It seems that prayer, as a concept, has become a fixture in our everyday communication. People are regularly promising to pray for someone or something, to the point where offering “thoughts and prayers” has even become less meaningful in some circles. Even social media has responded to the popular promise to pray for others by creating a convenient emoji that one can use in response to requests. 

One might wonder why, if all of these people are actually praying as they promise, the world doesn’t look a whole lot different. Never discounting God’s will in all things, we could reasonably conclude that the offer to pray – while a well-intentioned sign of support – may not always materialize into the act of praying.

In fact, it isn’t too often that we actually talk about our practice of prayer. Beyond the prayer that we share at Mass and other gatherings, much of our prayer is personal and private. We don’t make a habit of discussing it, especially if we struggle with it or need some inspiration.

And so we have chosen the topic of PRAYER as our In Focus package for this first issue of The Monitor Magazine. We are pleased to present to our readers the insight and inspiration so generously shared by people from all over the Diocese of Trenton about their prayer lives, starting with our own Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. It is our hope to offer something for everyone – those looking to deepen already active prayer lives as well as those who need help making prayer a regular part of their day or week.

We begin with prayer, but there is much more in this inaugural issue of the magazine. Our newspaper readers will recognize familiar and popular features that we have carried over, but hopefully will notice new elements as well. While this new format has allowed for more engaging designs, we are still a diocesan publication and will continue to bring the members of this community important information they need to know. At the same time, we encourage everyone to go to the website,, where you will find diocesan and other Church-based news, reported in real time.

I cannot commend enough the talent and dedication of the team of people who have worked very hard to create this new publication for the Diocese of Trenton. At the same time, we admit that we are still evolving, and that this is a work in progress. We will continue to refine this magazine and look for new features to bring you with each and every one of our 14 issues this coming year. We encourage you to share your feedback about the magazine, either by email at Monitor-News@DioceseofTrenton, or on our social media sites.

Most importantly, we ask all new readers to subscribe. Any publication of quality requires resources, and your subscription dollars help to make this possible. You can easily subscribe online at or by calling (609) 403-7131.