Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson

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Diocese of Paterson

Dioecesis Patersonensis
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - Paterson, New Jersey.jpg
Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.svg
CountryUnited States
TerritoryNorthern New Jersey: Passaic, Morris, and Sussex Counties
Ecclesiastical provinceMetropolitan Province of Newark
- Catholics (including non-members)
(as of 2004)
420,172 (36.8%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedDecember 9, 1937
CathedralCathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saintSs. Patrick and John the Baptist
Current leadership
BishopKevin J. Sweeney
Bishops emeritusArthur J. Serratelli
Diocese of Paterson map 1.png

The Diocese of Paterson is a Latin Church ecclesiastical territory or diocese of the Catholic Church in the United States that encompasses Passaic, Morris, and Sussex counties in northern New Jersey. Most of this territory lies to the west of the episcopal see in Paterson. As of 2013, there were 166 active diocesan priests, 96 retired priests, 124 religious priests, 136 permanent deacons, 19 retired permanent deacons, 178 male religious and 677 female religious to serve a 426,000 Catholics out of a total population of 1,143,500,[1][2] ranking the 44th among Catholic population of dioceses in the United States.[3] The patrons of the diocese are St. Patrick and St. John the Baptist, and its proper feasts are the Feast of St. Patrick (17 March), the Nativity of John the Baptist (24 June), the anniversary of the dedication of the cathedral church (30 June). The diocese is a suffragan diocese in the ecclesiastical province of the metropolitan Archdiocese of Newark, and is part of Region III of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.[4]


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.[5][2] 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.[6]

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.[2]

Sexual abuse[edit]

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.[7] Of the 188 listed, 28 were based in the Diocese of Paterson.[7] Newark archbishop, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who leads the ecclesiastical province where the Diocese of Paterson is based, also acknowledged that the alleged acts of abuse committed by the clergy listed were reported to law enforcement agencies.[7] One of the priests also served in not only the Archdiocese of Newark, but also in the Diocese of Paterson.[7] By 2020, the names of 40 accused clergy listed were made public.[8] Some were already convicted.[8]

On February 9, 2020, it was reported that all five Catholic dioceses across the state of New Jersey, which includes the Diocese of Paterson, had paid over $11 million compensate 105 claims of sex abuse committed by Catholic clergy. Of these 105 claims, 98 were compensated through settlements. The payments also do not involve 459 other sex abuse cases in these dioceses which are still not resolved.[9]

On April 28, 2020, the Diocese of Paterson revealed that notorious "predator priest" James Hanley died earlier in the week.[10] Admitting to sexually abusing numerous children while serving in the Diocese, Hanley was defrocked in 2003.[10] In 2004, the Diocese of Paterson settled lawsuits from 21 of Hanley's victims for approximately $5 million.[10] Despite not having a criminal conviction for sex abuse, Hanley did later serve a year in jail after being convicted in 2006 for unlawfully possessing a weapon in a motel.[10][11] In December 2019, more accusers of Hanley filed new lawsuits against the Diocese of Paterson.[12][11]

On August 10, 2020, former Bishop of Paterson Frank Rodimer's decision to approve of the Vatican naming Archdiocese of Newark Auxiliary Bishop Arthur Serratelli as his successor came under criticism, due to revelations that he had learned about sex abuse allegations facing Serratelli's former Newark superior, ArchBishop Theodore McCarrick.[13] It was also revealed that a Diocese of Paterson official had informed Rodimer at the time of allegations that McCarrick had sexually abuses boys at his beach house and that Rodimer then claimed to the official that he would contact the Vatican's U.S. representatives.[13] Serratelli, who Complicit Clergy described as McCarrick's "creation," has also been accused of promoting and protecting "predators"[14] On December 1, 2020, it was revealed that the Archdiocese of Newark was among more than 230 sex abuse lawsuits filed within a period of one year against New Jersey Catholic Dioceses.[15]


Bishops of Paterson[edit]

  1. Thomas Henry McLaughlin (1937–1947)
  2. Thomas Aloysius Boland (1947–1952), appointed Archbishop of Newark
  3. James A. McNulty (1953–1963), appointed Bishop of Buffalo
  4. James Johnston Navagh (1963–1965)
  5. Lawrence B. Casey (1966–1977)
  6. Frank Joseph Rodimer (1978–2004)
  7. Arthur J. Serratelli (2004–2020)
  8. Kevin J. Sweeney (2020–present)

Leadership and deaneries[edit]


  • Diocesan bishop: The Most Reverend Kevin J. Sweeney
  • Vicar general and Moderator of the Curia:
    • Msgr. James T. Mahoney
    • The Rev. Michael Parisi
  • Judicial vicars:
    • Msgr. Edward J. Kurtyka, P.A., judicial vicar
    • Msgr. Joseph Anginoli, adjutant judicial vicar
  • Episcopal vicars:
    • The Rev. Stanley Barron, Vicar for Education
    • The Rev. Hernan Arias, Vicar for Pastoral Administration
    • The Rev. Paul Manning, Vicar for Evangelization
  • Chancellor and Delegate for Religious: Sr. Joan Healy, S.C.C.
  • Vice chancellor and priest-secretary to the bishop: The Rev. Stephen Prisk
  • Vice Chancellor for Urban Ministry and Planning: Sr. Catherine McDonnell, O.P.


The 109 parishes of the diocese are split organizationally into twelve deaneries spanning the three counties:

City of Paterson[edit]

St. Michael the Archangel Church on Cianci Street, Paterson

City of Passaic[edit]

City of Clifton[edit]

Mid-Passaic County[edit]

Northern Passaic County[edit]

Eastern Morris County[edit]

Northeastern Morris County[edit]

N.B. Our Lady of Fatima Traditional Latin Mass Chapel, located in Pequannock, is not considered a parish of the Diocese of Paterson. Instead, it is a chapel of ease administered by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Northern Morris County[edit]

Southeastern Morris County[edit]

Southwestern Morris County[edit]

Western Morris County[edit]

Sussex County[edit]

Institutions in the diocese[edit]

Educational institutions[edit]

Tertiary education
Diocesan high schools
Other Catholic high schools
Former diocesan high schools
  • Pope Pius XII High School, Passaic (closed at the end of the 1982-1983 academic year)
  • Neumann Preparatory 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 about the diocese[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