The Catholic University of America

June 4, 2010

Bishop Smith on the Appointment of CUA President as Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton

The following statement was delivered by Most Reverend John M. Smith, Bishop of Trenton, at a news conference today announcing the appointment of Very Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M. as Coadjutor Bishop-elect of Trenton.

When the Holy Father’s personal representative to the United States, Archbishop
Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio, informed me that Pope Benedict XVI had appointed the
Very Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M. as Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton, I instantly
knew that the future of the Diocese of Trenton would be in good and capable hands. A
Coadjutor bishop comes to a diocese with the right of succession. That is he
automatically becomes the bishop of the diocese upon the death or retirement of his
predecessor. Coadjutor Bishop-elect David M. O’Connell will succeed me as Bishop of
Trenton when the Holy Father accepts my resignation. Church law regulates that a
bishop must submit his resignation to the Holy Father on his seventy fifth birthday. The
Pope then decides when the resignation will be accepted and become effective. By God’s
good grace and love, I will be seventy five on June 23 of this year 2010.

How blessed the Diocese of Trenton is to receive as coadjutor bishop, a priest of
David O’Connell’s experience, scholastic depth, pastoral sensitivity and national
reputation. A member of the Eastern province of the Congregation of the Missions ( the
Vincentians) Coadjutor Bishop-elect O’Connell stepped down this year after completing
twelve years as the very successful President of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Many throughout the Diocese of Trenton have connections with The Catholic
University of America and many more may already know Coadjutor Bishop elect
O’Connell through his many appearances on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf
Blitzer”, ABC’s “Nightline”, PBS’s Newshour with Jim Lehrer, and National Public
Radio’s “The Diane Rehm Show.”

His Episcopal Ordination will take place at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the
Assumption on Friday, July 30, 2010.

As Coadjutor Bishop-elect David O’Connell prepares to assume his new and
awesome responsibilities in the Diocese of Trenton, I know that he will be supported by
your prayers and soon come to experience your love for Christ, His Church, the
priesthood and be touched by your warm welcoming hearts. How grateful we all are to
our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for his gift to us of a new distinguished and holy


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