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Vatican Announces New Leader For Paterson NJ Diocese, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
Posted on 06/01/2004 2:18:54 PM PDT by Coleus
For the last quarter century, Bishop Frank Rodimer has been the head of the Paterson Diocese. He has been a popular bishop. However, there have been some recent sex abuse scandals involving priests. Today, he will be replaced.
The Paterson Diocese serves 377,000 Catholics in Morris, Sussex and Passaic counties. For 26 years, it has been run by Bishop Frank Rodimer. But today, he is expected to be replaced by Arthur Serratelli, currently Vicar General, the number two position, in the Newark Archdiocese. The 60-year old Serratelli is highly regarded as smart, low-key and informal.
For Bishop Rodimer, his final days in power have been troubled ones marked by numerous allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
Last month, the Vatican ordered the diocese to conduct a church trial for a retired monsignor accused of molesting two girls, 23 years ago.
Another priest is facing trial for molesting a teenager in the 1960s.
And in the worst case in the state, more than a dozen people have accused the former Reverend James Hanley of molesting them as children at Saint Joseph's Church in Mendham.
Rodimer has said he underestimated the seriousness of those charges until it was too late to prosecute. He is 76-years-old which is one year past the mandatory retirement age so the announcement is not completely unexpected. The formal announcement is expected today at 11:00 a.m.
Expected choice for bishop is a professor at Seton Hall
Saturday, May 29, 2004
BY JEFF DIAMANT Star-Ledger Staff
The Roman Catholic diocese of Paterson is likely to announce Tuesday that its next bishop will be Arthur J. Serratelli, now an auxiliary bishop in the Newark archdiocese, a church source said yesterday.
Serratelli, 60, a native of Newark's Ironbound neighborhood, is the Newark archdiocese's vicar general -- its second-highest position -- and has been a respected professor of sacred scripture at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University.
He could not be reached for comment yesterday, and no one would publicly confirm his naming as Paterson bishop. Appointments of bishops come from the Vatican and are kept secret until the last minute.
But a church source requesting anonymity said yesterday that Serratelli is expected to be named to the position. Earlier in the day, Paterson diocese officials announced a press conference for Tuesday morning at St. John the Baptist Cathedral for "a significant announcement about the future of the Paterson Diocese."
Serratelli has long been rumored as a candidate for the position.
"He's very bright. He's a very low-key personality, and informal," said Monsignor Robert Wister, a church historian at Seton Hall University and a former classmate of Serratelli's at Seton Hall and in Rome. "He's a serious person with a very good sense of humor."
Serratelli's ascension to the Paterson post would end the 26-year tenure of Bishop Frank Rodimer, a popular man.
Rodimer, 76, sent his retirement letter to Rome in October 2002 when he turned 75, the church's mandatory retirement age, but Pope John Paul II delayed accepting it.
The Paterson Diocese is home to New Jersey's most notorious case in the clergy sex abuse scandal. At St. Joseph's in Mendham, more than a dozen people accused the former Rev. James Hanley of having molested them as children.
Rodimer's reputation as a fair-minded and pastoral bishop was tarnished by the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Catholic church.
The diocese forced Hanley to retire in 1988, but it was not until last year that Hanley was removed from the priesthood. Rodimer has acknowledged he underestimated the seriousness of the allegations until it was too late to prosecute.
Buddy Cotton, head of the New Jersey chapter of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, said he had a positive experience with Serratelli in 2002.
Cotton, a victim of Hanley, said he had left an angry message on Serratelli's answering machine after another Newark archdiocese official refused to give him basic information about an accused priest, information Cotton wanted in his capacity as a SNAP official.
"(Serratelli) called me back and he calmed me down and said, 'Buddy, you're doing important work, what are your questions?' Then I asked the questions and he gave me all the answers."
"I'm looking forward to Serratelli being equally cooperative as the seventh bishop of Paterson," Cotton said.
Born in 1944, Serratelli was an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and graduated from Seton Hall Prep and Seton Hall's seminary, where he majored in philosophy.
He was ordained in 1968, and served at St. Anthony's in Belleville from 1969-70 before joining the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary to teach systematic theology.
In the mid-1970s, he studied in Rome at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He received a licentiate degree in sacred scripture from the Biblical Institute, and a doctor in sacred theology from the Gregorian University.
The scriptural studies degree, Wister said, is "a very rarely given degree because it is so difficult to achieve, because you have to study Middle Eastern languages like Ugaritic, Aramaic, Hebrew and Syriac."
Serratelli also taught at the Institute of Religious Studies in the Archdiocese of New York and served on Seton Hall's sexual harassment committee. In 1997, he became rector of St. Andrew's College Seminary.
A week ago, Serratelli returned from a 10-day tour of Greece and Turkey, where he led a program for seminarians and priests called "In the Footsteps of St. Paul," visiting sites mentioned in the Bible as missionary journeys of the apostle Paul, Wister said.
Other former Newark auxiliary bishops who went on to lead other dioceses include Nicholas DiMarzio, who became head of the Camden diocese in 1999. Paul Bootkoski, also a former Newark vicar general, was named in 2001 to lead Metuchen's diocese. And John Smith was named in 1991 to lead the Pensacola-Tallahassee, Fla., diocese, and then, in 1997, the Trenton diocese.
"This has been the rumor for a year," Wister said of Serratelli's expected appointment. "Every two weeks we'd hear it's going to happen."Jeff Diamant covers religion. You can reach him at email@example.com or (973) 392-1547.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: arthurjserratelli; arthurserratelli; bishop; bishopserratelli; catholiclist; dioceseofpaterson; johnpaulii; paterson; patersondiocese; serratelli; vatican
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Let't hope the Holy Spirit guides the bishop and the laity in the right direction. All they have to do is pray and let the spirit in to guide them.
He's being very tactful. Remember he has to look at Rodimer for quite a while since he's going to be retired and living about 20 miles away in the diocese.
Rodimer was very reticent when it was time to repudiate the pro-abortion politicians in the diocese and I just hope the new bishop does his job.
posted on 06/02/2004 7:17:08 PM PDT
(Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
New Jersey Native Named to Lead Diocese, Saying Altar Isn't a 'Place of Confrontation'
By ROBERT HANLEY
Published: June 2, 2004
PATERSON, N.J., June 1 - The Vatican has selected a biblical scholar who grew up in Newark and became a seminary professor and skilled speaker as the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.
The appointment of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, 60, as successor to Bishop Frank J. Rodimer, the head of the three-county diocese for 27 years, was formally announced here on Tuesday at the seat of the diocese, St. John the Baptist Cathedral.
Bishop Rodimer, who is 77 and submitted his retirement papers to the Vatican in 2002, said he was delighted that Pope John Paul II has chosen Bishop Serratelli to replace him.
"He's a wonderful priest, he's a scholar, and he's down-to-earth," Bishop Rodimer said. "He loves people, he loves the Lord Jesus, and he loves the Gospel."
After his installation, scheduled for July 6, Bishop Serratelli will preside over a small but diverse northern New Jersey diocese that includes about 388,000 Catholics in 111 parishes. The diocese includes the poverty-stricken cities of Paterson and Passaic in Passaic County, the middle-class and wealthy suburbs in Morris County and the rural and farming communities in Sussex County.
Although his career in the church has focused on scholarship and teaching, Bishop Serratelli has served for the last two years as the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Newark, the highest-ranking post under Archbishop John J. Myers. Earlier, he was an auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese for two years.
During a news conference at the cathedral, he seemed to offer a moderate voice to a recent tempest in New Jersey over church doctrine, including its opposition to abortion. Archbishop Myers, in a pastoral letter about a month ago, said Roman Catholic elected officials who support abortion rights should spare the church "scandal" by not receiving communion at Masses.
Two other New Jersey bishops have personally criticized Gov. James E. McGreevey, a Catholic and former altar boy. One, Bishop John Smith, head of the Trenton diocese, said Mr. McGreevey was "not a devout Catholic'' because he publicly supported abortion rights. The other, Bishop Joseph A. Galante, the new head of the Camden diocese, said in early May that he would not let Mr. McGreevey receive communion at his installation ceremony because the governor had remarried after his divorce without receiving an annulment from the church.
Bishop Serratelli was asked if he favored denying communion to Catholic officeholders who support the right to abortion. He said that a committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was studying that matter and that it would be premature to offer his views. But he added, "I have a sense, and it's only a personal sense, that most bishops are not thinking of making the altar a place of confrontation."
Arthur Serratelli graduated from Seton Hall University in 1965 and was ordained a priest in Rome in 1968. A year later, he received a degree in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. In 1976, he received another degree, this one in Scripture, from the Biblical Institute in Rome. In 1977, he received a doctorate in theology from Gregorian.
He spent 27 years teaching Scripture and biblical languages, including Hebrew and Greek, at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall. He is chairman of a committee in the bishop's conference that is reviewing biblical translations.
For more than a quarter-century he has also served as a weekend assistant and said regular Sunday Mass at the Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Franklin Lakes, N.J. "He's just an incredibly gifted homilist," said Msgr. Tom McDade, a former pastor at the church.
Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
posted on 06/02/2004 8:16:54 PM PDT
The Paterson Diocese rejoices in welcoming its new spiritual leader and shepherd - - who has been named as the Seventh Bishop of our diocese.
The Diocese of Paterson includes the three counties of Passaic, Morris, and Sussex in northern New Jersey. The diocese is blessed with urban, suburban, and rural parishes. Our parishes, schools, agencies, hospitals, and ministries help to serve the 377,000 Catholics who live in the diocese. We are committed to building a community which is truly Catholic, united in our adherence to the faith handed down through the ages from the apostles. We invite you to learn more about our community of faith. We offer our services to those in need, and for those who wish to serve, we offer many opportunities.
|A New Bishop for Paterson
The Paterson Diocese this week rejoiced in welcoming its new spiritual leader and shepherd - Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli - who has already forged a close relationship with his new diocese.
|And So It All Begins - Again
Now that my time as Bishop of Paterson has come to an end, I can joyfully and hopefully repeat what I said at the start: "And so it all begins!" This time, however, I say it with my successor foremost in mind: Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, the seventh Bishop of Paterson.
|Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D
"And now I am most happy at the call of our Holy Father Pope John Paul II - to whom I am deeply grateful for the trust he places in me - I am most happy to make my home along the banks of the Passaic and to give my heart and life to this Bride of Christ, the Church of Paterson."
|Statement Of Bishop Rodimer
Statement of Bishop Frank Rodimer on the appointment of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli as the seventh Bishop of Paterson, June 2004.
posted on 06/07/2004 8:24:20 PM PDT
(God gave us the right to life and self preservation and a right to defend ourselves and families)
And So It All Begins - Again
June 1, 2004
Some may recall that on February 28, 1978, the day I was ordained the sixth Bishop of Paterson, I used the words St. Thomas More was quoted as speaking in Robert Bolt's A Man For All Seasons: "And so it all begins." Actually, Thomas More was said to have spoken those words, as he was about to take the final steps in his legal battle with Henry VIII and undergo his own inevitable martyrdom.
It was in no such context that I used the great saint's poignant words twenty-six years ago. I wanted to express my openness to God's will, to be sure, but I did so in the context of hope for the Church of Paterson, of joy in beginning a new chapter in the ongoing story of this fascinating three-county diocese, and of my desire to make whatever contribution I could as Jesus' and the people's "unworthy servant." That is what I have confessed myself to be in every Mass I've offered within the diocese as principal celebrant since that day. And I've said those words out of conviction and not just because the words are included in the Sacramentary's Eucharistic Prayers.
I recall thinking that it was important to begin with an optimism based on the conviction that the Lord is in charge, that the Holy Spirit dwells within a very human Church and within each of its very human members, and that when we work together with Christ, he will bless our efforts and often work wonders even when those efforts are not all they should be.
I also recall saying or at least thinking that there was no point back then in predicting precisely what those efforts would produce. It became obvious soon enough, however, that goal setting along with long range and short range planning were needed, and I must say that many priests and people in our parishes and our diocesan offices are especially gifted in this area.
Some people are more visionary - they dream of things and say let's go for it. Others are more practical - they weigh the options and figure out the ways to get things done. Some are dauntless; others are cautious. I have been blessed with the input of priests and people who have many varied gifts and ideas, and if I didn't come across as appreciating them all - even if there was no way I could fulfill them all - the fault is mine, not theirs.
Now that my time as Bishop of Paterson has come to an end, I can joyfully and hopefully repeat what I said at the start: "And so it all begins!" This time, however, I say it with my successor foremost in mind: Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, the seventh Bishop of Paterson. I am most grateful to Almighty God for inspiring our Holy Father Pope John Paul II and everyone who had anything to do with bringing Bishop Arthur's name to the Holy Father's attention. No matter who they were, it was the Successor of Saint Peter who gave the nod and at the same time gave the Church of Paterson an outstanding shepherd.
It's pro forma, I suppose, to speak positively about one's successor, but I mean it when I say that "our Bishop Arthur" as I along with all the priests in the diocese will refer to him within Mass once he is officially installed, is a good priest, a brilliant scholar, a humble down-to-earth bishop who will be right at home in Paterson in no time. In fact, he has been "right at home" here for some time. He has assisted in one of our parishes for many years. Imagine that!, a bishop from outside the diocese, though, of course, from a diocese right next door, who has helped out in one of our Passaic parishes. Such things don't happen very often.
Bishop Serratelli has had an influence on the lives and spirituality of more people in the Diocese of Paterson than even he knows through the priests of our diocese whom he has directed and has taught in his Scripture and Theology courses in the seminary. Now he is to be the teacher in Jesus' name of all the Church of Paterson's members.
Archbishop Montalvo in confirming the Holy Father's acceptance of my "resignation from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Paterson" and the appointment of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli to the same See, assured me of his "prayers for many years of good health for continued service in the Church." I hope for that, too, and I'm open to what the Lord has in mind for me. It will be different. For one thing, I've been going to the office for 50 years, but I've also had a multitude of opportunities to make pastoral visits and to celebrate many Liturgies and special events in our Cathedral and all the other parishes, in schools and religious houses, and in such places as chapels, camps and cemeteries, hospitals and homes, sacred shrines and blocked off streets.
Will I miss all this? Not, I think, if I have "good health for continued service in the Church," in whatever way the Lord plans. Most retired people I know say the one thing they don't miss is the pressure such as I feel every week when I know my article for the Beacon is about due.
Perhaps I've said more about myself than I should have. What I want more than anything else is for Bishop Serratelli to feel welcome, and to know that I am happy not only for him as he takes over as the Pastor of a wonderful Diocese, but also for the faithful members of the diocese including people with all kinds of backgrounds and gifts - religious men and women, priests, deacons and seminarians.
We have been given a good bishop who knows and loves Jesus and his Gospel message. He also knows and loves the call he has received to proclaim it.
And so it all begins - again!
A New Bishop for Paterson
By Michael Wojcik
PATERSON - The Paterson Diocese this week rejoiced in welcoming its new spiritual leader and shepherd - Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli - who has already forged a close relationship with his new diocese.
At a press conference Tuesday, June 1 at St. John's Cathedral here to announce that Pope John Paul II¹s choice for Paterson's new bishop, Bishop Serratelli said, "I am most happy to make my home along the banks of the Passaic and to give my heart and life to this Bride of Christ: the Church of Paterson." During late morning press conference, which attracted media form the metropolitan area, Bishop Rodimer - who has been spiritual leader of the Paterson Diocese for 26 years - announced that Pope John Paul II had accepted his resignation. He submitted it, as required by canon law, on his 75th birthday, Oct. 25, 2002.
"When I heard that the next bishop would be Bishop Serratelli, I was delighted," said Bishop Rodimer. "I knew what a good bishop he will be." Bishop Serratelli¹s installation as the seventh bishop of Paterson is scheduled for Tuesday, July 6, at the cathedral.
In retirement, Bishop Rodimer said he plans to "spend more time in the temple in prayer. As I am able, I will continue to be of service to the Lord and the Church, especially with the shortage of priests." He also plans to teach this summer at the College of St. Elizabeth, Convent Station, and spend more time with his Morris County-based family, notably his brother John, one of his golfing partners.
A Scripture scholar, Bishop Serratelli, 60, was appointed auxiliary bishop of Newark in 2000. Bishop Serratelli has already cultivated a bond with the people of the Paterson Diocese when he was assisting on weekends at St.Anthony of Padua Parish, Passaic, in 1994.
"I always felt at home in Paterson, and now I'm delighted to be officially part of diocese," said the new bishop, who, in the Newark Archdiocese, was serving as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, Essex County regional bishop and as rector of St. Andrew's College Seminary at Immaculate Conception Seminary, at Seton Hall University, South Orange, among numerous other positions.
"The people of St. Anthony's are open and lively. They have taken ownership of their parish and give themselves to their parish," said Bishop Serratelli, a Newark native, who also remarked about the considerable growth of the Hispanic parish. Today, church services are vibrant and well attended, the sign of "strength of good parish," he said.
During the press conference, Bishop Serratelli also noted that, in the Paterson Diocese, "The people are many and rich in cultural diversity² and reside in three counties - Passaic, Sussex and Morris - that are an exciting mix of urban, suburban and rural communities."
"I look forward to service as bishop, priest and apostle of the Gospel for the people throughout the Paterson Diocese," said Bishop Serratelli, who has taught Scripture at several seminaries in the area.
"The Paterson Diocese is blessed with dedicated and talented priests who are committed, zealous and religious 9 many of whom I know personally. And there is a strong presence of many religious communities here. With a powerhouse of people like that, the diocese will continue to grow." Fitting with the multiculturalism of the diocese, Bishop Serratelli speaks several languages, including Portuguese, French, Italian and Spanish, which he learned 15 years ago when he traveled to the Dominican Republic.
Head of the Paterson Diocese since 1978, Bishop Rodimer said during the press conference, "I'm happy with my successor. He loves people, the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ - just what we needed." A priest for 53 years, Bishop Rodimer called Paterson a "compact diocese" of 360,000 Catholics - much smaller than Newark Archdiocese's 1.3 million Catholics. Serving a large and ever-growing Spanish-speaking population, the parishes of the diocese have experienced some major expansion over the years, he said.
"I am most grateful to Almighty God for inspiring our Holy Father Pope John Paul II and everyone who had anything to do with bringing Bishop Arthur's name to the Holy Father's attention," Bishop Rodimer said in an official statement. "No matter who they were, it was the Successor of Saint Peter who gave the nod and, at the same time, gave the Church of Paterson an outstanding shepherd." Having learned about the appointment of the diocese's new bishop from Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, apostolic nuncio. Bishop Rodimer called Bishop Serratelli a "good priest, a brilliant scholar and a humble down-to-earth bishop who will be right at home in Paterson in no time." Bishop Rodimer acknowledged the new bishop's service to the St. Anthony¹s community and added: "Bishop Serratelli has had an influence on the lives and spirituality of more people in the Diocese of Paterson than even he knows through the priests of our diocese he has directed and has taught in his Scripture courses in the seminary." Archbishop John Myers of Newark offered his congratulations to Bishop Serratelli, with whom he has been a friend since seminary days.
"Bishop Serratelli moves a short distance to his new diocese, but he will always be close to all of us in the Archdiocese of Newark who know and love him," the archbishop said. "This will be especially true for those with whom he shared his knowledge and love for Holy Scripture both as a professor and in his preaching and conferences. "May the Lord grant him continued good health and length of days." During his more than 30-year ministry in academia, Bishop Serratelli has been a systematic theology professor and Biblical studies professor at Immaculate Conception Seminary and a Biblical studies professor at Mount St. Alphonsus, Esophus, N.Y., in the EPS Program at Trinity College, Washington, D.C.; for the Paterson Diocesan Diaconate program; and in New York Archdiocesan Religious Studies.
He also has taught at St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, N.Y.; Fordham University, N.Y. and at St. Michael College, Vermont. The new bishop was a doctoral thesis mentor for the Graduate Theological Foundation in Donaldson, Ind.
Bishop Serratelli earned a master's degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome; a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; and another doctorate in sacred theology form the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Ordained in Rome in 1968 at St. Peter's Basilica, Bishop Serratelli was born on April 18, 1944 to Eva (Fasolino) and the late Pio D. Serratelli. His sister, Carolyn Serratelli Distatsio, is married and has three children and four grandchildren.
As a child, Bishop Serratelli attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, Newark. He went on to Seton Hall Preparatory School and then Seton Hall University, where he studied philosophy.
For the Newark Archdiocese, Bishop Serratelli's assignments also included: parochial vicar of St. Anthony Parish, Belleville; weekend assistant at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Franklin Lakes; Vicar for Ministries and Vicar General for the Apostolates. He also served on Newark's College of Consultors, Finance Council, Presbyteral Council and Priestly Vocations Board.
In 1998, Pope John Paul II named then-Father Serratelli a Prelate of Honor with the title of monsignor. In 2000, the pope named him as an auxiliary bishop of Newark. At the time, the new bishop adopted the motto is "To live is Christ" from St. Paul¹s Letter to the Philippians, 1:21, which reads: "For me to live is Christ. To die is gain." During his long ministry, Bishop Serratelli has served on numerous boards and committees for the Seton Hall, N.J. Catholic Conference, Immaculate Conception Seminary and the Board of Trustees, Assumption College, Mendham. With the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops, Paterson's new bishop has been on the following committees: Committee on American College of Louvain, Member (Region III); Committee on Doctrine, Member; Ad hoc Committee for the Review of the Catechism, Member; Ad hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations, Chairman; Ad hoc Committee for the Spanish Bible for the Church in America, member; Committee for Women in the Church and in Society, member; Task Group on Children and the Liturgy, member; and Task Force for the Review of the Lectionary, member.
"May I in some small way measure up to Bishop Rodimer¹s stature especially evangelizing youth," he said at the press conference.
As to the National Review Board and the priest abuse scandal, the new bishop said he would review the Paterson Diocesan policies - which are in line with U.S. bishops' guidelines.
"We must safeguard youth and children, despite failures of the past," he said. "The bishops should listen to laity. The Church must always be reformed. Spirit leads us the right way. The role of bishop as shepherd is to call people to unity of faith and charity." Upon hearing the news, Lucy Colletti - a parishioner of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Pequannock and active Columbiette - said, "I am thrilled about the announcement. I like the idea that he is soft spoken and such a learned man. As an Italian-American I am also delighted that a fellow Italian American has become the leader of our diocese." Joseph Duffy, diocesan secretary of Catholic Charities Secretariat and executive director of Catholic Charities and Family Services, noted that as a Scripture scholar, the new bishop's leadership will be rooted in Scripture message of Jesus. Msgr. Mark Giordani, cathedral rector, recalled that his connection to Bishop Serratelli was through the visits he made as a fellow priest to Father Hernan Arias, at that time a parochial vicar at the cathedral.
Father Arias, now pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, Passaic, had maintained his friendship with the future bishop after having been his student as a seminarian at Immaculate Conception, Msgr. Giordani called the new bishop a "deeply spiritual, great preacher and Scripture scholar." Msgr. Giordani has heard the new bishop give retreats and talks on Scripture that he called "inspiring." "Bishop Serratelli is down to earth, approachable and sensitive to people's needs," the rector said.
Among those commenting on Bishop Serratelli was Gerald M. Costello, founding editor of the Beacon and later of Catholic New York, the newspaper of the newspaper of the New York Archdiocese. Costello recalled that following his retirement from Catholic New York he had taken several Scripture courses taught by Bishop Serratelli at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University.
"He was a very engaging teacher, obviously very knowledgeable, of course, but more than that, he made the study of Old Testament Scriptures very lively. He made these things come alive," said Costello. "The classes were small, mostly seminarians with just a few lay people like myself, and he always made us feel completely welcome." In his Beacon column this week, Bishop Rodimer, "I wanted to express my openness to God's will, to be sure, but I did so in the context of hope for the Church of Paterson, of joy in beginning a new chapter in the ongoing story of this fascinating three-county diocese, and of my desire to make whatever contribution I could as Jesus' and the people's "unworthy servant."
After hearing the news about Father Serratelli's appointment, Father Hernan Arias, pastor of St. Anthony's, Passaic, said his parish is "overjoyed." "The people here feel he is one of their own," said Arias, who first met the bishop in 1981; Bishop Serratelli taught Scripture to Father Arias, who is also the diocese's assistant director of vocations, at Immaculate Conception Seminary.
"After I was ordained, we started to become good friends and since then, we have traveled all over the place together - on vacations, on pilgrimages we organized," said Father Arias who noted that the bishop has "helped out" at St. Anthony¹s for 12 years. "He is very much a part of my family now, as I am of his family." St. Anthony's, Father Arias said, is an open and diverse parish - Hispanics, Filipinos, Italian-Americans and now Caribbeans.
"He reaches out to everybody, relates well to everybody and is very comfortable with everybody," Father Arias of Bishop Serratelli. "He is a city man. He loves the city, which is why he loves to come here." Father Arias noted the bishop's ability to communicate in Spanish and his fluency in Italian, as well of the fact that he speaks French and is "learning Portuguese." "And he taught Greek and Hebrew at the seminary. He has a great ear for languages," said Father Arias.
During the press conference, Bishop Serratelli also commented on other challenges that face the current Church: the challenge of preaching Gospel clearly, yet compassionately; the challenge of strengthening family life in our society; and challenge of promoting vocations among the young. The new bishop said that evangelizing young is among his goals as shepherd of Paterson.
"Bishop Rodimer has admirably and wisely shepherded this diocese in the renewal and growth called for by the Second Vatican Council," Bishop Serratelli said. "And now I am most happy at the call of our Holy Father Pole John Paul II to whom I am deeply grateful for the trust he places in me." At a meeting of the diocesan College of Consultors on the afternoon of June 1, Bishop Rodimer was elected as diocesan administrator until the installation of Bishop Serratelli as the seventh bishop of Paterson on Tuesday, July 6.
Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D
Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli
was born in Newark, New Jersey on April 8, 1944, the son of Eva Fasolino and the late Pio Serratelli. He has a sister Carolyn, who is married to Donald Distasio, The Distasio's have three children Patrick, Donald and Diane Pia - and four grandchildren Arber, Breanne, Joseph and Alexander.
Bishop Serratelli attended Ann Street School in Newark and completed his grammar school education at Our Lady of Ml. Carmel, Newark. He attended Seton Hall Preparatory School and Seton Hall University in South Orange. He studied for two years at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington and then at the North American College in Rome. While in Rome, he did his theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University and Scripture Studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Seton Hall University in 1965 a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in 1969 a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Biblical Institute in 1976, and a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian University in 1977.
Ordained to the priesthood in St. Peter's Basilica by Bishop Francis Reh on December 20, 1968, Bishop Serratelli served for one year as parochial vicar at St. Anthony's, Belleville. He taught Systematic Theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary for two years and then returned to Rome for higher studies. From 1977 until 2002 he taught Sacred Scripture and biblical languages at the seminary. He was Rector of St. Andrew's College Seminary at Seton Hall University from 1997-2000.
He also taught at the Redemptorist Seminary in Esopus, New York; St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York; the Institute of Religious Studies, Archdiocese of New York; and the lay ministry program of the Educational Program Service of Trinity College. Washington. Bishop Serratelli has been active in giving retreats to priests and religious, diocesan convocations and lectures throughout the United States. Since 1977, he has been weekend assistant in Most Blessed Sacrament parish, Franklin Lakes, and has also served in Holy Family, Nutley and Saint Anthony's, Passaic.
His Holiness, Pope John Paul II named him a Prelate of Honor in 1998. His appointment as Titular Bishop of Encra and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark was announced on July 3. 2000. His Episcopal Ordination was celebrated on September 8, 2000. He was appointed Vicar for Ministries, Regional Bishop of Essex County, and Vicar General for the Apostolates shortly thereafter. In March 2002, he was appointed Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Newark.
As a member of the USCCB in Washington, be serves as chairman of the Ad hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations and is a member of the following: Task Group on Liturgy with Children, Task Farce for the Review of the Lectionary, Ad hoc Committee fur the Review of the Catechism, Ad hoc Committee for the Spanish Bible for the Church in America, Committee on Doctrine, Committee on the American College of Louvain, and Committee for Women in the Church and Society. In addition. he is a member of the following: Board of Bishops of the New Jersey Catholic Conference; Board of Trustees at Assumption College, Mendham, NJ; Board of Trustees at Seton Hall University and Board of Overseers at Immaculate Conception Seminary. In the Archdiocese of Newark, he is a member of the following: College of Consultors, Commission for the Men's Apostolate, Finance Council, Presbyteral Council, and the Priestly Vocations Board.
Memberships and Curriculum Vitae
Memberships and Curriculum Vitae
Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D.
Prelate of Honor
|Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome
Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome
Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Archdiocese of Newark
Auxiliary Bishop of Newark
|Parochial Vicar, St. Anthony's Parish, Bellville, NJ
Weekend Assistant, Blessed Sacrament, Franklin Lakes, NJ
Weekend Assistant, St. Anthony of Padua, Passaic, NJ
Rector, St. Andrew's College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception Seminary
Vicar for Ministries, Archdiocese of Newark
Regional Bishop for Essex County, Archdiocese of Newark
Vicar General for the Apostolates, Archdiocese of Newark
Vicar General & Moderator of the Curia, Archdiocese of Newark
Sexual Harassment Committee
- 1970-1972 Professor of Systematic Theology - Immaculate Conception Seminary Graduate School of Theology - Seton Hall University
- 1976-2001 Professor of Biblical Studies - Immaculate Conception Seminary Graduate School of Theology - Seton Hall University
- 1980-1985 Professor - Biblical Studies - Mt. St. Alphonsus, Esophus, NY
Adjunct Professor - Biblical Studies St. Joseph's, Dunwoodie, NY
- 1984 Professor - Summer Courses - Fordham University, NY
- 1986 Professor - Biblical Studies - Institute of Religious Studies of the Archdiocese of NY - Professor - Biblical Studies - Summer Courses, St. Michael College, Vermont
- 1995-2000 Professor - Biblical Studies - EPS Program, Trinity College, Washington, DC.
- 1995-2001 Doctoral Thesis Mentor --Graduate Theological Foundation, Donaldson, IN
- 1996 Professor - Biblical Studies for Diaconate Program, Diocese of Paterson, NJ
- Seton Hall UniversityRetreat Leader
- Clergy Conferences - Throughout USARetreat Leader
- Missions for the laity - Throughout USA
USCCB, Washington, DC
- Board of Bishops - New Jersey Catholic Conference
- Board of Trustees - Assumption College, Mendham, NJ
- Board of Trustees - Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
- Board of Overseers Seminary Committee, Immaculate Conception Seminary Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
- College of Consultors Archdiocese of Newark
- Finance Council - Archdiocese of Newark
- Presbyteral Council - Archdiocese of Newark
- Priestly Vocations Board - Archdiocese of Newark
- Committee on the American College of Louvain, Member (Region III)
- Committee on Doctrine, Member
- Ad hoc Committee for the Review of the Catechism, Member
- Ad hoc Committee for the Review of Scripture Translations, Chairman
- Ad hoc Committee for the Spanish Bible for the Church in America, Member
- Committee for Women in the Church and in Society, Member
- Task Group on Children and the Liturgy, Member
- Task Force for the Review of the Lectionary, Member
Statement Of Bishop Rodimer
I am pleased to welcome my successor Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli
as the seventh Bishop of Paterson. I am most grateful to Almighty God for inspiring our Holy Father Pope John Paul II and everyone who had anything to do with bringing Bishop Arthur's name to the Holy Father's attention. No matter who they were, it was the Successor of Saint Peter who gave the nod and at the same time gave the Church of Paterson an outstanding shepherd.
It's pro forma, I suppose, to speak positively about one's successor, but I mean it when I say that our Bishop Arthur as I along with all the priests in the diocese will refer to him within Mass once he is officially installed, is a good priest, a brilliant scholar, a humble down-to-earth bishop who will be right at home in Paterson in no time. In fact, he has been right at home here for some time. He has assisted in one of our parishes for many years. Imagine that!, a bishop from outside the diocese, though, of course, from one right next door, who has helped out in one of our Passaic parishes. Such things don't happen very often.
Bishop Serratelli has had an influence on the lives and spirituality of more people in the Diocese of Paterson than even he knows through the priests of our diocese he has directed and has taught in his Scripture courses in the seminary.
Now he is to be the teacher in Jesus' name of all the Church of Paterson's members.
posted on 06/07/2004 9:07:36 PM PDT
(God gave us the right to life and self preservation and a right to defend ourselves and families)
New bishop installed amid joyous celebration
Bishop Arthur Joseph Serratelli, a plain-spoken cleric from Newark and a formidable biblical scholar, was installed Tuesday as the seventh bishop of the Paterson Diocese in a solemn, magisterial rite.
The two-hour Mass of Installation, the first in the diocese since Bishop Frank Rodimer was installed 26 years ago, sparked a stunning outpouring of joy from Spanish-speaking residents, who gathered in front of faded downtown storefronts and behind police barricades to greet the new bishop as his procession made its way down Grand Street and into the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
Accompanied by guitars and hand drums, about 100 to 125 people waved palm leaves and balloons, hoisted welcoming signs in Spanish, and sang "alleluia'' loud enough to rival the bagpipes of a police color guard.
"We're here because we hope Bishop Serratelli will bring a light to the children of Paterson and their families,'' Rafael Lopez said.
Serratelli, dressed in white and gold vestments, seemed surprised and moved by the throng. He stopped and chatted for a moment before ascending the steps of the brownstone cathedral, embracing Paterson Police Chief Lawrence Spagnola, and walking past the red wooden doors.
Inside, he declared to a crowd of about 1,000 that Christians must be as brave and unwavering in their faith as soldiers embarking on a difficult mission.
"Even in the face of obstacles, and at times hostility, and even danger to ourselves, we run with the Gospel," Serratelli said against the backdrop of a towering stained glass window depicting the life of John the Baptist.
"Yet we are human, sometimes heroically virtuous, other times sadly sinful," he added minutes later. "But we are never discouraged nor despairing.''
In the front row was his mother, Eva, 90. After his homily, she was the first in line to receive Communion from him.
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who elevated Serratelli from priest to auxiliary bishop four years ago in the Newark Archdiocese, declared the beginning of "another golden age'' for the Paterson Diocese.
"He is someone who can challenge [young people] to see the world the way Jesus would want them to see it,'' said McCarrick, now the leader of the Archdiocese of Washington.
Serratelli will serve as spiritual leader for 378,000 Catholics in a wildly diverse swath of North Jersey. The diocese spans the tough textile towns of Paterson and Passaic, the wealthy suburbs of Morris County, and the rural hamlets of Sussex County.
Serratelli, 60, most recently the No. 2 bishop in the Newark Archdiocese, succeeds Rodimer, 76, who is retiring after 26 years at the helm.
The changing of the guard has already occurred. Serratelli has moved into the bishop's mansion on the East Side of Paterson. Rodimer has moved to a house the diocese bought for him in Rockaway Township.
Serratelli spent his day in typical Paterson style. He lunched at The Brownstone House, a well-known eatery frequented by the county political elite and law enforcement officials. He was expected to have a private dinner there Tuesday evening with priests.
Local Catholics said they were excited by the new bishop.
"He's Italian,'' quipped Marlene Leo of Hawthorne, who attended the installation. "I think that's great.''
Serratelli was ordained in 1968 and spent 27 years teaching Scripture and biblical languages at Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University.
He has a reputation as both a down-to-earth man who enjoys weightlifting and a scholar deeply enamoured with the church and its traditions.
Both sides were on display at Tuesday's installation.
He joked about looking over his predecessor's daily schedule and feeling overwhelmed. He also made light of the standing-room-only crowd, saying he hoped all churches would have the same problem.
In his homily, meanwhile, the only explicit social issue he touched on was abortion.
"Only a society that safeguards the fundamental right to life for all will stand,'' he declared.
He also told a story of sin and forgiveness. He spoke of a woman who was murdered many years ago in Italy and became a "martyr for purity.'' Her murderer, Serratelli said, served 30 years in prison before being released and reconciling with the mother of the victim.
"What an example!'' Serratelli said. "What a needed lesson.''
The Mass carried all the pomp and pageantry of the Catholic Church.
It began with Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, the Vatican's emissary in the United States, presenting the apostolic mandate that proclaimed Serratelli to be Rodimer's successor.
Serratelli was then escorted by Montalvo and Newark Archbishop John J. Myers to his cathedra, or throne. He was presented with his crosier, the staff that marks his office. The audience burst into applause.
Afterward, an aunt said that Serratelli showed early signs of his calling. As a boy, he would often pretend he was a priest, just as others pretend they are soldiers or firemen, she said.
"He never missed a Mass,'' said Catherine Cherry of Brick Township. "It would be snowing hard, and he would be telling his mother it was time for church.
A Paterson woman who took a class taught by Serratelli said the bishop is a deep thinker who can relate to anyone. Even in a weighty class on theology, he would use a simple style to teach people. And he would always have a sense of humor.
"He would bring in doughnuts to class,'' Judi Barbarito-Cocilovo said. "They weren't just any doughnuts. He would stop at an old-fashioned bakery and bring in those really big, puffy crullers.''
Serratelli was born in Newark on April 18, 1944, the son of Eva Fasolino, a factory worker, and the late Pio Serratelli, an accountant for Sherwin-Williams. He received a bachelor's degree from Seton Hall in 1965 and degrees in theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and in Scripture from the Biblical Institute in 1976. He earned a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian University in 1977.
Arthur Serratelli is installed as the seventh bishop of the Paterson diocese
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
Arthur J. Serratelli was formally installed yesterday as the seventh bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, and in his homily he urged Catholics to spread the gospel and steered clear of controversial issues that have plagued the church in recent years.
Serratelli, appointed five weeks ago to succeed retiring Bishop Frank Rodimer, received his gold bishop's staff during a two-hour ceremony at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
About 1,000 relatives, friends, priests, laity and bishops, including Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the former Newark archbishop, attended. Serratelli will oversee a diocese that represents nearly 400,000 Catholics in Morris, Sussex and Passaic counties.
Serratelli urged his flock to espouse Christian values. In explaining how this can be difficult, he cited Col. Andrew Rowan, who during the Spanish-American War spent three weeks traveling through jungles in Cuba before successfully delivering an important message to a general.
"Today every Christian needs the same commitment and courage," he said. "Go into the world and preach the gospel, Jesus tells us. ... He sends us to bring the gospel to those who have never heard it and to those who need to hear it anew."
His homily, delivered in both English and Spanish, was a plain-spoken speech about the gospel, poverty, reconciliation, and the church's opposition to abortion.
"We are vigorous for the sake of the common good in our respect for human life from conception to natural death," he said. "For only a society that safeguards the fundamental right to life for all will stand."
Without mentioning specifically the sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic church since 2002, Serratelli did speak of forgiveness, referring to St. Maria Goretti, who was murdered in 1902 at age 11 and whose feast day was yesterday, as a "victim of abuse and violence."
Noting that Goretti's murderer and mother received Holy Communion together after the killer had served a 30-year prison term and "was reformed," he said, "What an example! What a needed lesson!"
Though he did not tackle the issue head-on yesterday, Serratelli, who previously served as the Newark archdiocese's vicar-general, the second-highest position in the archdiocese, has received praise from the leader of New Jersey's chapter of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests for his dealings with the group.
"We have high expectations for him," said Buddy Cotton, SNAP's state leader. "We've invited him to sit and talk with us because there are still some very significant gaps in how this diocese handles (sex) abuse allegations. We want to close those gaps."
Many people believe Serratelli will eventually be viewed as a moderate on controversial issues the church has grappled with recently.
At the formal announcement of his appointment last month, Serratelli indicated he will continue Rodimer's policy of allowing Voice of the Faithful, a lay church reform group, to meet on Paterson diocese property.
Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, Serratelli's last boss, has banned the organization -- which was formed in the wake of the clergy sex abuse scandal and whose goals include shaping structural change in the church -- from the Newark archdiocese, calling it anti-Catholic.
Another controversial issue Serratelli did not address yesterday was whether Catholic politicians and laity who support abortion rights should be denied Communion.
Serratelli has previously indicated he does not favor denying Communion. Some bishops have said otherwise.
"I think (Serratelli) made clear he doesn't want to make Communion a political forum," said Jan Figenshu of Madison, who studied with Serratelli from 1998 to 2000 at the Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University. "If anybody's capable of making a very level-headed pastoral decision, it would be Bishop Arthur."
Among those who attended yesterday's ceremony was Serratelli's 90-year-old mother, Eva, who sat proudly in the front row.
"What can I say? Today is a happy day," she said before the ceremony.
A Newark native, Serratelli served as an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and graduated from Seton Hall Prep and Seton Hall University's seminary.
Ordained in 1968, he served at St. Anthony's Church in Belleville from 1969 to 1970 before joining the faculty at Immaculate Conception Seminary, where he taught systemic theology. He later received a hard-to-obtain licentiate degree in sacred scripture in Rome.
He was appointed a regional bishop in the Newark archdiocese in 2000.
Rodimer, who served as Paterson bishop for 26 years, did not speak during yesterday's ceremony, but said in a statement that he looks forward to retirement.
"This is going to be another part of my life and I am happy about it. One of the reasons that I am so happy is that I am being succeeded by Bishop Serratelli. ... He knows people and he loves the diocese."
Serratelli and McCarrick praised Rodimer, who received multiple ovations.
Though he has had a reputation of being a fair-minded and pastoral bishop, Rodimer has been dogged since 2002 by accusations that he mishandled allegations of clergy sexual abuse.
The Paterson diocese is home to New Jersey's most notorious case in the sex scandal. More than a dozen people have accused the former Rev. James Hanley of abusing them when he worked at the Church of St. Joseph in Mendham.
The diocese forced Hanley to retire in 1988, but not until last year was he removed from the priesthood. Rodimer has acknowledged he underestimated the seriousness of the charges until it was too late to prosecute.
posted on 07/07/2004 6:25:27 PM PDT
(Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
To: 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ...
posted on 07/07/2004 6:26:03 PM PDT
(Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
Good Luck Coleus,We will pray for him.
posted on 07/07/2004 6:36:02 PM PDT
(My Granddaughter Karen is Home-WOOHOO We unite with all our troops and send our love-)
How about a new leader for Washington, D.C. ?
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