Manuel Aurelio Cruz

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Manuel Aurelio Cruz
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
Titular Bishop of Gaguari
Archdiocese Newark
Appointed June 9, 2008
Installed September 8, 2008
Other posts Titular Bishop of Gaguari
Ordination May 31, 1980
by Peter Leo Gerety
Consecration September 8, 2008
by John Joseph Myers, Peter Leo Gerety, and David Arias Pérez
Rank Titular Bishop of Gaguari
Personal details
Born (1953-12-02) December 2, 1953 (age 63)
Havana, Cuba
Denomination Roman Catholic
Occupation University professor
Previous post Vice President of Mission and Ministry for Catholic Health and Human Services
Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Pastoral Care
Chaplain of His Holiness
Parochial Vicar of Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart
Member of the Archdiocesan Vocations Committee
Parochial Vicar of Holy Rosary Church, Elizabeth, NJ
Alma mater Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology
Styles of
Manuel Aurelio Cruz
Coat of arms of Manuel Aurelio Cruz.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Manuel Aurelio Cruz (born December 2, 1953) is a Cuban American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who serves as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was appointed to the position by Pope Benedict XVI on June 9, 2008.


Manuel Aurelio Cruz was born in Havana, Cuba on December 2, 1953[1] to Juan and Caridad Cruz. He fled to the United States with his parents in 1966 to escape the revolution, living in Florida before settling in Union City, New Jersey. In his youth, he spent eight years as a member of the emergency room staff at Saint James Hospital in Newark. He attended Seton Hall University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Arts in Sacred Scripture. He studied for the priesthood at the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology.

Cruz was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark on May 31, 1980. He was the first Cuban-born priest ordained in the Archdiocese. Following his ordination, Cruz served as parochial vicar at Holy Rosary Parish in Elizabeth, New Jersey. In 1982, he was appointed a parochial vicar at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey.[2] In 1986, he was appointed to the Archdiocesan Vocations Committee by then Archbishop Theodore Edgar McCarrick. He served as Dean of Deanery from 1991 to 1993. In 2000, Pope John Paul II bestowed upon Cruz the honorary title Chaplain of His Holiness, with the title Monsignor.

Since 1995, Cruz has been a faculty member in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the New Jersey Medical School. In 2005, Archbishop John J. Myers named Cruz vice president for Mission and Ministry for Catholic Health and Human Services. Cruz has served on the Institutional Review Board of various New Jersey hospitals, the ethics committee of Saint Michael's Medical Center, and the New Jersey Catholic Conference's Committee on Ethics.

On June 9, 2008, Cruz was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Newark and Titular Bishop of Gaguari by Pope Benedict XVI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 8 from Archbishop John Myers, with Archbishop Peter Gerety and Bishop David Arias Pérez, OAR, serving as co-consecrators.

Cruz choose a single word for his motto: Caritas. His coat of arms is composed of a shield and a scroll with his motto and external ornamentation. "Caritas," the Latin word for charity, is the mission toward which Cruz has directed his work, especially via his pastoral mission in the healthcare. Cruz’s arms, which occupy the entire shield, are composed of a silver field on which is placed a red Latin cross and is completed by external ornamentation.


On January 29, 2017 during an afternoon service at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, New Jersey, one of the churchgoers approached Cruz on the altar and punched him in the face, knocking him on the ground. Police on the scene immediately apprehended the perpetrator. The assailant has been identified as Charles Miller, aged 48 and a citizen of Newark. Miller, who had no criminal history prior to the attack, was charged with simple assault by the Essex Sheriff's County. On the other hand, several of Cruz's teeth had reportedly been loosened in the attack, which resulted in 30 stitches on his mouth.

The Mass was intended to be a commemoration for the late MLB player Roberto Clemente.[3][4]


  1. ^ Bishop Manuel Aurelio Cruz
  2. ^ Baldour
  3. ^ Thompson, Brian (28 January 2017). "Auxiliary Bishop Punched in Face During NJ Mass: Deputies". New York City: NBC. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Newark Bishop Opens Up Following Brutal Attack In The Middle Of Mass". New York City: CBS News. 30 January 2017. Retrieved 31 January 2017. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark