Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson

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Diocese of Paterson
Dioecesis Patersonensis
Diocese of Paterson, NJ.jpg
Country United States
Territory Northern New Jersey: Passaic, Morris, and Sussex Counties
Ecclesiastical province Metropolitan Province of Newark
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
420,172 (36.8%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established December 9, 1937
Cathedral Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saint SS. Patrick and John the Baptist
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Metropolitan Archbishop John Joseph Myers
Emeritus Bishops Frank J. Rodimer
Diocese of Paterson map 1.png

The Diocese of Paterson is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, which includes three counties in northern New Jersey: Passaic, Morris, and Sussex. The city of Paterson, third-largest in the state of New Jersey, was chosen as the episcopal see, even though the vast majority of diocesan territory lies west of the city. The diocese is a ceremonial suffragan of the Archdiocese of Newark, and is part of Region III of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[1]

The diocese was established by Pope Pius XI on December 9, 1937, the same day that the Dioceses of Camden, New Jersey and Owensboro, Kentucky were established. The new Diocese of Paterson was created by taking territory formerly part of the (then) Diocese of Newark. Bishop Thomas J. Walsh, the bishop of Newark, was made the Archbishop of a newly elevated Archdiocese of Newark the next day, December 10, 1937.

One week later, Walsh's auxiliary bishop Thomas H. McLaughlin was appointed as the first bishop of Paterson, and the former parish church of St. John the Baptist in Paterson was established as the Diocesan Cathedral.

Patrons of the Diocese of Paterson are St. Patrick and St. John the Baptist. The Proper Feasts for the Diocese of Paterson are March 17 (Feast of St. Patrick), June 24 (The Birthday of St. John the Baptist) and June 30 (The Dedication of the Cathedral Church).

As of 2004, there were 211 diocesan priests, 161 religious priests, 192 permanent deacons, 199 male religious and 816 female religious ministering in the diocese, which had a Catholic population of 420,172 out of a total (Catholic and non-Catholic) population of 1,124,058 people.[2] At that time, the Diocese of Paterson was the 44th largest U.S. diocese in terms of population.[3]


† denotes a bishop who died in office

# Diocesan Bishop Took office Left office Career
1 Thomas Henry McLaughlin, S.T.D.
December 16, 1937 March 17, 1947†
  • Transferred from Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
2 Thomas Aloysius Boland, S.T.D.
June 21, 1947 November 15, 1952
  • transferred from Auxiliary Bishop of Newark, upon being raised to Bishop of Paterson
  • Left when appointed Archbishop of Newark
3 James A. McNulty, D.D.
April 5, 1953 February 12, 1963
4 James Johnston Navagh, LL.D., D.D.
February 12, 1963 October 2, 1965†
5 Lawrence B. Casey, D.D.
March 9, 1966 June 13, 1977†
6 Frank J. Rodimer, J.C.D., D.D.
(born 1927)
February 28, 1978 June 1, 2004
7 Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D.
(born 1944)
June 1, 2004 incumbent
  • transferred from Auxiliary Bishop of Newark

Before the establishment of the Diocese of Paterson, governance over the territory that is now the Diocese of Paterson was exercised by the Ordinaries of Newark from 1853-1937, the Ordinaries of New York from 1808-1853 and the Ordinaries of Baltimore from 1789-1808.

Leadership and Deaneries[edit]

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist



The 111 parishes of the Diocese are split organizationally into twelve deaneries spanning the three counties:

Institutions in the Diocese[edit]


Diocesan High Schools[edit]

Other Catholic High Schools[edit]

Former Diocesan High Schools[edit]

  • Pope Pius XII High School, Passaic (closed at the end of the 1982-1983 academic year)
  • Neumann Prep High School, Wayne (closed at the end of the 1989-1990 academic year)
  • Paul VI Regional High School, Clifton (closed at the end of the 1989-1990 academic year)
  • Paterson Catholic High School, Paterson (closed at the end of the 2009-2010 academic year)

Catholic Hospitals[edit]


Because of its location in Passaic, Morris and Sussex Counties, the Diocese of Paterson contains a wide spectrum of natural landmarks. The Diocese contains the highest portion of the state of New Jersey in the Skylands Region of Sussex County, as well as the largest lake in the state (Lake Hopatcong), the Great Falls of Paterson and the Great Swamp in Morris County. As for man-made landmarks, the Diocese of Paterson contains one of the parishes claiming to be the oldest Catholic parish in the state, namely Saint Joseph Parish in West Milford.

Geographically, the Diocese of Paterson is bordered by four other dioceses: The Archdiocese of Newark (east), the Diocese of Metuchen (south), the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania (west) and the Archdiocese of New York (north).

Books on the Diocese of Paterson[edit]

  • Kupke, Raymond J. "Living Stones: A History of the Church in the Diocese of Paterson." Clifton. 1987

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°54′53.09″N 74°09′46.18″W / 40.9147472°N 74.1628278°W / 40.9147472; -74.1628278