, the diocese received tuition assistance requests from elementary school families that amounted to $3.1 million. But given the tuition assistance funds that were available, the diocese was only able to fulfill less than 20 percent of those requests. Through the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, it is the goal to put $800,000 into the hands of those parents who seek tuition assistance.
Seminarian Education Regarding seminarian education, Jordan said that the cost to educate one seminarian from the time he enters the seminary to the time he is ordained a priest is $100,000. Though the diocese has been “blessed” to have 35 men currently pursuing seminary studies, an increase of 10 seminarians in the past two years, Jordan said that the amount of money it will now cost the diocese to support the seminarians – who attend institutions such as Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University, South Orange; St. Charles "The past few years Borromeo Seminary, Overbrook, Pa.; or St. Mary Seminary and University, have been hard for – has increased by about 40 families who are trying Baltimore percent. Because many parishes are to afford a Catholic experiencing a dramatic increase in education for their their religious education enrollment, additional appeal monies will be children." directed toward catechist certification that is sponsored by the diocesan Office of Catechesis.
Other Ministry Beneficiaries Of the appeal’s remaining $7 million, Jordan said that it will be directed toward dozens of diocesan programs and services already in place. A portion of the appeal will help to support retired priests of the diocese. Statistics indicate that many priests of the diocese are living longer and the number of priests who are eligible for retirement continues to increase. It is projected that the number of priests eligible for retirement will nearly double in five years. The appeal will also help to fund Villa Vianney, the diocesan retirement home for priests in Lawrenceville, which is currently undergoing a $4 million expansion project that will double its capacity. Continued on P17 The Monitor
Continued from P16 The New Choices program of Catholic Charities, which specifically assists teenagers of the diocese with substance abuse problems, will also benefit from the appeal. New Choices provides young people with a new and positive direction while encouraging them to remain in school and avoid a life of drugs, juvenile crime and violence, Jordan said. Another beneficiary of this year’s appeal will be the diocesan Haitian Apostolate, which continues to provide assistance to the people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake that hit the nation last January. In the past year, the apostolate assisted with rallying volunteers to help collect essentials to send to Haiti, such as food, water, clothing and money. The apostolate will continue its assistance, knowing that there remain 1.3 million families who live in tent cities and that millions of Haitians remain homeless and unemployed.
Support the Bishop’s Annual Appeal the old way or the electronic way
Folks from around the diocese will learn details about the 2011 Bishop’s Annual Appeal when they attend Masses the weekend of Jan. 22-23. But for those who might want to browse through the information at their leisure, another resource they can check out is the Bishop’s Annual Appeal website: www.bishopsannualappeal.com. The site is also accessible by logging on to the Diocese of Trenton's website: www. dioceseoftrenton.org. Jordan noted that the diocese is currently in the process of developing a brand new website and that some new features are being incorporated into the Bishop’s Annual Appeal page, which he hopes past and potential donors will find more accessible and easier to navigate. “We’ll have a little more functionality with web donations,” he said. Jordan said that the number of online donations have doubled and See New | P18
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese Continued from P16 Go grade, said, “Faith is the foundation of learning Teach in our classroom, the basis of everything we do. And it is an integral part of my classroom mission, which is to create a strong and safe community of active learners. I hope to provide my students with the solid foundation of faith that St. Gregory’s instilled in me.” Her colleague, Jennifer Armiger, science teacher in the seventh and eighth grades, said, “Teaching at a Catholic school allows you to teach with God as your guide, and that is important to me. My students allow me to enhance my own faith through my being able to be a role model for them, guiding them to live faith-filled lives.” Armiger graduated from Neumann University, Aston, Pa., a Catholic institution where it is mandatory to study religion all four years. She attributes her formation as a Catholic teacher and her strong understanding of the faith to her alma mater. These women base their professional day on a foundation of prayer. “Our day begins with prayer in our morning meeting and it concludes with it,” said Castaldo, a graduate of The College of New Jersey, Ewing. “It is comforting to know I can refer back to prayer, no matter what the subject is.”
'I teach in the boardroom' “In the boardroom,” said Peter Inverso, chief executive officer for Roma Bank and former N.J. State Senator, “it is paramount that we look at needs to address them on a broad scale. It means the conjunctive effort of many people. Each of us can reach many more than we can possibly imagine.” When asked to reflect on how to apply principles of faith to the business of banking, Inverso stated, “A business has a social obligation to the community where it applies its wares. In our company, we abide by a strong ethical and moral code. We view ourselves as an entity, a safe place for people to store money and find credit.” As a state senator representing Mercer and Middlesex Counties between 1992 and 2008, Inverso learned that remaining true to the tenets of faith does no favors for a state senator. His days in the senate provided him with “the toughest test to abide by my Catholic principles,” he said. “I did not go in with the popular agenda. I never shied away from my being pro-life.” During his terms in the senate, Inverso became acquainted with the Board of Catholic Charities when it came to the legislature to advocate for the poor. “Its people were always professional and honest. I was impressed with the results they achieve. They deliver on their mission in Trenton.” His admiration for the board led him to join it after he decided against seeking a fifth term of office. He currently heads the board’s social policy committee.
'I teach through service' Responding in Faith — The diocese, through its Haitian Apostolate, has continued to provide support to the millions of people still suffering in the wake of the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti last January. CNS photo/Bob Roller
“My faith teaches me to count my blessings, but also to share them,” said Eleanor Ojinnaka, a freshman at Rider University. “Why should you keep your hands folded? Open your hands. You receive and you give, and you are able to do something for someone else.”
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To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese Continued from P17 When Ojinnaka attended her orientation for new students at Rider, she made sure to find Father Joseph Jakub, chaplain of the Catholic Campus Ministry. “I knew I had to be in touch with my religion,” she said, “so I glued myself to Emmaus House.” “Eleanor has become a key player in our ministry,” said Father Jakub, “and has shown a deep desire to learn about her faith and to put that faith into action by serving those around her.” The chemistry major from Irvington serves as a reader at Mass, studies Scripture and participates in projects that benefit a soup kitchen and an after-school program in Trenton. “I love service,” said Eleanor, who was president for the youth group in her home parish, St. Charles Borromeo in Newark, for the last two years. The group worked in a Newark soup kitchen and sponsored toy and book drives, including one that donated textbooks to colleges in Nigeria and Ghana. Her family, which includes three brothers and one sister, migrated to the United States from Nigeria when Eleanor was nine. Her oldest brother died in 2005, an event that led her to question life’s meaning. Although she had balked at attending Mass, she made a spiritual connection at her parish youth group, where she experienced deep joy in communal praying of the rosary and in doing for others. “I was happier within myself,” she said, “I said, ‘God, here I am!’ Now I will see what God has in store for me.”
'I teach through advocacy' For the past 11 years, Marlene Lao-Collins has served as director for social concerns with the New Jersey Catholic Conference, a position that comes with the responsibility of looking at public policy and issues such as homelessness, health care, affordable housing and education through the lens of Catholic social teaching. “We come to the table and create a level of justice upholding human dignity and respect for human life,” said Lao–Collins, especially with regard to the treatment of the poor. “I research what keeps people from moving ahead – themselves, their environment, or public policy,” she said. “I always had that curiosity which has lured me into what the problem is, to find a solution and to collaborate with other folks who have made a positive impact.” Born in Hoboken, Lao-Collins attended both Catholic and public schools. In the video, she said, “I grew up around clergy and religious and my own family who were involved in the community. They instilled in me a caring for the dignity of life and of God’s creation.” Drawn to advocacy for social justice during college and early adult life, Lao-Collins decided, “Instead of criticizing or complaining, I wished to work with people to change what was wrong – nationally or internationally.” In 1979 she graduated from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. She married Michael Collins in 1982 and they have two sons, Eric and Abraham. Since 1983, the family has lived in Trenton and has worshiped as members of St. Joseph Parish, a home for many immigrants. “I love the dynamic of our parish. It gives me and my husband more of a commitment to do something there,” she said. 18 | J anuary 13, 2011
Modern Methods — Technology has become a major component in education, with classrooms across the diocese being wired with the latest tools for learning. Craig Pittelli photo
New options for online appeal donations tripled over the past couple of years. However, up until this year, the office has been able to accept only donor pledges and outright payments or cash gifts. Now the website can accept credit card and checking account information through its new Electronic Funds Transfer option. The Electronic Funds Transfer is “really good because people can set up their own payment schedules for whenever they want,” Jordan said. “It’s also good because it eliminates the office having to send remittance notices out because payments will be automatic. That’s going to save a lot of cost to the diocese,” Jordan said. Jordan said he feels the new website has the potential to enhance donor opportunities because “whenever you give people more ways to be charitable, the better.” “The fact that the diocese, as an organization is using modern means and technology is a good thing because it shows that we, the Church, are up-todate; that we’re on the same curve as a lot of other non-profits and for-profit organizations,” he said. Jordan projected that the new website will also have a positive impact on the appeal. In the past three years, he said, his office has gone from taking in about 350 web gifts to taking in approximately 2,000 gifts. “So with the new website, I would expect us to be well on the way to accepting one-quarter to one-third of all gifts of the appeal coming from the web. “It might take a few years, but that’s where I could see it going.”
701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648 609.406.7400, ext. 5597 www.bishopsannualappeal.com firstname.lastname@example.org
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Log On A variety of online resources are available for Catholics in the Diocese of Trenton. The following list includes an overview of the diocesan websites and the information they provide:
www.dioceseoftrenton.org The Diocese of Trenton’s home page includes a listing of all parishes with links to their individual websites (if available), a link to Mass times, a listing of Catholic schools, upcoming events, and resources and information for families, engaged couples, youth and seniors and much more. www.TrentonMonitor.com The online version of The Monitor offers expanded stories, blogs, photo galleries, multimedia and web-exclusive content.
New Website – Pictured above is a screenshot of the home page for the new diocesan website.
Building Community Diocese’s website will employ new technologies to inform, engage users By Lois Rogers | Features Editor After nearly a year of intensive (and prayerful) planning, the diocese is preparing to unwrap a new, or more accurately, realigned, userfriendly website that blends the latest in communications technology with the rich tapestry of Catholic tradition. Still to be found at the same dioceseoftrenton.org, the new site is set to debut early this year. Visitors to the site will find not only eyecatching visuals that distinguish today’s Internet sites, but the latest in information and communications in an easy-to-navigate format with links to dozens of diocesan departments and related sites, according to Ken Perry, diocesan director of the Office of Web Development and project manager. The realignment has been a dynamic process, explained Perry, who, along with a core team of diocesan staff, provided direction and guidance to Charleston, S.C.-based Blackbaud Inc., the firm commissioned The realignment has design and develop the site. The web been a dynamic process. to technologies company specializing in non-profit software and services, which had already been providing the diocese’s online fundraising program, built the new site using its NetCommunity platform, a resource that manages information and connects users in new ways. In addition to the core team, the project involved the support of several subcommittees and writing and photography professionals whose work has been used to create the new site. Perry noted the collaborative and multi-dimensional effort, including study and consultation, prayer and reflection, and interaction with focus groups of all ages and backgrounds, all aimed at creating a web presence that mirrored the life of the diocese. At the same time, the capacity for fresh and expanded content means that the site can be used to provide comprehensive and updated resources for Catholics who want to deepen their faith knowledge and See Diocese | P29
www.RespectLifeToday.com Respect Life Today features information on all issues pertaining to the defense and protection of the dignity of human life, including helpful resources for pregnant women and women seeking healing after an abortion. www.GodisCallingYou.com The Office of Vocations a one-stop source of information for anyone considering a call to the priesthood, with answers to commonly-asked questions about the discernment process, the seminary and priestly life. www.RealFaithTV.com The Office of Radio and Television’s award-winning teen television program, which tackles issues ranging from text messaging to teen pregnancy, has a selection of both recent and past episodes available online. www.AHTrenton.com The diocesan Hispanic Apostolate’s is geared towards Spanish-speaking Catholics and features full episodes of the Spanish-language television show, AHTV. YouTube The Diocese of Trenton posts videos of its programming and special events to several YouTube channels: Youtube.com/trentondiocese Youtube.com/realfaithtv Youtube.com/trentonmonitor
Log On — Through the diocese’s various online resources, visitors can find expanded collection of news, video, photos and information about their faith and the Church. Craig Pittelli photo
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Save the Date 2011
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presented by Via Lucis, The Samaritan Hospice Ministry for Catholic Patients and Families will be held in St. John of God Community Services Campus, 1145 Delsea Dr., Westville, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The day begins with registration and Continental breakfast followed by session one: “The Religious and Ethical Considerations of Caring for Children and Adults with Dementia or Developmental Disabilities” will be presented by Marie A. Conn, chair, religious studies/spirituality director, and Patrick McCauley, professor of healthcare ethics, both of Chestnut Hill College; session two: “Research/Realty: Transitioning into the Caregiving Role for a Family Member with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia” presented by Kathleen E. Czekanski, director of graduate and NJ-BSN programs, assistant professor, LaSalle University and Diane Currie, author of “Before My Eyes,” a daughter’s emotional journey of caring for her Alzheimer’s–stricken mother followed by a multidisciplinary panel discussion. Lunch is included. Pre-registration is $10, $15 at the door. Checks payable to Samaritan Hospice and mailed to 5 Eves Dr., Suite 300, Marlton, NJ 08053. For information, call 856-552-3258.
Now and at the Hour of Our Death: March 12 End-of-Life Care for Children and Adults with Dementia or Developmental Disabilities
a public prayer vigil for life will be celebrated in St. Anthony of Padua Church, 121 Bridge Ave., Red Bank, at 9 a.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will be the main celebrant, followed by a procession to pray the rosary at Planned Parenthood, Shrewsbury. A light reception will follow in the Parish Hall where awards will be given for the Respect Life Poster, Essay and Video Contest to students from schools, religious education programs and youth groups within the Diocese of Trenton. No reservations required. For information, call Donna Goodwin, Office of Family Life at 609-4067400, ext. 5592 or email dgoodw@ dioceseoftrenton.org.
Diocesan Respect Life Mass and March 12 Annual Witness,
will be hosted in Holy Innocents Church, 3455 West Bangs Ave., Neptune, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Open to Central Jersey high school youth grades 9 to12 from across the diocese to celebrate their Catholic faith, with dynamic speakers, workshops and Mass. Lunch is provided. For information, call Frances Koukotas at 609-406-7410, fax 609-406-7419 or email youth@ dioceseoftrenton.org
March 6 Diocesan Youth Celebration
in celebration of World Marriage Day will be held in Crystal Point Yacht Club, Point Pleasant, from noon to 3 p.m. The cost of the luncheon is $75 per couple. Tickets must be reserved by February 1. For information, call Donna Goodwin, Office of Family Life at 609-406-7400, ext. 5592.
Feb. 13 World Marriage Day Champagne Luncheon
Pastoral Care Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m., beginning with the Bishop’s pastoral visit to Centra State Medical Center, Freehold, where he will offer a ritual with Blessing of Hands for healthcare professionals on staff, visit to the ICU/CCU where he will offer the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick followed by Mass for the Sick celebrated by the Bishop, to include a blessing for healthcare professionals in St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold. The day will conclude with a dinner in honor of those who care for those who are ill. All medical and mental healthcare professionals are welcome. For information, contact Deanna Sass, director of the Office of Pastoral Care at 609-406-7400, ext. 5589, fax 609-406-7458 or email at email@example.com.
Feb. 11 World Day of the Sick 2011 hosted by The Office of
by the diocesan Office of Family Life is a weekend retreat for engaged couples to prepare for a lifelong sacramental marriage in Stella Maris Retreat Center, 981 Ocean Ave., Elberon, April 4 from 7 p.m. to April 6 at 4:30 p.m. Spiritual reflection and couple dialog are the main highlights of the weekend. The fee is $395 per couple and includes meals and lodging. Reservations are limited. To register online go to www. dioceseoftrenton.org/go/cee. For information, call 609-406-7400, ext. 5592.
Feb. 4 to 6 Engaged Encounter Weekend sponsored
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observance of Catholic Press February National Month,
will take place on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a rally at noon on the Mall at Seventh Street. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will march with pilgrims from the Diocese of Trenton, from the rally on the Mall at Seventh Street along Constitution Avenue, up Capitol Hill to the Supreme Court and to the Congress. The Office of Life and Justice Ministries of the Diocese of Trenton is coordinating bus transportation from the Diocese of Trenton. For information, visit www.marchforlife.org.
Jan. 24 38th Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Black Apostolate, will take place in the Pastoral Center located at 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, from 8 a.m. to noon. A diocesan-wide call has gone out for volunteers who will collect, sort and package hygiene and toiletry kits, school supplies and children’s books, as well as prepare meals and make bag lunches for area social service agencies. For information or to make a donation, call 609-406-7400, ext. 5518.
Jan. 17 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, sponsored by the Office of
This year’s theme is “A+ For America-Catholic Schools.” For open house information and a schedule of events go to dioceseoftrenton.org. Go to TrentonMonitor.com for full coverage.
National Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 observance of Catholic Schools Week
will be held in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, to honor married couples in the diocese celebrating their 25th, 50th, (or over) wedding anniversaries during the 2011 calendar year. Couples in Mercer and Monmouth counties will be honored May 1 and couples in Burlington and Ocean counties will be honored May 15. Both events will run from 3 to 5 p.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will confer his Episcopal blessing upon each couple and present them with a personalized certificate to commemorate the occasion. Registration through the parish is required. There is no Mass. For information, call Mary Ann Romagna at 609-4067400, ext. 5558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Anniversary May 1 & May 15 Bishop’s Blessings
presented by the Diocese of Trenton, will be held in The Algonquin Arts Theatre, 173 Main St., Manasquan, beginning at noon. The festival will showcase the works of talented artists and film makers who inspire, uplift and create faithfilled messages through film and digital media. Entries may be submitted in one of three categories: high school competition, college and young adult competition and general competition. A non-refundable entry fee of $35 for general competition, $20 for high school/college and young adult competitions is required for review and inclusion in the festival. Entry fee and form must be submitted by Jan. 31. Late fees apply for submissions from Feb. 1 to 18. To enter, visit http://www. reimagefilmfestival.com/submissions/. For information, call Patrick Dolan, Office of Radio and TV, at 609-406-7400, ext. 5517.
April 16 RE-IMAGE Film Festival
a marriage preparation program designed to meet the needs of couples in which one or both persons are marrying after the loss of a spouse through death or divorce will be held in St. Gregory the Great Church, 4620 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square, April 16 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The program addresses specific issues these individuals face as they enter into the new relationship. The registration fee is $150 per couple. For information, contact the Office of Family Life at 609-406-7400, ext. 5592. To register online, go to www. dioceseoftrenton.org/go/tta.
April 16 To Trust Again
will be held in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 10:30 a.m. The Mass celebrated by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will praise and thank God for the work of those in federal, state, city and municipal protective services. A special remembrance will be offered for those who have made the supreme sacrifice of their lives. For information, call Jennifer Britton, Office of Communications and Public Relations, at 609-406-7400, ext. 5599.
Annual Mass of Law Enforcement April 15 12th (Blue Mass)
will be held in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 7:30 p.m. All diocesan priests will renew their priestly vows and the sacramental holy oils used during the coming year in all parishes of the diocese are blessed. Parishioners throughout the diocese are invited to gather in the Mother Church for the annual celebration leading off Holy Week. For information, call Kathy Hughes, Office of Worship at 609-406-7400, ext. 5571.
April 18 Annual Chrism Mass
sponsored by the diocesan Office of Family Life is a weekend retreat for engaged couples to prepare for a lifelong sacramental marriage in Stella Maris Retreat Center, 981 Ocean Ave., Elberon, April 8 from 7:30 p.m. to April 10 at 4 p.m. Spiritual reflection and couple dialog are the main highlights of the weekend. The fee is $395 per couple and includes meals and lodging. Reservations are limited. To register online go to www.dioceseoftrenton.org/go/ cee. For information, call 609406-7400, ext. 5592.
April 8 to 10 Engaged Encounter Weekend
for all those interested in learning the facts about this process of reconciliation and healing. Sponsored by the Family Life Office in conjunction with the diocesan Tribunal, the program March 30 will be held in St. Mary Church, 45 Crosswicks St., Bordentown, and repeated April 4 in Thomas More Church, 186 Gordons Corner Rd., Manalapan. Both events will run from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. During the evening, a tribunal judge and annulment advocate will explain the annulment process and answer questions. For details, call Marilyn Schipp, Office of Family Life, at 609-406-7400, ext. 5557, or by email at email@example.com or visit www.dioceseoftrenton.org.
Information March 30 & April 4 Annulment Evening
sponsored by the Office of Consolation Ministries, will be held for couples to heal and renew their marriages March 18 from 8 p.m. to March 20 at 4 p.m. in the Holiday Inn, Princeton. The Retrouvaille program is designed to assist couples in troubled marriages that have a desire to make their marriage work. Couples of all faiths are welcome. For information, call Marilyn Schipp, coordinator, at 609-406-7400, ext. 5557 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 18 to 20 Retrouvaille Weekend,
for catechumens throughout the diocese who have been preparing to become Catholics will take place in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 3 p.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will preside, and will call the catechumens to become members of the “Elect.” For information, call Kathy Hughes, Office of Worship at 609-406-7400, ext. 5571.
March 13 Rite of Election
January 13, 2011 | 20-21
an international program for separated, divorced and widowed persons that facilitates the resolution of grief and promotes healing, as people come to terms with their loss and begin to move forward with their lives will be held in Stella Maris Retreat Center, Elberon, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. to Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. The aim of this program is achieved through the guidance of peer facilitators and includes presentations, private reflection, and optional sharing in small, supportive settings. For information and registration, contact Rosemarie at 732681-1114; Rich and Elise at 609-333-9868; Vivian at 732-441-7070, or email email@example.com.
Nov. 11 to 13 Beginning Experience Weekend
a marriage preparation program designed to meet the needs of couples in which one or both persons are marrying after the loss of a spouse through death or divorce will be held in Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 3616 E. State Street Ext., Hamilton, Oct. 22 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The program addresses specific issues these individuals face as they enter into the new relationship. Registration fee is $150 per couple. For information, contact the Office of Family Life at 609-406-7400 ext. 5592. To register online, go to www.dioceseoftrenton. org/go/tta.
Oct. 22 To Trust Again
to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on Sept. 17 will be organized by Msgr. Michael J. Walsh, pastor of St. Mary Parish, New Monmouth. For further information, call Msgr. Walsh at 732-671-0071.
Sept. 17 Diocesan Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C.
will take place in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 10 a.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. is expected to ordain the men to the diocesan priesthood. For information, call Maureen Sano, Office of Vocations at 609-406-7400, ext. 5551.
June 4 Priest Ordination
for engaged couples to dialog honestly and intensively about important issues related to marriage, and to learn what it means to open their lives to God’s graces as they prepare for a lifelong commitment of love will be held in Stella Maris Retreat Center, Elberon, June 3 at 7:30 p.m. to June 5 at 4 p.m. The cost is $395 per couple, which includes meals and lodging. Reservations are limited and registration is required. To register go to dioceseoftrenton.org. For information, contact Donna Goodwin at 609406-7400, ext. 5592.
June 3 Engaged Encounter Weekend
will be held in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 3 p.m. For information, contact Msgr. Sam Sirianni of the diocesan Office of Worship at 609-406-7400, ext. 5560, fax 609-406-7403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Smith’s 50th Jubilee of Priesthood May 22 Bishop
will be in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 10:30 a.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. is expected to ordain the Seminarians of the Diocese of Trenton who have completed their college and theological studies to the Order of the Deacons. For information, call Maureen Sano, Office of Vocations at 609-406-7400, ext. 5551.
May 21 Transitional Deacon Ordination
for those facing serious illness will be held in the Archdiocesan Retreat Center, Kearny, May 20-22. The retreat is co-sponsored by the diocesan Office of Pastoral Care and offers an opportunity for persons who face a serious illness for a weekend of spiritual renewal and refreshment. Healthcare professionals are available to handle medical needs along with helpers, volunteers and spiritual directors to be sure that all are made comfortable. There is no cost. For information, call Hilare Reinold at 732-566-7237 or Peggy Walsh at 908-654-5575.
May 20 to 22 Gennesaret Retreat
will be held in Six Flags/Great Adventure, Jackson, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. This year’s theme is “Called to be Witnesses” and is open to youth of all ages and their families. The day’s schedule includes registration, opening, keynote showcase theatre, rides/entertainment, picnic lunch, and liturgy. Cost is $45 per person and includes parking, admission to the park, picnic lunch, safari and much more. For information, call the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at 609-406-7400, ext. 5621.
May 15 16th Annual NJ Catholic Youth Rally
will be held in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, 151 N. Warren St., Trenton, at 10 a.m. Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. is expected to ordain the men to the permanent diaconate. For information, call the Office of Diaconate at 609406-7400, ext. 7408.
May 14 Deacon Ordination
will be held May 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in San Alfonso Retreat House, Long Branch. A day of renewal for all who journey with the sick: parish visitors of the sick, chaplains, clergy, religious, homebound visitors, employees and volunteers in nursing homes, hospices and hospitals, spiritual directors, lay ecclesial ministers, family caregivers, faith community nurses and other healthcare professionals. Marist Brother Don Bisson will be the presenter on the topic “Accompanying Those Who Suffer: Psychological and Pastoral Wisdom.” For information, call Deanna Sass at 609-406-7400, ext. 5589, fax 609-406-7458 or email email@example.com.
May 6 5th annual Pastoral Caregivers Retreat Day
hosted by the Ministry for Maturing Adults (Aging) will be held May 4 in Holy Name Church (Resurrection Parish), 260 Conrow Rd., Delran; May 11 in St. Gregory the Great Church, 4620 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Square; May 18 in St. Luke Church, 1674 Old Freehold Rd., Toms River and May 25 in St. Robert Bellarmine Church, 61 Georgia Rd., Freehold. All events will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The day will include prayer, education and an expo of services for maturing adults. Registration deadline is two weeks prior to event. To register, call Janis Bell, coordinator of the Ministry for Maturing Adults at 609406-7400, ext. 5594/5573 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Day for May 4, 11, 18 & 25 Spirituality/Education Maturing Adults
The following diocesan events and observances have been announced:
State of the Diocese
To Know, Love, & Serve God
State of the Diocese
22 | January 13, 2011
Diocese of Trenton Chancery Funds Financial Statements | For the Years Ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 Colleen Cooke-Varallo, CPA Edward W. Doran, CPA Albert L. Elko, CPA Robert G. Morlock, CPA John J. Nihill, CPA M. Deborah Pitt, E.A. Veronica M. Plousis, CPA
Michael Pozielli, CPA Michael J. Reinking, CPA Leonard V. Santivasi, CPA Steven Scaduto, CPA Marc R. Simmons, CPA Gregory D. Stratoti, CPA, MST Richard J. Thomas, CPA, CVA, CFFA
Statements of Financial Position |
Certified Public Accountants
Independent Auditor’s Report Most Reverend John M. Smith, J.C.D. Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton Trenton, New Jersey We have audited the accompanying statements of financial position of the Diocese of Trenton – Chancery Funds as of June 30, 2010 and 2009, and the related statements of activities, and cash flows for the years then ended. These financial statements are the responsibility of the Diocesan management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements based on our audits. We conducted our audits in accordance with auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement. An audit includes examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. An audit also includes assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall financial statement presentation. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion. In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Diocese of Trenton - Chancery Funds as of June 30, 2010 and 2009 and the changes in its net assets, and its cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.
Elko & Associates Ltd October 29, 2010
2 West Baltimore Avenue, Suite 210 – Media, PA 19063 610-565-3930 – Fax: 610-566-1040 www.elkocpa.com
Statements of Activities |
See accompanying notes.
See accompanying notes.
State of the Diocese
www.Trenton M onitor. com
January 13, 2011 | 23
Diocese of Trenton Chancery Funds | For the Years Ended June 30, 2010 and 2009
Statements of Cash Flows |
1 | Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Continued) Depreciation was calculated on a straight-line basis over the estimated useful lives of the assets, as follows: Buildings and improvements 5 - 74 years Furniture and equipment 3 - 10 years
Contributions received, including unconditional promises to give, are recognized as revenue in the period received at fair values. The Diocese reports gifts of cash and other assets as restricted revenue if they are received with donor stipulations that limit the use of the donated assets. When a donor restriction expires, that is, when a stipulated time restriction ends or purpose restriction is accomplished, temporarily restricted net assets are reclassified to unrestricted net assets and reported in the statement of activities as net assets released from restrictions. Support that is restricted by the donor- is reported as an increase in unrestricted net assets if the restriction expires in the reporting period in which the support is recognized. The Diocese reports gifts of land, buildings and equipment as unrestricted support unless explicit donor stipulations specify how the donated assets must be used. Gifts of long-lived assets with explicit restrictions that specify how the assets are to be used and gifts of cash or other assets that must be used to acquire long-lived assets are reported as restricted support. Absent explidt donor stipulations about how long those long-lived assets must be maintained, the Diocese reports expirations of donor restrictions when the donated or acquired long-lived assets are placed in service.
The Diocese carries investments in equity securities with readily determinable fair values and all investments in debt securities at their fair values in the statements of financial position. Realized and unrealized gains and losses are included in the statements of activities. Purchases and sales of securities are recorded on a tradedate basis. Interest income is recorded on the actual basis. Dividends are recorded on the date the dividends are payable. Investment income earned on permanently restricted net assets and certain temporarily restricted net assets is restricted as to use (see Note 10). All other investment income is unrestricted as to use.
Other Postretirement Benefit Plans
The Diocese records costs and obligations/assets for various types of nonpension postretirement benefits provided to retirees (see Note 14).
The Diocese qualifies as an organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) and, accordingly, is exempt from federal taxes on income. The Diocese is also exempt from state income taxes. Effective July 1, 2009, management adopted the accounting standard, “Accounting for Uncertainty in Income Taxes”. This standard clarifies the accounting and reporting for uncertainties in income tax positions taken or expected to be taken in filings with taxing jurisdictions, using minimum recognition and measurement thresholds. Management has determined that the Diocese had no uncertain tax positions that would require financial recognition. Should settlement of an examination or other event result in a change in management’s evaluation of the Diocese’s tax status, any interest and penalties related to the tax consequences would be included in interest expense and administrative expenses, respectively.
Insurance Funds See accompanying notes.
Notes to Financial Statements | 1 | Summary of Significant Accounting Policies General
The Diocese of Trenton - Chancery Funds (the Diocese), a non-profit organization, is affiliated with Catholic parishes, schools and various other social service agencies in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties - New Jersey, which provide services to the communities located within these counties. Funding to support the Diocese and its programs is primarily received from assessments, contributions and income on investments. The accompanying financial statements include the assets, liabilities, net assets, revenues and expenses of the Diocese of Trenton Operating Funds, Trust Funds, Seminary Funds, Plant Funds, Insurance Funds, Custodial Funds, Bishops Annua’ Appeal Fund and Capital Campaign Funds which are not separately incorporated under civil law. Certain organizations within the Diocese are not included in the accompanying financial statements because they operate independent of the Chancery Funds, maintain separate accounts and carry on their own services and programs. Some of these organizations are as follows: Priests and Lay Retirement Funds Catholic Charities Health Care Facilities Cemeteries Parish and Diocesan Schools Campus Ministries Special Catholic Ministries Diocesan Parishes The Diocese has financial transactions with these organizations consisting primarily of grants, subsidies for operations, new equipment, certain receivables and is a guarantor for certain notes and mortgages payable by these organizations (see Notes 7 and 8).
Basis of Presentation
The accompanying financial statements have been prepared on the accrual basis of accounting. Additionally, the Diocese reports information regarding its financial position and activities according to three classes of net assets: unrestricted net assets, temporarily restricted net assets, and permanently restricted net assets.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the financial statements and accompanying notes. Actual results could differ from those estimates.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
All highly liquid investments with maturity dates of three months or less when purchased are considered cash equivalents.
The Diocese maintains Insurance Funds which are unrestricted net assets and account for the financial activity of its two insurance programs (see Note 9). The activity in these funds consists primarily of contributions from affiliated organizations, investment income, cost of insurance, claims incurred and administrative fees. The assets of the Insurance Funds are currently internally designated as restricted to the insurance programs and are currently not available for any other Diocesan purposes. Claims are recognized in the accompanying financial statements at the time the loss is incurred. The provision for claims is based on the best estimate of the ultimate cost of the claims.
Pension and Retirement Plans
The Diocese has a noncontributory pension plan. The Plan is a defined benefit pension plan covering substantially all lay employees of the Diocese. Prior service costs are amortized over a period of twenty-five years. The Plan provides for 100% vesting of benefits after five years of credited service. The Dioceses policy is to fund pension costs currently. Contributions to the Plan are made by the parish or organization that employs the lay employee. Effective October 1, 2005, full-time employees hired after the effective date are eligible to participate in a Section 403(b)(7) Pension Trust and can contribute up to the Internal Revenue Services’s dollar limit set by law, which is $16,500 for the years 2010 and 2009. Participants who have completed on year of employment are eligible for matching contributions by the Diocese of up to 5% of the participant’s gross salary. A nominal contribution was made by the Diocese for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009. The priests of the Diocese are covered by the Priests’ Retirement Annuity Program. Contributions to this program are made by the parish or organization to which the priest is assigned.
Certain prior year amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current year’s presentation.
2 | Fair Value Measurements Certain financial and non-financial assets and liabilities are required (or permitted) to be reported at fair value. A recent revision in generally accepted accounting principles defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value and expands disclosures about fair value measurements. The Diocese adopted this revision as of July 1, 2008 for fair value of financial assets and liabilities. Fair value is defined as the price that would be received to sell an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date. Fair value should be based on assumptions that market participants would use, including a consideration of non-performance risk. The standard for measuring fair value requires management to assess the inputs used to measure fair value using a three-tier hierarchy based on the extent to which inputs used in measuring fair value are observable in the market. Level 1 inputs include quoted market prices for identical instruments in active markets that the entity has the ability to access and are the most observable. Level 2 inputs include quoted market prices for similar assets or liabilities and observable inputs such as interest rates, currency exchange rates, commodity rates, and yield curves. Level 3 inputs are not observable in the market and include managements judgments about the assumptions market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. The following table sets forth by level, within the fair value hierarchy, the Diocese’s financial instruments carried at fair value:
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
The Diocese provides allowances for each type of receivable reported in its financial statements. These allowances are maintained at a level management considers adequate to provide for subsequent adjustments and potential uncollectible accounts. The allowance is increased by provisions charged to the statements of activities and reduced by the amount of receivables written-off. Management has determined the allowance by considering the type of receivables, responsible party, historical collection patterns and comparative aging. These estimates are reviewed periodically and as changes become necessary, they are charged or credited to operations in the periods in which they become known.
Revenues earned from assessments and contributions from participating organizations are recognized ratably over the period earned.
Property and Equipment
Real estate development sites have been purchased for future parishes, schools and similar purposes, and are carried at cost. Carrying costs on such non-operating properties are expensed. When such properties are transferred to recipients, the Diocese treats such transfers as outright grants in cases where such amounts will not be reimbursed by the Diocesan organization. All other property and equipment are also carried at cost.
Continued Notes to Financial Statements | P 24
State of the Diocese
24 | January 13, 2011
Diocese of Trenton Chancery Funds | For the Years Ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 2 | Fair Value Measurements (continued) 6 | Bishop’s Annual Appeal Fund
The Diocese conducts its Bishop’s Annual Appeal each year beginning in January and ending in August. The proceeds of the Appeal are used to support various social service and other programs administered by the Diocese and affiliated organizations. The goal of the 2010 and 2009 Appeals was to raise $6,000,000 each year. Each parish receives 15% of its goal if its goal is reached, and an additional 50% of the amount realized in excess of its target goal. As of June 30, 2010, the Diocese raised 2010 Appeal pledges of approximately $6,400,000 of which approximately $880,000 remained unpaid at that date. As of June 30, 2009, the Diocese raised 2009 Appeal pledges of approximately $6,400,000 of which approximately $1,019,000 remained unpaid at that date. Pledges receivable at June 30, 2010 and 2009 are reported at net realizable value which is the amount the Diocese expects to collect.
7 | Commitments and Contingencies
The Diocese is a guarantor of debt represented by certain bonds, notes, mortgages and letters of credit of parishes and other Catholic agencies and institutions. Such guarantees approximated $68,000,000 at June 30, 2010. These amounts are not included in the accompanying financial statements.
The following methods and assumptions were used to estimate the fair value of each class of financial instruments: Cash and cash equivalents, prepaid expenses, accounts payable and other accrued liabilities, funds held for others and deferred revenue - The carrying amount approximates fair value because of the short-maturity of those instruments.
8 | Notes Payable to Bank
The Diocese has a line of credit with a bank in the amount of $2,000,000 which expires on March 31, 2011. The bank has a security interest in the Diocese deposit accounts and investments with the bank. The Interest charged equals the bank’s prime rate less 1.5%, which was 1.75%, or LIBOR plus 1.25%, which was 1.60% at June 30, 2010. The Diocese had no amounts outstanding at June 30, 2010 under this line of credit.
Investments - The fair values of the investments are estimated based on quoted market prices for those or similar investments. Assessments, notes and other receivables, net - The carrying amount of assessments and other receivables, net approximate fair value because of the short-maturity of those instruments. The fair value of the interest bearing notes and loans receivable are based on current rates and terms. The estimated fair value of the non-interest bearing notes and loans receivable was approximately $252,000 and $282,000 less than its carrying value at June 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively. Fair value for non-interest bearing notes and loans is estimated by discounting the future cash flows, using the current rates at which similar loans would be made to borrowers with similar credit ratings and for the same remaining maturities, of such loans. Pledges receivable - The carrying amount approximates fair value because the unconditional promises to give have been recognized at net realizable value. Claims payable - The carrying amount of claims payable is estimated based on the amount the insurance adjuster and management believes the Diocese may be liable for in the future. Postretirement benefits obligation - The carrying amount of the postretirement benefit obligation is determined by calculating the present value of the future benefit payments expected to be paid using the assumptions disclosed in Note 14.
3 | Assessments, Notes and Other Receivables Assessments, notes and other receivables consist of the following:
Making Faith Real – Young people from around the diocese participate in a promotional video for Realfaith TV, the diocesan television program produced by the Office of Radio and Television. Craig Pittelli photo
4 | Investments A summary of investments by type is shown below:
9 | Insurance Funds
The Dioceses Insurance Funds consist of the following: Loss Payment Fund: The Diocese has a modified protected liability and casualty, workers’ compensation and property self-insurance program for affiliated organizations described as a “loss payment fund.” Under this program, the Diocese has obtained insurance coverage of $40,000,000 for most liability and casualty claims with a deductible of $250,000 per occurrence during the policy period. The Diocese has insurance coverage for property claims to a blanket limit of $75,000,000 per occurrence, with a deductible of $1,000,000 per occurrence. Actual claims not covered by insurance are funded by the affiliated organizations’ contributions and the assets of the loss payment fund. The Diocese is involved in several pending legal matters. In the opinion of the Diocese’s management, the final resolution of these matters will not have a material adverse effect on the Diocese’s financial position. To the extent a liability has been determined, a reserve has been accrued at June 30, 2010 and 2009. Net unrealized gain on investments of $7,934,330 in 2010 and net unrealized loss on investments of $9,953,956 in 2009 are included in net realized and unrealized gains (losses) on investments in the statements of activities. Investment expense of $84,928 and $97,830 for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively, are included in legal and professional fee expense in the statements of activities. These investments are exposed to various risks such as market volatility, interest rate and credit risks. Due to the level of risk associated with investments, it is at least reasonably possible that changes in the values of these securities will occur in the near term and that such changes could materially affect the amounts reported in the statements of financial position.
Medical Fund: The Diocese’s medical benefit plan provides reimbursement for the cost of medical expenses, subject to various limits, for Diocesan clergy and lay employees. The Diocese has obtained insurance coverage for these medical costs. The plan also includes a provision for life insurance benefits of $2,000, plus modest disability and dental benefits for Diocesan clergy. The benefits paid by these funds and the insurance premiums are funded by assessments to the participating organizations. Revenues and expenses for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 and net assets at June 30, 2010 and 2009 for the loss payment fund and the medical fund, which includes the other postretirement benefit obligation costs (see Note 14), are as follows:
5 | Property and Equipment
A summary of property and equipment is as follows:
Continued Notes to Financial Statements | P 25
State of the Diocese
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J anuary 13, 2011 | 25
Diocese of Trenton Chancery Funds | For the Years Ended June 30, 2010 and 2009
Notes to Financial Statements |
Continued from P 24 12 | Endowment Funds In August 2008, new accounting standards for the classification and disclosure of endowments of not-forprofit organizations were issued. The standards provide, among other things, guidance on the net asset classification of donor-restricted endowment funds for a not-for-profit organization that is subject to an enacted version of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act of 2006 (UPMIFA) and requires additional disclosures about an organization’s endowment funds. The state of New Jersey has adopted UPMIFA. The following disclosures are made as required by the new accounting standards. The endowment of the Diocese of Trenton consists of approximately 17 donor-restricted endowment funds established for various purposes. As required by generally accepted accounting principles, net assets associated with endowment funds are classified and reported based on the existence or absence of donor imposed restrictions.
10 | Temporarily Restricted and Permanetly Restricted Assets Temporarily restricted net assets are restricted for the following purposes and amounts:
Management has interpreted New Jersey UPMIFA as requiring the preservation of the fair value of the original gift as of the gift date of the donor-restricted endowment funds absent explicit donor stipulations to the contrary. As a result of this interpretation, the Diocese classifies as permanently restricted net assets (a) the original value of gifts donated to the permanent endowment, (b) the original value of subsequent gifts to the permanent endowment and (C) accumulations to the permanent endowment made in accordance with the direction of the applicable donor gift instrument at the time the accumulation is added to the fund. The remaining portion of the donorrestricted endowment that is not classified in permanently restricted net assets is classified as temporarily restricted net assets until those amounts are appropriated for expenditure by the Diocese in a manner consistent with the standard of prudence prescribed by New Jersey UPMIFA.
In accordance with New Jersey UPMIFA, the Diocese considers the following factors in making a determination to appropriate or accumulate donor-restricted endowment funds, (1) the duration and preservation of the fund (2) the purposes of the Diocese and the donor-restricted endowment fund (3) general economic conditions (4) the possible effect of inflation and deflation (5) the expected total return from income and the appreciation of investments (6) other resources of the Diocese (7) the investment policies of the Diocese Endowment net assets composition by type of fund as of June 30, 2010 is as follows:
Permanently restricted net assets are restricted to investment in perpetuity for the following purposes and amounts:
11 | Net Assets Released from Restriction Net assets were released from donor restrictions by incurring expenses to satisfy the restricted program purposes as follows:
On June 29, 2010 the Diocese established the Catholic Education and Religious Trust (the “Trust”) to support the religious education programs of the Diocese or its Canonical Successor, including catholic elementary and secondary schools, religious education programs, and religious formation programs. As of June 30, 2010, the Diocese committed to transfer the net assets from its Catholic Education Campaign Fund to the Trust. A contribution and corresponding contribution payable of $13,722,202 was reported in the financial statements as of and for the year ended June 30, 2010. During the year ended June 30, 2009, the Diocese contributed $1,087,155 of net assets from its Priests’ Retirement Trust Fund to a charitable trust, Charitable Trust for Aged, Infirm and Disabled Priests, to provide for the need of the Diocese aged, infirm, incapacitated, disabled or needy priests For the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009, amounts were released from restriction for these contributions to the charitable trusts of $13,722,202 and $1,087,155, respectively.
Funds with Deficiencies At times, the fair value of assets associated with individual donor-restricted endowment funds may fall below the level that the donor or New Jersey UPMIFA requires the Diocese to retain as a fund of perpetual duration. There were no such deficiencies of this nature as of June 30, 2010 and 2009. Return Objectives and Risk Parameters The Diocese has adopted investment and spending policies for endowment assets that attempt to provide a predictable stream of funding to programs supported by its endowment while seeking to maintain the purchasing power of the endowment assets. Endowment assets include those assets of donor-restricted funds that the Diocese must hold in perpetuity. The primary long-term management objective is the preservation of principal, both in nominal and real terms. Strategies Employed for Achieving Objectives To satisfy its long-term rate of return objectives, the Diocese relies on a total return strategy in which investment returns are achieved through both capital appreciation (realized and unrealized) and current
Continued Notes to Financial Statements | P 26
State of the Diocese
26 | January 13, 2011
Diocese of Trenton Chancery Funds | For the Years Ended June 30, 2010 and 2009 Continued from P XX 12 | Endowment Funds continued
15 | Functional Expenses
yield (interest and dividends). At a minimum, the investment performance of endowment assets should achieve an annual return of at least inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index [CPI]) plus four (4) percentage points. This should be averaged over rolling three-year periods.
The costs of providing the Diocese’s programs and activities have been summarized on a functional basis below. Accordingly, certain costs have been allocated among the programs and supporting services benefited based on square footage.
Spending Policy and How the Investment Objectives Relate to Spending Policy The Diocese has a spending policy that is primarily demand driven. In determining the amounts appropriated for expenditure, the Diocese considers the accumulated earnings on each of the endowment gifts. In establishing this policy, the Diocese considers the long-term expected return on its endowment. The target spending rate is that which, as part of total return, satisfies these conditions - (a) permits reinvestment of enough total return to preserve the real purchasing power of current funds, (b) permits a level of consistency and stability in the programs of the Diocese, (c) is sustainable over time regardless of periodic variations in the levels required to satisfy (a), and (d) recognizes that circumstances may preclude achievement of all three objectives in any one year.
13 | Pension Costs The total pension and retirement plan expense included in these financial statements was $659,000 and $545,000 for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively.
14 | Other Postretirement Benefit Plans In addition to the Diocese’s defined benefit pension plan, the Diocese sponsors an unfunded defined benefit health care and life insurance benefits plan to retired priests who have been incardinated prior to their 65th birthday and have worked 10 years and attained age 70 while in service with the Diocese. The plan is noncontributory and contains cost-sharing features such as deductibles and coinsurance. The accounting for the plan anticipates future cost-sharing changes to the written plan that are consistent with the Diocese’s expressed intent to increase the cost-sharing annually for the expected general inflation rate for that year. The Diocese’s policy is to fund the cost of medical benefits in amounts determined at the discretion of management. The annual measurement date is June 30 for other postretirement benefits. The following tables provide further information about the Dioceses postretirement benefit plans:
16 | Financial Instruments - Concentrations of Credit Risk As of June 30, 2010 and 2009, the Diocese held financial instruments, which potentially subject it to concentrations of credit risk. The financial instruments consist primarily of checking accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit in excess of federally insured limits. The Diocese has not experienced any losses in such financial instruments. Management believes the Diocese is not exposed to any significant credit risk related to cash and cash equivalents.
17 | Subsequent Events In preparing these financial statements, management has evaluated events and transactions for potential recognition or disclosure through October 29, 2010, the date the financial statements were available to be issued. The Diocese had no significant or material subsequent events through October 29, 2010.
The estimated net loss and prior service cost that will be amortized from changes in unrestricted net assets into net periodic benefit cost in 2011 are $0 and $61,671, respectively. Assumptions: The discount rate used to determine the postretirement benefit cost was 6.25% and 6.5% for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The discount rate used to determine the postretirement benefit obligation was 5.16% and 6.25% for the years ended June 30, 2010 and 2009, respectively. The health care cost trend rates used to measure the expected cost of benefits covered by the plan are as follows: fiscal year 2011 - 8.8%, 2012 - 7.2%, 2013 - 5.6%, 2014 and thereafter - 4.0%. Cash Flows: The Diocese expects to contribute $558,000 to the postretirement benefit plans in the next fiscal year. The following benefits, which reflect expected future service, as appropriate, are expected to be paid for the years ended June 30:
Church of Trenton – Priests, religious and laity from all corners of the diocese gathered in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, for the celebration of the Chrism Mass by Bishop John M. Smith March 29. The Chrism Mass is traditionally celebrated in the diocese on the Monday of Holy Week. Craig Pittelli photo
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The Ordination of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., on July 30, 2010 was an important and historic event in the life of the Church of Trenton. Now, you can own a DVD of the entire Ordination Mass, complete with English and Spanish commentary.
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28 | J anuary 13, 2011
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Diocese is preparing to launch a brand new website Continued from P19 experience. Newcomers who are inquisitive about the Church will find a wealth of educational pieces about Catholicism, introducing them to the faith and inviting them to initiate an ongoing relationship.
Education and Evangelization
“What visitors will find is a site that is very welcoming,” said Terry Ginther, diocesan director of Pastoral Planning and a member of the core team. “They are going to find a site that clearly and simply tells people what the Catholic Diocese of Trenton is all about.” Shannon Jordan, director of the diocesan Office of Development, described the new website with its numerous links, as a “good tool” that will broaden the faith experience of countless Catholics and increase their knowledge of the workings of the Church as well. The website, he said, will create an expansive view of the Church, connecting the dots between the parishes, the diocese, the worldwide communion and Rome. He called that an exciting prospect. “One of the main things about being Catholic is that we are all connected – from the bishop, to the diocese to the parishes, to the national and international Church to Rome. This is going to help people see those connections in real terms. “It will enhance those connections by inviting all the faithful to get more involved in the life of the Church,” Jordan said. Rayanne Bennett, diocesan chief communications officer The website will create and core team member, an expansive view of the described how the process of realignment gave rise to a Church, connecting the new way of thinking about dots between the parishes, how and what the diocese “It became the diocese, the world-wide communicates. increasingly clear how communion and Rome. institutional the content of our existing website was. There were certainly some resources for users, but not presented in an invitational and educational way,” she remarked. Working with diocesan leaders to develop a different approach to communication through the website, Bennett reported that the work has revealed new and exciting opportunities. “Once our directors and coordinators understood the direction we were moving in, they really embraced it and got very focused on making full use of this tool to better reach the people they serve. Bennett continued, “In the process of moving beyond ‘what we do’ and getting into the ‘why’ and the ‘how,’ we were also able to see things that will help us serve the faithful even better in the future.” She believes that the results are compelling. For instance, Bennett said, “Users will be able to find a page on St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton, complete with an explanation of its significance to the diocese, description of its art and architecture and a photo gallery that gives them a visual experience of visiting our Mother Church.” The potential to put together packages like that will really be limitless, Bennett stressed, and she projects ongoing enhancement in the depth and quality of the content.
Regular visitors to the existing diocesan site, created more than a decade ago and enhanced twice over those years, will find functionality greatly improved, said Perry. New visitors to the site should be drawn by its convenience to return, he added. The Blackbaud-created site has a clear format and fast loading pages covering a wide variety of topics from history and demographics to the workings of the 30 plus diocesan offices serving the faithful of 111 parishes in Mercer, Monmouth, Ocean and Burlington counties. Users will be able to access the latest multi-media, information www.Trenton M onitor. com
Sign of the Times – It looks like this youngster is teaching “Sister” how to navigate the website.
and communications technologies as well as current news and ministry/apostolate specific information. The site will also connect with social media sites the diocese or its offices maintain – including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Access to these technologies is geared toward enhancing the ability of visitors to interact with diocesan staff, and find timely and useful resources for living their faith, said Ginther.
Spectrum of Needs
Visitors can tap into a wellspring of information on resources for sharing the Gospel via reflection, prayer, study and media including radio and television programming. Opportunities for prayer and worship run the gamut from parish Mass schedules, to diocesan liturgical events to retreat houses and apostolates, she said. Jordan noted the far reaching scope of the website which will include sections on supporting marriage and family life, respect life, justice and serving those in need. Resources for the separated, divorced and remarried will be available in the near future as will resources to help those who are hurting from problems ranging from addiction to domestic violence to caregiver support and mental health. Users will also be able to explore educational opportunities in the diocese, including Catholic schools, campus ministries and religious education for all age levels and groups. There are sections on how to get directly involved in the works of the diocese by way of financial support for its many programs as well as by sharing their time in advocacy for social justice causes. Over time, Perry noted, the website will evolve to meet emerging needs and offer insight on new trends. In the near future for instance, people will be able to customize the profiles they create so that when they sign on, they’ll be pointed in the direction of the latest updates on topics that interest them. “The site will remember the things you are interested in,” Ginther said. “For instance, if you have registered for a marriage program, the next time you sign-in, you’ll see related topics.” In addition to Ginther, Jordan and Bennett, Perry acknowledged the contributions of the rest of the core team – Kathy Moore, director of the Office of Computer Services, and associate director, Anthony DeLorenzo. Under the direction of chief administrative officer, Anthony Mingarino, the web realignment was also served by the writing contributions of pastoral communications consultant Mary Morrell, and JoLynn Krempecki, associate director of the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Parish Development. Complete with a Spanish version, the realigned dioceseoftrenton. org has been described as a blueprint for equipping the faithful for the challenging times of the 21st. Century. Members of the Catholic community are encouraged to watch for the launch of the new online presence, expected to be a helpful tool for strengthening the sense of community within the diocesan family and empowering the faithful. January 13, 2011 | 29
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Healing Hands of Christ is on the horizon as new Catholic school initiative Continued from P12 which includes ADHD, and “we try to place them into inclusive classes as much as possible. Children with autism who cannot be mainstreamed are in special needs classes.” Dix noted that due to the growing number of special needs students, the parish offers two classes – an evening session for teens that meets every two weeks and the children’s session which meets weekly along with the regular religious education classes. The catechists are usually men and women with special needs certification as well as nurses and teachers. Every year, the catechists are able to update their skills by attending an in-service training that’s led by personnel from COSAC, which
30 | J anuary 13, 2011
is now called Autism New Jersey, special needs teachers and experts from surrounding churches and diocesan staff. Dix noted that in 2007, OLGC was honored by the New Jersey Coalition for Inclusive ministries “as a congregation for their outstanding and creative efforts to support the spiritual lives of people with special needs.” “Our families can expect a welcoming and inclusive support community, religious education for their children and the opportunity to be prepared for sacraments.”
New Initiatives More than anything, Nick and Barbara Conforti desire that there
three children receive a Catholic education. While the couple is happy to send their six-year-old daughter, Joanna, to St. Paul School, Princeton, and their two-year-old son, Chase, is in pre-school in Our Lady of Sorrows School, Mercerville, the challenge they face is finding a Catholic school for their eldest son, Harrison, who has autism. That’s because such an educational structure within the diocesan schools to provide the resources necessary to serve children with autism does not exist. That concept became very apparent to Nick and Barbara last year when they had Harrison enrolled in the religious education program at St. Paul Parish, while Joanna was a kindergartner in the parish school. “We saw how Joanna was coming home filled with the love of the Lord,” said Barbara Conforti. “For the first time, we really saw the difference between a Catholic school education and public school education. Harrison was getting religious education, but it was only once a week and we were saddened by that. We wanted to see if we could find a Catholic school for Harrison to attend.” Autism, which is a complex developmental disability linked to neurological disorders in the brain that typically appears during the first two years of life, affects boys more than girls and is the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States, with reported cases growing at a rate of 10 to 17 percent a year. The Autism Society of America estimates that there are 1.5 million – one in every 150 children – with autism. In New Jersey, statistics show that one of every 94 children in the state is diagnosed with autism, and the four counties of the diocese are included in the 10 counties with the highest reported rate of incidence. Given that there are 830,000 baptized Catholics in the diocese with approximately 100,000 children enrolled in diocesan Catholic schools or parish religious education programs, it is reasonable to estimate that more than 1,000 Catholic children in the diocese are diagnosed with autism. Knowing the need and spurred by their desire for a Catholic education for Harrison, who will turn eight Feb. 1, the Confortis have worked to establish The Healing Hands of Christ Foundation, which strives to provide children with high functioning autism the funding they need to receive a sound and comprehensive
Catholic education. Ultimately, it’s the Confortis’ vision that children sponsored by the foundation will have the opportunity to attend Catholic school with a typical peer mix. Their daily academic and social skills lessons will be taught in self-contained classrooms of six to eight students and there will be opportunities for them to integrate with their peers as able.
"Our families can expect a welcoming and inclusive support community." Since establishing the foundation in 2010, Barbara Conforti said that it had received the approval of Bishop John M. Smith and support from the diocesan Office of Catholic Schools. Money is raised through foundation fundraisers, with the major event being the Healing Hands Cup polo match. Barbara Conforti said that the tentative site for the foundation to pilot the class is being explored in Our Lady of Sorrows School, Mercerville. If the foundation receives sufficient funding, it is hoped that the class will open for the 2011-2012 academic year. Otherwise, they are prepared to wait until the following school year. Donna Bacsik, principal of Our Lady of Sorrows School, looks forward to welcoming the foundation’s classroom in her school and noted that she received approval from Msgr. Thomas N. Gervasio, pastor, and school board members. “First and foremost, I feel these children deserve the love and encouragement that our school would allow them to grow as unique, independent individuals in a spiritual environment,” Bacsik said. “Secondly, I have raised a daughter with multiple disabilities who was never afforded such an opportunity, so the cause is near and dear to my heart. I see this as a moral justice issue,” she continued. “And, thirdly, what an opportunity it will be for our current enrollment to learn about tolerance and respect for individual dignity and differences and to partner with these children as reading buddies or prayer partners at monthly liturgies,” Bacsik said. The Healing Hands of Christ Foundation classroom has great potential and the possibilities of what it could accomplish are “endless,” she said. See CPC | P35 The Monitor
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Increase in Scripture programs stems from people's deep desire to learn about God's Word Continued from P6 a relationship with Jesus. This led to a genuine hunger for Scripture.” Faith sharing, which is considered an exercise of the heart, is an experience of prayerful reflection with Christ at its center. Elements of faith sharing include prayer, sharing, mutual support, learning and mission, and may focus on a particular theme, reflection or document. As time went on, Bursley recounted, faith sharing gave rise to the formation of Scripture sharing groups, in which participants share spontaneously on a particular book of the Bible, often using different methods of prayer and reflection. With its intellectual basis, Bible study is often undertaken through home and classroom study, in addition to parish study groups. In response to the growing interest in Bible studies, the diocese developed the initiative known as “Welcome the Word: God Would Like a Word with YOU!,” which began in what was then the Office of Evangelization and is now situated in the Office of Catechesis. “‘Welcome the Word’ encourages clergy and parishioners alike to become ever more engaged in the scriptures,” said Bursley, who reported that a variety of Bible study programs have been used with great success throughout the diocese. A very well-received Scripturebased faith-sharing program from Loyola Press, “Meeting Christ in Prayer,” has blossomed from a handful of groups participating to more than 20 groups undertaking prayer, faith sharing and an orientation to Scripture reading, modeled on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. There are presently five
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groups engaged in this faith-sharing program at St. David the King Parish, West Windsor.
Word of God – Participation in a Scripture-based program gives participants an opportunity to expand their knowledge and grow in their faith.
The Parish Experience For Mary Neary, director of ministry, Sacred Heart Parish, Riverton, who began parish scripture study with a pre-packaged program, the past five years have been a reaffirmation “that God is amazing!” Neary explained that five years ago she decided to offer a “Wet Your Whistle” Bible study opportunity just to get things rolling and assess parishioners’ needs. She chose an eightweek introductory program to run through the summer, and frequently heard, “You’ll never get anybody to come for eight weeks in the summer!” Undeterred by numbers, she went ahead with the program and was delighted when 30 people signed up. “I was so encouraged!” Neary acknowledged. “There’s a hunger out there. Jesus said, ‘You feed them!’ so we did.” Neary next planned a 24-week Bible Timeline study and was again delighted when a young couple who had been impressed with the first sessions donated all the DVDs for the program. Since then, Bible study at the parish runs four days a week with the help of eight facilitators who Neary indentified and nurtured as Bible study continued. “I try to encourage other people to take more of a leadership role as they go deeper in faith,” she said, noting how proud she was that one young woman who was part of the Bible study program was now training to serve as a coordinator for Adult Faith Formation in the parish. “You have to work with what you have, with who God sends you,”
stressed Neary. “One day God is going to say, ‘I sent them to you. What did you do with who I sent?’” Neary is planning to complement the Bible study programs soon when she pilots RENEW International’s newest resource, “Longing for the Holy.” The book and process is based on “Holy Longing,” written by Oblate Father Ronald Rolheiser, and addresses the implications of the central mysteries of the Catholic faith: the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Eucharist, and the Paschal Mystery. “Longing for the Holy” is also being facilitated at St. Raphael Parish, Hamilton, by Lou Monticchio. In addition to prepared Bible study programs, reported Bursley, parish-originated and parish-led Bible studies have continued to grow and now constitute more than 40 percent of programs being run in the diocese. An apt reflection of this statistic is St. Rose Parish, Belmar, where Deacon Gene Malhame has led a Bible study program for some 17 years. “We began with three or four people. Now we have 19 or 20 participants on a Monday night. Some people have been part of the program for 15 years,
and we added five people this year,” Deacon Malhame said. Using a multifaceted variety of methods, Deacon Malhame has taken participants through the New Testament and the Old Testament and is presently journeying through the parables of the Kingdom. Referring to the past 17 years of Scripture study as a “true blessing,” Deacon Malhame acknowledged, “The love of Scripture has grown, and these people, yearning for more, are my blessings.” As one newcomer to a faithsharing group acknowledged at the close of their program, “I came here because something was missing from my faith life. I was also missing a sense of belonging. “I am leaving here renewed knowing that I am not making this journey alone. I am walking with God and with others who are very much like me. We want to love God and live our faith well, even though we have a lot of challenges in our lives. I am just so happy for the opportunity.” Morrell is a freelance writer and pastoral communications consultant serving the Diocese of Trenton.
January 13, 2011 | 31
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Strategic planning has helped schools adapt to demographic changes Continued from P4 enrollment grew by 40 percent, with 16 new religious communities coming to the diocese to teach the growing numbers of Catholic school students. During the “baby boom,” both public and private schools saw tremendous enrollment growth through the 1960s, with Catholic schools continuing to open or expand to meet the needs of the escalating population. While national trends saw a decline in school enrollment during the '70s and '80s, Catholic schools in the Trenton Diocese were still thriving. When the diocese celebrated its centennial in 1981, there were 60,000 students receiving a Catholic education. By the end of the year, the booming Catholic population was again divided, with four counties being extracted to create the Diocese of Metuchen.
But by the end of the 1980s, a major shift in education was beginning to take shape. Catholic schools nationwide saw their enrollment numbers decrease by more than 50 percent from the peak period of the '60s, as families moved away from the cities where schools had been built and there were fewer children to educate in both the public and private sectors. As early as 1988, the diocese was beginning to assess the status of Catholic education and to anticipate the challenging times ahead. In a pastoral letter on Catholic education that year, Bishop John C. Reiss addressed some of the changes that schools had experienced: a “vast reduction” in the number of religious sisters and As early as 1988, the brothers, the challenge of providdiocese was beginning ing fair salaries for lay teachers and the escalating costs of maintaining to assess the status buildings and keeping equipment of Catholic education up to date. He announced that steps were being taken, including and to anticipate the the development of an education challenging times ahead. task force, to plan for the future and to seek solutions to financial hurdles that were arising. The years that followed, however, brought even more change. The Trenton Diocese, much like the Catholic Church on a national scale, saw changes in the demographics of people in the pews, particularly a rising immigrant population. There was also more economic hardship, as areas that had once been booming industrial centers began to see more poverty in their communities. The changes taking place in society not only impacted Catholic schools. With the baby boomers aging, younger generations waiting longer to have children and families with school-age children making up a smaller percentage of the population, a large number of once-filled public schools have been closed. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 117,108 school districts nationwide in 1939-1940 that provided elementary and secondary education, but by 2006-2007, that number had decreased to 13,862 – an 88 percent decline. During the same time period, the number of public elementary and secondary schools dropped from 247,127 to 98,793. In 2009, New Jersey began consolidating some of the 26 districts that no longer had any open schools. Currently, 13 districts in the state have no remaining schools in operation, while many districts serve dwindling numbers of students. Meanwhile, enrollment in Catholic schools throughout the diocese has continued on a slow decline over the past decade, with total enrollment decreasing by approximately 5,000 students in diocesan and private schools since 2001. The advent of new technologies in the classroom has also had a significant impact on education, and for Catholic schools to remain competitive, they must keep up with public schools in the technology arena. But there’s a high cost involved, and in New Jersey, Catholic schools took a major hit when technology funding for non-public schools was cut from the state budget last year. 32 | J anuary 13, 2011
Wired for Success – Schools in the diocese have maintained the latest advances in technology, using laptop computers, SMART Boards and other new equipment. It has been a challenge, however, to keep up with the costs of buying the latest equipment without placing too heavy a burden on families by raising tuition rates. Craig Pittelli photo
Overall, Catholic schools in the diocese have worked to keep costs reasonable, but the average tuition has increased from $3,482 to $4,146 since 2006. At the same time, however, the average cost of educating a single student jumped from $4,524 to $5,474, creating a wider gap that must be filled by parish subsidies and school fundraising efforts.
In order to address the needs of Catholic schools going forward, Bishop John M. Smith in 2005 began a strategic planning process for the schools of the Diocese of Trenton. With the assistance of Meitler Consultants, Inc., the diocese undertook a thorough study of its schools, the populations they served and their viability, which resulted in some schools being closed or merged with others to form regional schools. The study also led to the publication of a document entitled “Committed to Excellence,” which outlined goals, objectives and action steps in all areas of education, ranging from marketing and enrollment efforts to leadership and governance to academic standards. The document called for all members of the Catholic community, regardless of their involvement with Catholic schools, to recognize their role in helping to support the continuing mission of Catholic education. Schools were called upon to form marketing committees and, with the help of the Catholic Schools Office, to develop detailed plans for recruiting and retaining students. An emphasis was also placed on creating a long-range budget analysis, building capital reserve funds and ensuring the school’s financial stability. An effort has also been made to make families aware that if the cost of Catholic education appears to be a barrier, assistance is available. Eligible families that demonstrate a need are able to receive up to one-half of the cost of tuition through the diocesan tuition assistance program. Funds are contributed for this purpose by parishes that do not currently have schools through the co-sponsorship program. In past years, this fund has provided $600,000 in assistance to elementary school students and $600,000 to high school students. The Foundation for Student Achievement, a fundraising corporation designed to support Catholic education in the diocese, was established in 2007. The foundation offers grants not only for tuition assistance but also for technology enhancement, educational programs and professional development for teachers and staff. In addition to their advantage of providing a values-based education centered in the teachings of the Catholic faith, the schools of the diocese have made a commitment to maintaining high academic standards. The Committed to Excellence document outlined among its objectives the development of diocesan curriculum guidelines, See Catholic | P33 The Monitor
To Know, Love, & Serve God State of the Diocese
Catholic schools remain vital in passing on the faith Continued from P32 which would be continually updated, as well as the annual review of standardized test scores and a commitment to professional development for teachers and administrators. For its elementary schools, the diocese uses the nationally recognized Terra Nova test, with students consistently scoring higher than the national averages in reading, language arts and mathematics. High school students have also exceeded national averages on standardized tests, indicating a high level of academic achievement at all grade levels in the Catholic schools of the diocese. At the same time, a number of public schools have struggled to maintain academic standards and in New Jersey, many have failed to meet Adequate Yearly Progress requirements set forth by the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
Faith-Filled Environment — The hallmark of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Trenton is their distinct Catholic identity, which is seen in every aspect of school life, from lessons in the classroom to the interactions between students. Craig Pittelli photo
Commitment to Faith
Although the academic excellence and safe environment of Catholic schools have attracted some students of other faith backgrounds, 90 percent of those who currently attend Catholic schools in Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth or Ocean County are Catholic. The teaching of the faith is as much a component of all aspects of Catholic education today as it has ever been. Daily prayer, school liturgies, preparation for the sacraments, community service, "Catholic education is education about the Catholic faith and the integration of faithcritically important if based morals and values are all we are going to hand among the ingredients that give each school its distinct Catholic on our Catholic faith identity. not only to the next But even with their proven track record of success, Catholic generation but to the schools still face many challengpresent one as well." es. Populations in the diocese have continued to shift in recent years and the overall economy has struggled, but efforts are ongoing to ensure the long-term viability of Catholic schools. Since becoming diocesan bishop in December, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., has made a firm commitment to ensuring that the legacy of Catholic education continues to remain strong in the Diocese of Trenton. “Catholic education is critically important if we are going to hand on our Catholic faith not only to the next generation but to the present one as well,” Bishop O’Connell wrote in his first letter to the people of the diocese upon becoming bishop. In addition to a new funding initiative aimed at putting increased tuition assistance in the hands of Catholic school families, the bishop has called for the development of new and long-term strategies to boost enrollment and strengthen the financial health of the schools. “We have the vision and the values, we have the curriculum and the committed service of dedicated faculty and staff. What we do not have are the enrollment numbers, the funding and the stability in both these things to easily support the future,” Bishop O'Connell said. “Catholic education must be a concern for us all, regardless of whether or not we have children in our Catholic schools and religious education programs. It is not an exaggeration to say that our future, as Church, depends upon it.” www.Trenton M onitor. com
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CPC information Information sessions on the Office of Catechesis’ upcoming CPC year will be held March 10 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in St. David the King Parish, West Windsor; April 13 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Moorestown;, and May 19 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in the Diocesan Pastoral Center, Lawrenceville. For further information on CPC, call 609-4067400, ext. 5554. To learn more about what the Catholic Church teaches with regard to persons with special needs, check out these following resources: • The Catholic Celiac Society – catholicceliacs.org • CUSA (An Apostolate of People with Chronic Illness &: Disability) – cusan.org • National Apostolate for Inclusion Ministry (NAfIM) – nafim.org • The International Catholic Foundation for the Services of Deaf Persons (ICF) – icfdeafservice.org • National Catholic Office for the Deaf (NCOD) – ncod.org • National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) – ncpd.org • Network of Inclusive Catholic Education (NICE) – http://campus. udayton.edu/ ~ ipi/ For the following resources, use United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) web address – usccbpublishing.org and search for “Disabilities.” 1978 Pastoral Statement 1995 Sacraments for Persons with Disabilities 1998 Welcome and Justice 2003 Opening Doors Parish Guide 2003 Welcoming Parishioners with Disabilities 2008 Diocesan Special Needs Diocesan Resource Director – Department of Education – www. usccb.org/education/fedasst/needs4. pdf) See www.TrentonMonitor.com for additional resource links.
Get 1 year of Newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton, N.J.
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January 13, 2011 | 35
Special Gift So Many Benefits A way to take care of your financial future as you give to others If you are 70 years of age and create a $10,000 Gift Annuity with cash you will receive the following benefits.
Rate of return . . . . . . 5.8% Current sample rates of return – Single life Age Rate Age Rate Age Rate Age Rate Guaranteed 65 5.5% 71 5.9% 77 6.7% 83 7.7% annual income for life $580.00 66 5.5% 72 6.0% 78 6.8% 84 7.9% 67 5.6% 73 6.1% 79 7.0% 85 8.1% Charitable deduction $3,289.23 68 5.7% 74 6.3% 80 7.2% 86 8.3% 69 5.8% 75 6.4% 81 7.4% 87 8.6% Tax free portion . . . . . $422.06 70 5.8% 76 6.5% 82 7.5% 88 to 8.9 to 90+ 9.5% Ordinary income . . . . $157.94 You may also fund a gift annuity with appreciated securities or real estate and owe no capital gains tax.
Please call me. I’d like to set up an appointment to meet with one of your planned giving experts. Please send me information regarding: Gifts of Income Interest Bequests Life Insurance Charitable Remainder Trusts Name: _________________________________________________ DOB___ / ___ /____ Address: ______________________________________________________________ City/State/Zip: ____________________________ Telephone #______________________ Mail to: Diocese of Trenton – Office of Planned Giving 701 Lawrenceville Road, Trenton, NJ 08648
36 | J anuary 13, 2011
2010: A Time of Change and Expectation
To Know, Love, & Serve God
The transition in leadership from Bishop John M. Smith to Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., led the news in 2010, a year in which the diocese experienced growth in ministry, began new traditions, drew banner crowds of faithful to its events, marked milestones and reaped a harvest of recognition for its efforts.
State of the Diocese
The year began on a somber note with Bishop Smith joining dioceses from around the nation in calling for a collection to support the recovery effort for the massive Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti in which more than 300,000 perished. The Haitian Apostolate continued aid efforts throughout the year with parishes and schools to support the people of Haiti.
About 1,000 people from the Trenton Diocese, including many teens and young adults, join an estimated 200,000 + in Washington, D.C. for the 37th annual March for Life. Many others simultaneously show their support for protecting the unborn during the Rally for Life at the State House in Trenton.
Feb. 14 Feb. 21
The fifth annual celebration of World Marriage Day, sponsored by the diocesan Family Life Office, drew a capacity crowd in Spring Lake.
Hundreds of teens from around the diocese attend the Diocesan Youth Celebration 2010, “Communication in Creation” held in Holy Innocents
Bishop Smith welcomed 180 catechumens on their way to entering the Catholic Church during the Rite of Election in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
See Highlights | P38
Standing Up for Life – Diocesan young people by the score attended the March for Life in Washington in 2010, including those above from St. Barnabas Parish, Bayville. Monitor photo by Scott Alessi
Faith Justice Xperience The Diocese of Trenton’s
Work, Pray, Grow, & Share Together What: Plug into various social service agencies in the Trenton area throughout this “sleep away” service immersion opportunity for people 21 and older Where: We’ll stay at La CASA (Convent at St. Ann’s) in Lawrenceville, NJ When: Wednesday, February 16 after 4pm through Sunday, February 20th at 1pm Cost: $250 per person covers all expense Register today or for more information, call 609.406.7410 or email Widian Nicola at email@example.com or Matthew Greeley at firstname.lastname@example.org
An unforgettable experience that will speak volumes in your life for years to come. www.Trenton M onitor. com
January 13, 2011 | 37
To Know, Love, & Serve God
Highlights from 2010
State of the Diocese
April 11 & 18
The Diocesan Catechetical Conference – “Proclaiming Christ to All” is attended by 600+ in Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Bishop’s annual anniversary blessing for those celebrating 25, 50 or more years of marriage draws more than 300 couples to St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
Bishop Smith presides over the 11th annual Blue Mass for Law Enforcement in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral. Young people are encouraged to enliven their faith during the third annual diocesan Hispanic Apostolate gathering, “Atrevete a Seguir a Jesus (Dare to Follow Jesus) in St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Hightstown.
John Boucher, director of the diocesan Office of Evangelization and Parish Development, and wife Therese receive the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership’s “New Wineskins” award for their development of the Christmas Carol Festival. The program, which uses traditional faith-based Christmas songs as an evangelization tool, draws record crowds to parishes in the Advent season.
The diocese hosts the first annual Re:IMAGE Film Festival in Asbury Park, featuring guest speaker John Crowley and screening an array of films containing faith-inspired messages.
May 8 & 15
May is a banner month for ordinations in the diocese with Bishop Smith ordaining 14 men to the permanent diaconate in the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption on May 8 and seven men to the transitional diaconate May 15 in Mary, Mother of God Church, New Monmouth.
The Third Annual Firefighters and Emergency Services Mass is held in St. Benedict Church, Holmdel.
After 22 years as executive director of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, Francis E. Dolan announces his retirement from that position effective March 11, 2011. The Monitor wins seven Catholic Press Awards at the 2010 Catholic Press Association Conference in New Orleans.
Pope Benedict XVI appoints then Vincentian Father David M. O’Connell as coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, to succeed Bishop John M. Smith upon his retirement.
Five men are ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Smith in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral.
Bishop Smith celebrates his 75th birthday, the age at which bishops are required by canon law to submit their resignation.
Bishop Smith, joined by four cardinals and more than 40 bishops and archbishops, ordains Bishop O’Connell to the episcopacy in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton.
Aug. 27- 29
Fifth Annual Hispanic Charismatic Revival in St. Joseph Church, Trenton draws between 600900 each day.
With a new name and a new co-host, the diocesan Hispanic Apostolate’s television show, “Cristo Para Todos” premiers.
Bishop O’Connell succeeds Bishop Smith as 10th Bishop of Trenton upon Pope Benedict XVI’s official acceptance of Bishop Smith’s resignation.
A class of 15 men and women are commissioned as lay ecclesial ministers. 38 | J anuary 13, 2011
Come work out with us on Sunday, March 6th at St. Aloysius Parish in Jackson Where weâ€™ll be exercising our faith with the Sacraments, Scripture and Service! Music with Tony Melendez and the Toe Jam Band Celebration of the Mass with Bishop David Oâ€™Connell High School and Parish groups register with the diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries
Check out the diocesan website for more information www.dioceseoftrenton.org or call us at 609. 406.7410. Join us as we exercise our faith together!
www.Trenton M onitor. com
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Regular Deadline - Jan. 31
Late Deadline - Feb. 18
40 | J anuary 13, 2011
Diocese of Trenton Annual 2011 State of the Diocese