Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
It's never easy to ask people for financial support, no matter how good or worthy the cause. You would think that, by now, I'd be used to it, given that I've had a lot of practice here as Bishop and during my many years as a university president. In both cases, I believed deeply in the reasons prompting my asking people for help. In the university, however, there was a regular revenue stream to support the activities of the institution, never enough of course. In the Diocese, most of our activities and operations depend primarily upon the kindness and generosity of the faithful we try to serve without a regular source of revenue to offset steadily increasing expenses.
As your Bishop, I have tried to be a watchful, careful steward. I turn to you once again, as I do every year at this time, to seek your help so that the Diocese, in turn, can serve you and so many faithful throughout the four counties. It would be much harder to do this if I didn't believe so deeply in what we do in the Diocese. The goals and the vision that supports them are, simply stated, handing on the Gospel and our Catholic faith through the Church's ministries --- what the Church calls "evangelization."
Every generous contribution and sacrifice made by you to the Annual Catholic Appeal strengthens the ability of Diocese to preach, live and witness to the Gospel of Christ in word AND in action. If that means something to you as a Catholic, I invite you to be generous once again as you have been before. The longer I am your Bishop, the clearer it becomes that real evangelization can only take place with God's grace and your involvement.
It is said that Pope St. John Paul II told us "what to do;" Pope Benedict XVI told us "why;" and Pope Francis tells us "just do it!" Can you, will you help me?
Gratefully yours in Christ,
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton