TRENTON, NJ - The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York City, Washington and central Pennsylvania took a heavy toll on Catholics in the Diocese of Trenton as it did all Americans across the nation. 

But the fall of the Twin Towers was particularly devastating in parish communities of the diocese whose memberships included a significant number of New York City commuters. It was determined that some 160 persons who lived within the four counties of the diocese – Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean Counties – lost their lives in the attack, many of them hailing from Catholic parishes.

In remembrance of the lives lost, and in the spirit of forgiveness and healing, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. will lead the diocesan observance and commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the noon Mass, Sept. 11, in Mary, Mother of God Church, New Monmouth.

In a message to be delivered as a homily during the Mass, Bishop O’Connell will focus on the Gospel call to forgiveness.  The bishop writes, “It is not just time that heals all wounds --- whether 10 or 50 years have passed. Some things we will never forget but it is only forgiveness that brings healing to our wounds, even those that leave a scar.  And it is healing that brings hope, even when terror threatens us still.” 

Following the Mass, the bishop will conduct a blessing of a memorial located on the parish grounds and dedicated to the terrorist attack victims.

The diocesan observance is but one of dozens of Masses and special services planned by parishes and other Catholic organizations for this 10th anniversary weekend around the four counties.  For a listing of some of these planned events, go to

A listing of remembrances, collected from Catholics in the diocese, will also be posted to and printed in the Sept. 15 issue of the diocesan newspaper, The Monitor. 

For information on the diocesan observance in Mary, Mother of God Church, call 732-671-0071.