The Shepherd who led his flock for over a decade has been called home.

Retired Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Trenton, John Smith passed away on Tuesday following a lengthy battle with an illness at the age of 83, announced current DOT Bishop David O'Connell.

Smith was bishop of the diocese which overlooks Monmouth, Ocean, Mercer and Burlington Counties from 1997-2010.

Rev. John Mortimer Smith, Bishop Emeritus (2010-2019) was the Ninth Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton (1997-2010), the former Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton (1995-1997), former Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee in Florida (1991-1995) and former Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark (1988-1991).

Bishop Smith died in Morris Hall Meadows, Lawrenceville, after a long illness.

He was born June 23, 1935, in Orange, to Mortimer and Ethel Smith (deceased) and was the oldest of three children with two brothers, the Rev. Andrew Smith, O.S.B., and Gregory Smith (living).

Bishop Smith attended St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, and John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in South Orange in 1955 and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark on May 27, 1961.

A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., then Father Smith obtained his doctorate degree in Canon Law in 1966.

In the Archdiocese of Newark, Father Smith held several positions, among them Assistant Chancellor, Tribunal official, parish priest, Director of the Cursillo Movement and Dean of Bergen County.

In 1971, Father Smith was then named a Monsignor by now-Pope St. Paul VI.

In 1982, Monsignor Smith was appointed to the faculty of the Pontifical North American College in Rome where he served until his return to Newark in 1986.

He was appointed Pastor of St. Mary Parish, in Dumont, and then as the Archdiocese’s Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia.

On December 1, 1987, he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, and was consecrated January 25, 1988.

Bishop Smith was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee on June 25, 1991.

He returned to New Jersey as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton in 1995 where he succeeded the late Bishop John C. Reiss in 1997.

He served as Bishop of Trenton for 13 years until his retirement at age 75 in 2010.

Bishop Smith’s body will be received in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral in Trenton on Friday at 3:00 p.m. and will lie in repose until the celebration of the Mass of Jesus Christ the High Priest at 7:00 p.m.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday at 11:00 a.m.

Bishop Smith will be entombed in the Mausoleum of St. Mary Cemetery in Trenton following the Mass.

*Bishop Smith was beloved by his flock, he had a great sense of humor and had an unmatched love for what he did and for the Lord. He also felt there was a great need to work with youth to help shape them into the future of the church through kindness and love for God and each other.

Here are some other condolences for the late Bishop:

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