Clergy lead prayers for healing from abuse scandal in Illinois, N.J.

Scheduled to respond to a Pennsylvania grand jury report that hundreds of priests were accused of the sexual abuse of children and seminarians, a prayer service in Metuchen, N.J., drew people from throughout the diocese for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer, song and reflection.


New Jersey bishop urges people to do more to protect environment

Bishop David M. O'Connell of Trenton, N.J., called on Catholics to examine their consciences and to take important steps to protect the environment during a Mass marking the World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation.

He urged the hundreds of people in attendance "to decide what actions we must take here and now, not when it's too late" during the Mass Sept. 1 at Our Lady Star of the Sea Chapel in the ocean-side community that was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy nearly three years ago.

Family credits strong Catholic education for daughters' career choice

TRENTON, N.J. -- In the parable of the sower, Jesus taught his disciples that God's word must be nurtured to yield a fruitful harvest, words that four members of the Briant family -- sisters -- have taken to heart.

Alison Briant Burley, Ellen Briant Reilly, and Susan and Katelyn Briant are Catholic educators.

Their parents, Doris and Thomas Briant, made sure they all had 12 years of Catholic education, despite the prospect of all that tuition.

"My motivation was to show (our) commitment to Catholic education," Doris said. "We didn't have family vacations, we went to Cape May for the day. You can give up all those trips to Disney World. The benefits you get (from Catholic education) are better than all those trips to wherever."

Doris herself is the product of 12 years of Catholic school. She and Thomas, who became a Catholic when daughter Susan was born, will be married 35 years this September.