My Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We read Jesus’ words in the Gospel of Matthew, “Amen, I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20). Jesus tells us that even the smallest seed of faith – like the tiny mustard seed of the Gospel – can move mountains. But that little seed of faith needs good soil, ample light, plentiful water to take root. No seed can grow – indeed, can move mountains – all alone or without them.
Here in the Diocese of Trenton, generation after generation of Catholics have provided everything necessary for the “mustard seed” of faith to grow and remain strong. No needwas ever too great for us. No opportunity, too negligible. No sacrifice, too much. And no mountain, too high. Our faith has brought us through the twists and turns and joys and sorrows that our lives in the four counties have brought from the very beginning.
Now, as in every successive generation, new seeds of faith have fallen on the good soil of the Diocese of Trenton. But the world looks very different now than it did in the past. And new challenges – new “mountains” – never dreamed of before confront our faith. Can we move them? Only by strengthening the foundation of our Diocese, endowing its ministries so that new generations will hear the Gospel and embrace their faith, touching real lives not with mere words but, rather, with concrete acts of mercy and generosity as Pope Francis daily encourages.
To these ends, after much prayer and extensive conversations, the Diocese of Trenton has embarked upon a new “Endowment Campaign” – the first such effort in over twenty years – not for the sake of bricks and mortar but, rather, for the flesh and blood that make up our community of faith, so much in need of our ministries. We are calling this initiative “Faith to Move Mountains” because that is what we need to do if the faith handed on to us is to endure and grow. Now, more than ever, the mountains loom large. Only your faith and generosity will move them as, together, we continue to believe that “nothing is impossible” with God.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M.
Bishop of Trenton