Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen

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Diocese of Metuchen

Dioecesis Metuchenis
St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral - Metuchen 01.JPG
St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral
Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen.svg
Country United States
TerritoryNew Jersey Counties of Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren, New Jersey
Ecclesiastical provinceMetropolitan Province of Newark
Area3,688 km2 (1,424 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
642,000 (42.0%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedNovember 19, 1981, incorporated December 31, 1981
CathedralSaint Francis of Assisi Cathedral
Current leadership
BishopJames F. Checchio
Metropolitan ArchbishopJoseph Tobin
Bishops emeritusPaul Gregory Bootkoski
Diocese of Metuchen map 1.png

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen (Latin: Dioecesis Metuchenis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in New Jersey, centered in the borough of Metuchen. It was erected on November 19, 1981, from the territory of the Diocese of Trenton. The diocese encompasses the New Jersey counties of Middlesex, Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren. The Bishop of Metuchen presides from the Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen.

The diocese counts more than 600,000 Catholics within its purview, distributed across more than one hundred parishes, serviced by 160 priests residing in the diocese, with 100 non-resident priests and 150 deacons assisting. Six hundred religious serve the schools and various organizations throughout the diocese.[citation needed]


In 2006, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the diocese's founding, it began preparations for a synod, the First Synod of the Diocese of Metuchen.


The following is the list of bishops of the diocese and their years of service:

  1. Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1981-1986), appointed Archbishop of Newark and later Archbishop of Washington (Cardinal from 2001-2018), laicized/defrocked 2019.[1]
  2. Edward Thomas Hughes (1986-1997)
  3. Vincent DePaul Breen (1997-2002)
  4. Paul Gregory Bootkoski (2002-2016)
  5. James Francis Checchio (2016–present)[2]

(John Mortimer Fourette Smith was apostolic administrator, 2001-2002.)

High schools[edit]

Full list of schools can be found at

Closed high schools[edit]

Elementary and junior high schools[edit]

Full list of schools can be found at

  • Saint Augustine of Canterbury, Kendall Park - 2016 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence
  • Saint Bartholomew's School, East Brunswick
  • Holy Savior Academy, South Plainfield
  • Saint Ambrose School, Old Bridge
  • Saint Francis Cathedral School, Metuchen - 2017 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Saint Matthias School, Somerset, NJ


A member of the Saint Peter's Healthcare System

Ecclesiastical province[edit]


The official coat of arms is blazoned with Quarterly, Or and Argent, in dexter chief a tongue of fire Gules; in sinister base the letter "M" Azure, crowned Argent; overall a cross Moline Azure. The cross is taken from the arms of the See of Trenton from which the diocese was formed; the tongue of fire refers both to "metachen," Lenni Lenape for firewood, and the descent of the Holy Spirit; the crowned M refers to the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the diocesan patron, founding bishop Theodore McCarrick's arms, and Pope John Paul II's arms. Its four quarters represent the four counties comprising the diocese.

Sex abuse investigation[edit]

On September 26, 2018, it was announced that the Diocese of Metuchen was now one of four American dioceses subject to a sex abuse investigation by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[5] Former Cardinal and Metuchen Bishop Theodore McCarrick served in each Diocese under investigation.[5] On February 13, 2019, all of the Catholic Dioceses based in New Jersey released the names of clergy who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing children since 1940.[6] Of the 188 listed, 11 were based in the Diocese of Metuchen.[6] Archbishop Joseph Cardinal Tobin of Newark, who also leads the ecclesiastical province where the Diocese of Metuchen is based, also acknowledged that the alleged acts of abuse committed by the clergy listed were reported to law enforcement agencies.[6] In December 2019, a new law went into effect across the state of now allowing for more sex abuse victims to file lawsuits.[7][8] As result, McCarrick and convicted priest Romano Ferrero were named in separate sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Metuchen[8][9] Ferraro was laicized by the Vatican and is serving a life sentence in prison.[9] In his lawsuit, James Grien, one of McCarrick's alleged New York victims, accused the Diocese of Metuchen of committing gross negligence by allowing McCarrick, who Grien claimed was a friend of his family,[8] to sexually abuse him after he moved to the area as an adult.[8][10]

By 2020, the names of 18 accused clergy who served in the Diocese of Metuchen were made public.[11] On February 9, 2020, it was reported that all five Catholic dioceses across the state of New Jersey, which includes the Diocese of Metuchen, had paid over $11 million to compensate 105 claims of sex abuse committed by Catholic clergy.[12] Of these 105 claims, 98 were compensated through settlements.[12] The payments also do not involve 459 other sex abuse cases in these dioceses which are still not resolved.[12] The same month, it was revealed that since 2005, the Diocese of Metuchen had worked with the Archdiocese of Newark and Diocese of Trenton in a scheme which involved secretly paying victims of McCarrick.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vatican News,Pope Francis accepts resignation of Cardinal McCarrick "Pope Francis on Saturday accepted the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick...from the cardinalate."
  2. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 08.03.2016". Bollettino (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. March 8, 2016. Retrieved March 8, 2016.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "Saint Peter's Healthcare System | Saint Peter's University Hospital". Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ "Who knew what about former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick?". America Magazine. 2020-02-05. Retrieved 2020-04-19.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°32′32.8″N 74°21′45.96″W / 40.542444°N 74.3627667°W / 40.542444; -74.3627667