The Catholic University of America

June 4, 2010

Pope Appoints CUA President as Bishop

 
 
   Bishop-elect David M. O'Connell, C.M.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI announced today that he has appointed Very Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of The Catholic University of America, as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey. As coadjutor bishop, Bishop-elect O’Connell will automatically succeed the current bishop of Trenton, Most Reverend John Mortimer Smith, when Pope Benedict accepts his resignation as required by canon law at a date yet to be determined. He will turn 75 in June. Bishop-elect O’Connell will become the tenth bishop of Trenton.
 
Bishop-elect O’Connell holds a licentiate (1987) and a doctorate (1990) in canon law from The Catholic University of America, with a specialization in Catholic higher education. Bishop Smith is also a double-alumnus of CUA, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in theology in 1961 and a doctorate in canon law in 1966.
 
“I am deeply humbled by the Holy Father’s confidence in me and feel extraordinarily grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve the Church,” remarked CUA’s 14th president. “I am especially delighted by this assignment to Trenton, an area very close to my family home in Langhorne, Pa. Bishop Smith is a wonderful bishop and I look forward to the opportunity to work closely with and to learn from him.”
 
The Diocese of Trenton has a population of approximately 805,000 Catholics with 113 parishes, extending across central New Jersey. Trenton is also the state capital.
 
   Related Links
 

> Videos of the news conference announcing the appointment

> Text of Father O'Connell's statement

> Father O'Connell's Tribute Website

> Statement by Washington, D.C., Archbishop Wuerl

> Statement by Trenton Bishop Smith

> Statement by Newark Archbishop Myers

Bishop-elect O’Connell is a Vincentian priest, a member of the Eastern province of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul. He has chosen as his episcopal motto “Ministrare non ministrari,” the Latin text of St. Mark’s Gospel (10: 45) meaning “to serve and not to be served.” Bishop-elect O’Connell explained, “This was the text used at Mass during my ordination as a priest. It hit me in such a powerful way that I never forgot it.”
 
His episcopal ordination will take place in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton on July 30, 2010, at 2 p.m. He has asked Bishop Smith to be his consecrator, assisted by co-consecrators Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey’s metropolitan archbishop, and Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, chancellor of The Catholic University of America.