Former Abortionist Dr. Levatino at Virginia Tech University

Check out this video about Former Abortionist Dr. Levatino explains the horrors of abortion while speaking at Virginia Tech. It’s worth the watch!

About Students for Life of America

Students for Life of America (SFLA) is one of the nation's most active pro-life organizations and the largest youth pro-life organization. We are the only national pro-life organization dedicated to training and equipping college, high school, medical, and law school students. Our approach is uniquely effective, and the methods we have developed are a combination of time-tested techniques and cutting-edge technology.

Entering the desert of Lent 2019: These 40 Days

Dear: Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

During the days and weeks of penance that lie ahead -- from Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019 until Holy Thursday, April 18, 2019 -- the Catholic Church throughout the world commemorates the penitential season of Lent. The model Jesus gave us for “these forty days” was his own experience in the desert and the temptations that followed him there where he encountered Satan face to face. And yet, Jesus, there in the desert -- alone, fasting and in intense prayer -- beat back the devil and triumphed over temptation, as strong and as unrelenting as it was throughout those forty days.

We enter the desert of Lent like Jesus, led by the Holy Spirit, to face our devils, our temptations head on. But we are not alone. The Lord Jesus Christ is with us. And so, too, is the Church, the entire community of faith observing Lent. Here is what the Catholic Church in the United States requires of us as baptized Catholics:

The days of FASTING (only one full meal) are Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. No dispensations are granted on these solemn days except for reason of sickness or those provided in canon law below.

All other are Fridays of Lent are days of ABSTINENCE (no meat).

Those between the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to FAST (only one full meal) as above. From the age of 14, people are also obliged to ABSTAIN (no meat: this obligation prohibits the eating of meat, but not eggs, milk products or condiments of any kind, even though made from animal fat).

The obligation to observe the laws of fast and abstinence is a serious one for Catholics. Failure to observe one penitential day in itself is not considered a serious sin. It is the failure to observe any penitential days at all, or a substantial number of penitential days, that must be considered serious.

The obligation, the privilege really, of receiving the Eucharist at least once a year --- often called “Easter duty” -- for those in the state of grace should still be fulfilled during the period from the First Sunday of Lent, March 9th-10th to Trinity Sunday, June 15th-16th. However, the Church’s law does permit this precept to be fulfilled at another time during the year when there is a just cause.

I want to encourage Catholics to go to confession and to make use of the sacrifices and traditions that have always been part of our Lenten practices in the Church.

We do, indeed, fast and pray with the Lord Jesus and with our fellow Catholics. May this Lent be a time of penance leading to grace and joy for us all at Easter.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton

Journey through Lent

Dear Parishioners,

We are called find and nurture a personal relationship with Christ and to deepen our faith, come closer to Christ, and to bring Christ to others. The Pope has spoken often of the “new evangelization” and bringing back to the Church those who have strayed. But it starts within each of us.

We at the parish may be new to the idea of small groups. We are ready to begin a new small group series called Journey through Lent. This is a six week program that will help us deepen our observance of Lent. If you have ever found yourself wanting to do something special for Lent but not know what it is, this program may be the answer. Giving up sweets is great. But how do we achieve spiritual growth this Lent in an intentional way?

This is how Journey through Lent comes in. This is a chance to do something about what we hear about every year. This is a chance to revive in our hearts the true spirit of the season of Lent- the spirit of anticipating, expecting, longing for, the Resurrection of Jesus. This is a chance to share our faith in a comfortable situation so that we can be prepared to be part of the “new evangelization” and speak about our faith, as our Pope says, to our places of work, our families, and friends. For some, this is a daunting thought. Yet, we are called to do it! It is up to each of us.

The groups meet on Sunday afternoon and Wednesday evenings. We will meet for six weeks beginning the week of March 10. Each session is ninety minutes in length. Each session will contain prayer and scripture, faith sharing and an invitation to put our faith into action. The materials are free.

I invite you to say yes to God. Sign-up sheets will be available in the Bulletin. Please return them before March 6th. Groups begin the week of March 10. If you have any questions, please call me at Deacon Somma at 908-433-4741.

Look forward to sharing with you and have a great Lent!

Father Lopez
Deacon Johnson
Deacon Somma

Diocesan family gathers in prayer to remember Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith

Faithful from throughout the Diocese of Trenton and beyond gathered Jan. 25 and 26 to bid farewell to Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton. Bishop Smith, 83, passed away after a long illness in Morris Hall Meadows, Lawrenceville, the morning of Jan. 22.

A Rite of Reception of the Body was held in the afternoon, Jan. 25. Later that same day, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was principal celebrant of a Mass of Jesus Christ the Eternal High Priest at 7 p.m. Msgr. Lewis Papera, a priest of the Newark Archdiocese and longtime friend of Bishop Smith, served as homilist.

On Jan. 26, hundreds of people gathered for the Mass of Christian Burial, with Bishop O’Connell serving as principal celebrant. More than 100 priests concelebrated the Mass, which was also attended by visiting bishops from around the Province of Newark and beyond, and deacons and seminarians from the Diocese of Trenton. Msgr. Joseph Rosie, pastor of St. Paul Parish, Princeton, and former priest secretary serving under Bishop Smith, was the homilist. Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark conducted the Final Commendation.

In his column for The Monitor , Bishop O’Connell reflected on the life Bishop Smith, writing:

The passing of Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith at the age of 83 leaves an empty place in the Diocese he served as bishop for 13 years. The local Church he loved to call the “Great Diocese of Trenton” mourns the death of this “great” priest and bishop.

He will be fondly remembered for his great sense of humor and engaging personality, witnessed so often during his tenure and pastoral ministry throughout the Diocese’s four counties. He fittingly chose as his episcopal motto “Serve the Lord with Gladness” from Psalm 100.

You can read Bishop O’Connell’s full remembrance on Bishop Smith here.

The Monitor has also compiled a profile of Bishop Smith and the pastoral work he performed throughout his time as a priest and bishop. To read this article, click here.

For news and photographic coverage by The Monitor of the Funeral Rites for Bishop Smith, click here.

Early coverage of Bishop Smith’s death was published in the Jan. 24 print edition of The Monitor. A full coverage package will follow in the Feb. 7 issue.

A message from Bishop O’Connell

A message from Bishop O’Connell on the death of Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith

It is my sad duty to announce the death on Jan. 22, 2019 of the Most Rev. John Mortimer Smith, Bishop Emeritus (2010-2019) and Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton (1997-2010), former Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton (1995-1997), former Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Florida (1991-1995) and former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark (1988-1991). Bishop Smith died in Morris Hall Meadows, Lawrenceville, after a long illness. He was 83 years old.

Born June 23, 1935, in Orange, to Mortimer and Ethel Smith, both now deceased, Bishop Smith was the oldest of three children with two brothers, the Rev. Andrew Smith, O.S.B., and Gregory Smith. Bishop Smith attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, and John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange in 1955 and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark on May 27, 1961. A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., Father Smith obtained a doctorate in Canon Law in 1966.

In the Archdiocese of Newark, Father Smith held several positions, among them Assistant Chancellor, Tribunal official, parish priest, Director of the Cursillo Movement and Dean of Bergen County. In 1971, Father Smith was named a Monsignor by now-Pope St. Paul VI.

In 1982, Monsignor Smith was appointed to the faculty of the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he served until his return to Newark in 1986. He was appointed Pastor of St. Mary Parish, Dumont, and, later, as the Archdiocese’s Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. On Dec. 1, 1987, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, and was consecrated Jan. 25, 1988.

Bishop Smith was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on June 25, 1991. He returned to New Jersey as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton in 1995 where he succeeded the late Bishop John C. Reiss In 1997. He served as Bishop of Trenton for 13 years until his retirement at age 75 in 2010.

Bishop Smith is survived by his two brothers.

Bishop Smith’s body will be received in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton on Friday, Jan. 25 at 3 p.m. and will lie in repose until the celebration of the Mass of Jesus Christ the High Priest at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. Bishop Smith will be entombed in the Mausoleum of St. Mary Cemetery in Trenton following the Mass.

May he rest in peace.

Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton

Bishop releases respect life message

We must always bring ‘life to light’

I have said it before and I say it again. There is one thing we all have in common, my brothers and sisters. Regardless of our race or place of natural origin; regardless of our religion or absence of it; regardless of our age or status or station in life: God gave us the gift of life which our mothers carried until the day of our birth. We were allowed to live!

Every human being who has ever walked the face of this earth shares that one thing in common. And from the moment of our conception until the day of our natural death, we celebrate with gratitude our God-given right to life. Nothing is more fundamental and more precious than that one basic human right.

We must remain conscious of and vigilant about this basic human right, we must remain committed to that basic human right in the face of those who seek to deny that basic human right to the most vulnerable in our society: the unborn child in the womb.

There are those --- our fellow human beings who themselves possess and enjoy that basic human right thanks to the God who gave them life, thanks to their mothers who decided that they should have it --- there are those, our fellow human beings who seek with everything in their power to deny that basic human right to life to children in the womb because the Supreme Court of the United States made it possible through their infamous decision “Roe v. Wade” 46 years ago, the beginning of a “national nightmare” that continues to this present day.

Nightmares, however --- although terrifying --- are not real. “Roe v. Wade” is very real. Since its pronouncement in 1973, over 53 million legal abortions have occurred in the United States --- that is, over 53 million human lives! For our perspective, that number is larger than the population of any state in our country. “Roe v. Wade” was and ever remains a one of the darkest days in the history of our nation. And other nations were quick to follow.

Thomas Jefferson said it well: “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government (“Address to the Republicans of Washington County, Maryland,” March 31, 1809).”

The basic human right to life is not simply a religious right as some often suggest, no. It is a basic human right without which no other human rights can be, no other human rights can exist, no other human rights can prevail no matter how clever or deceptive we may disguise our opposition.

We who are religious, however, we who are people of faith, who believe in God who created us, embrace that basic human right to life in the deepest parts of our very being first, as humans, and right behind that, as Catholics and people of faith.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis, as his predecessors before him, has spoken clearly:

Human life is sacred and inviolable. Every civil right is based on the recognition of the first, fundamental right, the right to life, which is not subject to any condition, of a qualitative, economic and certainly not of an ideological nature (Pope Francis, “Address to the Italian Movement for Life,” April 11, 2014).

It is “necessary,” he continued,

… to reaffirm our solid opposition to any direct offense against life, especially when innocent and defenseless, and the unborn child in its mother's womb is the quintessence of innocence. Let us remember the words of Vatican Council II: 'Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.’

Less than a month ago, Christians everywhere celebrated the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, long anticipated in the writings of the prophets of old. We believe that Christ was/is the plan of God for us and so he entered and assumed our humanity! And he did so to save us from our sins, to save us from ourselves and the human judgments and decisions we make --- human judgments and decisions against human life, human judgments and decisions against Christ, human judgments and decisions for death.

Jesus’ own words, “I have come that you may have life (John 10:10),” Jesus’ own reason for being, must become our own as his followers. They are the banner we carry as we “March for Life;” they are the banner we will lift high in this Diocese, in Washington, DC, and throughout the world this January.

“Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel (2 Timothy 1:10).” We must continue to bring “life to light” in every choice we make, every decision we uphold, every right we claim and affirm as human beings not only on January 18 or January 22, but every day!

Light pierces darkness; death gives way to life. Christ’s light is love. And love saves lives.

There will always be those who mock or denigrate us; those who ridicule or seek to dismiss us as “culture warriors” though warriors against a culture we may be: a “culture of death;” those who try to shame us as “anti-woman” in the name of so-called “reproductive rights” or “rights over their own bodies.” Much more is at stake than their opposition.

As Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, I call upon all parishes and all the faithful to join thousands of our Catholic sisters and brothers throughout the country to pray for the respect of human life during the “9 Days for Life” sponsored again by the United States Conference of Bishops, January 14 through 22, 2019 (

It is in Jesus’ name that we pray as we prepare to go on our “March for Life,” that we pray for the most vulnerable at the beginning of human life “unique from day one” and for the legal protection of the unborn. We cannot surrender to the “culture of death” in our nation, not for one day more.

The Pope Video For January

The Pope Prayer Intentions This Month

Let us pray that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.

Pope Francis – January 2019

You young people have, in the Virgin Mary, a reason for joy and a source of inspiration.
Take advantage of the World Youth Day in Panama to contemplate Christ together with Mary. We will pray the Rosary together for peace, each of us in our own language.
And ask for strength to dream and to work for peace.
Let us pray that young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.