Pope Francis has named three new Auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Newark, appointing Abbot Elias R. Lorenzo, O.S.B., Reverend Michael A. Saporito and Reverend Monsignor Gregory J. Studerus, E.V.
Upon introducing the newly named prelates at the Archdiocesan Center in Newark, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., Archbishop of Newark, stated, “Pope Francis has shown his special concern for the life and the mission of the Archdiocese of Newark. In selecting Msgr. Studerus, Abbot Lorenzo and Father Saporito for service as Bishops, the Holy Father gives new impetus to this local Church as we continue to walk forward in faith. I am delighted to share my responsibilities with these three dedicated missionary disciples.”
Auxiliary Bishops support the Archbishop in the pastoral care of the Archdiocese. Together with Bishop Manuel Cruz, each of the new Auxiliary Bishops will have responsibility for the life and mission of the Church in one of the four counties that comprise the Archdiocese – Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Union.
Bishop-elect Elias R. Lorenzo, O.S.B. 59, was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he attended St. Agatha Parish Elementary School in Sunset Park and Cathedral Prep in Fort Green, before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Don Bosco College Seminary in Newton, New Jersey. He entered Saint Mary’s Abbey in Morristown in 1983 and was ordained a priest on June 24, 1989.
Bishop-elect Lorenzo holds a Master’s degree in Liturgical Theology from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey and a Licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He has more than 30 years of experience in secondary school education and administration at Delbarton School, serving as director of campus ministry, teacher and chairman of the Religious Studies Department; a member of the Board of Trustees and Vice President for Development. In 2016, he was elected Abbot President of American Cassinese Congregation, an international association of Benedictine monasteries.
Bishop-elect Michael A. Saporito, 57, was born in Newark and raised in Bloomfield, New Jersey. He attended St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School in Bloomfield and graduated from Paul VI Regional High School in Clifton. Graduating from Rutgers University Newark in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting, he was employed in public accounting for three years after graduation. He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary at Seton Hall University in September of 1987 and was ordained a priest on May 30, 1992. He has served in parishes of the Archdiocese of Newark throughout his years in ministry. He has served as Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph’s Church in West Orange, St. Peter the Apostle in River Edge, Our Lady of the Visitation in Paramus and St. Elizabeth in Wyckoff. In May of 2004, he was appointed Pastor of St. Joseph’s in Maplewood, where he served for almost seven years before being named Pastor of St. Helen’s in Westfield in 2011.
Bishop-Elect Gregory J. Studerus, E.V., 71, was born and raised in West Orange and has spent nearly four decades as an Archdiocesan priest serving in Hudson County. He attended elementary and high school at Our Lady of the Valley in Orange before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in art education from Montclair State University. He served in the National Guard while pursuing a successful career as an artist, teacher and owner of an art gallery. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree, he was ordained a priest on May 31, 1980 and assigned as parochial vicar to St. Aloysius Parish in Jersey City.
He served on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and was Dean of the Jersey City Downtown Deanery. In 2005, Bishop-elect Studerus was named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI. Additionally, he was appointed Dean of North Hudson Deanery 8 and in 2015, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar of Hudson County.
The Archdiocese of Newark currently has one Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Manuel A. Cruz, D.D., appointed Titular Bishop of Gaguari and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark in 2008. Bishop John W. Flesey, S.T.D., D.D., was appointed Titular Bishop of Allegheny and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark on May 21, 2004. Though officially retired, Bishop Flesey has continued to serve the Catholic communities in Bergen County. Retired Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Dominic A. Marconi, D.D., was appointed Titular Bishop of Burie and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark in 1976. Even though he is retired and 92 years old, the Bishop celebrates the sacrament of Confirmation in parishes across the Archdiocese.
Together, the Cardinal and Auxiliary Bishops shepherd the approximate 1.3 million Catholics who reside in the Archdiocese of Newark, which includes 213 Catholic parishes and 93 primary and secondary Catholic schools.