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WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has named Vincentian Father David O’Connell, up until now President of The Catholic University of America, coadjutor bishop of Trenton, New Jersey. The appointment was publicized by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States. As coadjutor, Bishop-elect O’Connell will automatically succeed Bishop John M. Smith of Trenton upon his retirement.
David O’Connell was born April 21, 1955, in Philadelphia. He attended St. Joseph Preparatory High School in Princeton, New Jersey. He received a Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Niagara University in New York in 1978 and a Master of Divinity and a Masters in Moral Theology from Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania, in 1981 and 1983, respectively.
He was ordained a priest for the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians) on May 29, 1982, in Northampton.
Assignments after ordination included Director of Student Activities and faculty, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster, Pennsylvania, 1982-1985; Registrar and Assistant Professor of Canon Law, Theology and Philosophy, Mary Immaculate Seminary, 1987-1990; Associate Dean, Sr. John’s University, New York, 1990-1998; and Acting Vice President and Dean, Niagara University, 1994-1998.
Father O’Connell received a Licentiate of Canon Law (J.C.L.) and Doctor of Canon Law (J.C.D.) from The Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1987 and 1990, respectively. From 1998-2010 he served as President of Catholic University. He stepped down at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year.
Bishop-elect O’Connell has also served as an ecclesiastical judge and canonical advisor in numerous dioceses. He is also an advisor to committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and a consultant to the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education.
Bishop John M. Smith has served as bishop of the Diocese of Trenton since 1997. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark in 1961 and will turn 75, the mandatory retirement age for bishops, on June 23.
The Diocese of Trenton has 2,156 square miles. It has a population of 2,019,789 with 783,285, or 39 percent, of them Catholic.
Keywords: Bishop Appointment, Trenton, Coadjutor, The Catholic University of America, David O’Connell
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