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
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Paterson
Coat of arms
CountryUnited States
TerritoryNorthern New Jersey: Passaic, Morris, and Sussex Counties
Ecclesiastical provinceMetropolitan Province of Newark
- Catholics
(as of 2004)
420,172 (36.8%)
DenominationRoman Catholic
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedDecember 9, 1937
CathedralCathedral of Saint John the Baptist
Patron saintSS. Patrick and John the Baptist
Current leadership
BishopArthur J. Serratelli
Metropolitan ArchbishopJoseph Tobin
Diocese of Paterson map 1.png

The Diocese of Paterson is a diocese of the Roman Rite of the Latin 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 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.[2][3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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 (Nativity of John the Baptist) and June 30 (The Dedication of the Cathedral Church).

As of 2013, there were 166 diocesan priests, 96 retired priests, 124 religious priests, 136 permanent deacons, 19 retired permanent deacons, 178 male religious and 677 female religious ministering in the diocese, which had a Catholic population of 426,000 out of a total (Catholic and non-Catholic) population of 1,143,500 people.[6][7] At that time, the Diocese of Paterson was the 44th largest U.S. diocese in terms of population.[8]


The following is a list of the Bishops of the Diocese of Paterson and their years of service:

  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–present)

Leadership and Deaneries[edit]



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

The City of Paterson[edit]

St. Michael the Archangel Church on Cianci Street, Paterson

The City of Passaic[edit]

The 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]


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 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).

Allegations of Sex 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.[9] Of the 188 listed, 28 were based in the Diocese of Paterson.[9] 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.[9] One of the priests also served in not only the Archdiocese of Newark, but also in the Diocese of Paterson.[9] By 2020, the names of 40 accused clergy listed were made public.[10] Some were already convicted.[10]

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.[11] Of these 105 claims, 98 were compensated through settlements.[11] The payments also do not involve 459 other sex abuse cases in these dioceses which are still not resolved.[11]

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