The date of the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord has been moved this year from May 21 to May 24 in the five (arch)dioceses across New Jersey.

Traditionally celebrated on the Sixth Thursday of Easter, the Solemnity had been transferred in many other provinces to the Seventh Sunday of Easter over recent years.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., will commemorate the Solemnity with a Mass at 10:30 a.m. in St. Barnabas Church, Bayville. The Mass will be celebrated without a congregation and livestreamed on and It will also be available for viewing after the event.  

The Ascension of the Lord occurred 40 days after Easter, when Jesus, in the sight of his Apostles, ascended bodily into heaven to sit at the right hand of his father. The Ascension is narrated in Mark 16:19 and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, which has a detailed account of Jesus’ farewell to his apostles.

"The Ascension of Jesus into heaven acquaints us with this deeply consoling reality on our journey: in Christ, true God and true man, our humanity was taken to God," Pope Francis explained on this feast day in 2013.

"Christ opened the path to us. He is like a roped guide climbing a mountain who, on reaching the summit, pulls us up to him and leads us to God. If we entrust our life to him, if we let ourselves be guided by him, we are certain to be in safe hands, in the hands of our Saviour, of our Advocate," he said.