David M. O'Connell
|Bishop of Trenton|
|Appointed||June 4, 2010|
|Installed||December 1, 2010|
|Predecessor||John M. Smith|
|Ordination||May 29, 1982|
by Joseph Mark McShea
|Consecration||July 30, 2010|
by John M. Smith, John J. Myers, and Donald Wuerl
|Born||April 21, 1955|
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Residence||Trenton, New Jersey, United States|
|Parents||Arthur J. and June O'Connell|
|Previous post||President of The Catholic University of America (1998–2010)|
|Motto||Ministrare non ministrai|
(To serve and not to be served)
David M. O'Connell
|Spoken style||Your Excellency|
David Michael O'Connell Congregation of the Mission, commonly called the Vincentian Fathers, and a past President of the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is currently the Roman Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey, in the United States.(born April 21, 1955) is a member of the
Early life and education
O'Connell was born in Philadelphia, one of the four sons of Arthur J. and June O'Connell. He was raised in nearby Langhorne, Pennsylvania. Feeling drawn at an early age to the Catholic priesthood, he attended the Vincentian minor seminary, St. Joseph Preparatory High School, in Princeton, New Jersey, and later received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, in 1978. He then studied at Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree (1981) and a Master of Theology degree in Moral Theology (1983).
Ordination and ministry
O'Connell was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Mission by Joseph McShea, Bishop of Allentown, on May 29, 1982, in the chapel of the seminary. His first assignment was as a teacher at Archbishop Wood Catholic High School in Warminster, Pennsylvania, where he also served as Director of Student Activities from 1983 to 1985. He continued his studies at The Catholic University of America School of Canon Law in Washington, DC, receiving a Licentiate of Canon Law in 1987. From 1987 to 1990, he was registrar and an assistant professor of canon law, theology, and philosophy at Mary Immaculate Seminary. He earned a doctorate in canon law from the Catholic University in 1990. He also served as an ecclesiastical judge and canonical consultant to the Diocese of Harrisburg (1987–98), Diocese of Birmingham (1987–93), and Diocese of Scranton (1988–98).
Between 1990 and 1998, O'Connell served at St. John's University in New York City in various capacities. He was associate dean (1990–91) before serving as professor of theology and religious studies, academic dean, and dean of faculty (1991–98). He was also associate vice president from 1995 to 1998, and assistant legal counsel from 1996 to 1998. From 1994 to 1998, he served as Acting Vice President and Dean of Niagara University.
Presidency of the Catholic University of America
He was the 14th President of the Catholic University of America from 1998 until 2010. He also became a Consultor to the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education in 2005 and was appointed as John Joseph Keane University Professor of the university in 2006.
According to the CUA, "He has been a nationally recognized spokesperson for and supporter of Ex Corde Ecclesiae and its full implementation within the Catholic academy." Under O'Connell's tenure, CUA remained under censure by the American Association of University Professors, and O'Connell did not seek to remove this sanction.
In 1998 senior members of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States needed to address new requirements from the Vatican for higher education and a requirement that some educators take an oath of fidelity to these teachings. Although many opposed the oath, O'Connell took the oath on the final day of the conference.
On October 2, 2009 O'Connell announced that he was stepping down as President of the University in August 2010. On June 4, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI named him coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Trenton.
Bishop of Trenton, New Jersey
On June 4, 2010, O'Connell was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton by Pope Benedict XVI. O'Connell received his episcopal consecration on July 30 from John M. Smith, the Bishop of Trenton, with Archbishops John J. Myers and Donald Wuerl serving as co-consecrators, at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption in Trenton. He chose as his episcopal motto: Ministrare non ministrari, meaning, "To serve and not to be served" (Mark 10:45).
As coadjutor bishop, O'Connell automatically succeeded Smith on December 1, 2010, when the Pope accepted the resignation he had already tendered, after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75.
In August 2012, O'Connell was given records showing that a priest of his diocese, Matthew Riedlinger, had exchanged sexually explicit text messages with and tried to set up a meeting with a person he believed to be a 16-year-old boy. O'Connell removed Riedlinger from the parish where he was serving, but did not inform parishioners of the reason for his removal until a year later, when he was informed that The Star-Ledger would be publishing a story on the matter.
- Catholic Church in the United States
- Historical list of the Catholic bishops of the United States
- List of Catholic bishops of the United States
- "Pope Appoints CUA President as Bishop". The Catholic University of America. June 4, 2010.
- "VERY REVEREND DAVID M. O'CONNELL, C.M., J.C.D." (PDF). Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 13, 2010.
- http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-53460466.html Retrieved August 27, 2009.
- "Outgoing Catholic University president to become coadjutor of Trenton". Catholic News Service. June 4, 2010. Archived from the original on June 8, 2010.
- Schmalz, Timothy. "I exposed priest in sexting sting. Now church must reform". NJ.com.
|Catholic Church titles|
John M. Smith
| Bishop of Trenton
| President of the
Catholic University of America
John H. Garvey