Trenton bishop has heart attack in Rome

Bishop David O’Connell’s Roman Experience: Dining with Diocesan Priests

Bishop David O’Connell recently shared a meal in Rome with priests from the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey.

The gathering, which took place on January 3, 2024, included Monsignor Thomas N. Gervasio, Monsignor Sam Sirianni, Father Juan Daniel Peirano, and Father Jean Felicien.

Assisi Pilgrimage: Exploring Basilicas and Spiritual Heritage

During his visit to Assisi, Bishop O’Connell’s itinerary featured exploration of three prominent basilicas: St. Mary of the Angels, St. Francis, and St. Clare.

Additionally, the bishop paid a visit to the Church of St. Mary Major, aiming to witness the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis (1991–2006).

Acutis, an Italian teenager, gained recognition for creating a website documenting Eucharistic miracles and facilitating connections with the Catholic faith for his peers and parents, as reported by, the diocese’s news website.

Spiritual Moments: Prayer at the Tomb of Pope Benedict XVI and Audience with Pope Francis

On a reflective note, Bishop O’Connell devoted time to pray at the tomb of Pope Benedict XVI, who had appointed him as a bishop.

Following this, on Wednesday, the bishop attended a general audience presided over by Pope Francis at the Vatican’s Paul VI Audience Hall.

During this audience, he had the opportunity to greet the pope twice, enhancing the significance of the experience.

Vincentian Connection: Bishop O’Connell’s Affiliation

Bishop David O’Connell is a member of the Congregation of the Mission, commonly known as the Vincentians, named after its founder, St. Vincent de Paul.

This affiliation underscores his commitment to the mission and values associated with the Vincentian order.

Shared Names: A Unique Connection and a Tragic Parallel

In a peculiar twist, Bishop David O’Connell shares both the first and last name with another bishop, Bishop David G. O’Connell (1953–2023).

Unfortunately, the latter, an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles, met a tragic end, having been shot to death in his home in February 2023.

This shared name creates an unusual connection between the two bishops, marked by both spiritual and somber elements.

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