New Jersey Catholic Conference

Welcome to the New Jersey Catholic Conference web site.

Founded in 1949, the New Jersey Catholic Conference (NJCC) represents the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on matters of public policy. NJCC serves as a liaison to governmental agencies and institutions and coordinates communications and activities between the Bishops and secular agencies. The Archbishop of Newark is the President of NJCC. There are more than 3.5 million Catholics registered in seven dioceses throughout New Jersey.



Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop for the Diocese of Metuchen

On Tuesday, March 8, Pope Francis appointed Msgr. James F. Checchio, a priest of the Diocese of Camden and the former rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, as the fifth Bishop of Metuchen. Bishop-elect Checchio will be ordained a bishop and installed formally in the Diocese of Metuchen on May 3, 2016. Until then, Bishop Bootkoski, who has been the Bishop of Metuchen since 2002, will oversee the diocese. A press conference introducing Bishop-elect Checchio was held at the St. John Neumann Pastoral Center, Piscataway, at 11 a.m., Eastern Time.

Press Kit and other Resources



The Catholic Bishops of New Jersey Issue Statement Calling for an End to Rhetoric that Spawns Hatred and Fear

America has always been a light to the world – a land of hope, freedom and prosperity.  So why should we be surprised that poor neighbors, and persecuted refugees would want to come to America?  Since the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, since the potato famine struck Ireland, and even until today – poor immigrants and suffering refugees have crossed the ocean and walked through deserts to reach our great land.  Some were welcomed; however, many others met discrimination.

To read the entire statement, click here.


Diocese of Metuchen to Launch Refugee Resettlement Program


Bishop Paul G. Bootkoski says the Diocese “will do its best to welcome the stranger, with compassion and mercy, in unity with the call of our Holy Father and the US Bishops.” 


To read complete statement Click here.


Child Refugees on Our Southern Borders - What Would Jesus Do? 

A Statement by Deacon Patrick Brannigan, Executive Director, New Jersey Catholic Conference

For many months, Jesus has been walking across our border with Mexico but too few of us are recognizing Him in the faces of children fleeing violence, persecution and hunger – fleeing homelands where there are more gang members than police.  Catholic bishops across the nation have called the plight of these children a test of the moral character of our nation – a test that we must not fail.  Pope Francis has said that we face a humanitarian emergency that requires us to welcome and protect these children.

To read complete statement Click here.


New Jersey Changes Adoption Records Law


For well over a century, the Catholic Church in New Jersey has provided adoption services.  Throughout all those years, the Church promised to honor the privacy of birth parents and adoptees.  That promise of privacy also was assured by law and affirmed by the State Superior Court.


Those promises can no longer be kept.  On May 27, 2014, a new law took effect that will allow adoptees and certain relatives to request and obtain the names of their biological parents beginning January 1, 2017.


Any birth parents who wish to preserve their privacy, must submit a Redaction Request Form to the New Jersey Department of Health no later than December 31, 2016.  By filing this form, birth parents will be able to keep their names off any documents provided by the State to adoptees or anyone else.  The State made the Redaction Request Form public on August 3, 2015.  The form can be downloaded at


Because of the Church’s century-long role in adoptions, the New Jersey Catholic Dioceses, Catholic Charities agencies and the New Jersey Catholic Conference will be working to alert birth parents to the changes in the State’s adoption law. 


We need help.  We ask everyone to spread the word that birth parents must take action to preserve their privacy.  We need to notify family members, friends and neighbors that birth parents could lose their privacy. 


If you know a person who placed a child in adoption, please tell them that if they do not file a Redaction Request Form, their name and other information could be given to the adoptee.


New Jersey Catholic Conference has established an adoption HELPLINE for anyone in need of assistance at 609-989-4809.


For more information go to:



Pope Francis Issues Landmark Encyclical – Laudato Si’


On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis issued Laudato Si' - On Care for Our Common Home.  Speaking as a pastor, Pope Francis described the environmental challenges facing the world as urgent as he called on all people to accept their shared responsibility for others and their moral obligation to help shape the future of our planet.  In the encyclical, Pope Francis connects care for the earth with care of one another, especially the poor.

In a spirit of hope, candor, humility, and resolve, Pope Francis asks all people to join him in embarking on a new path that will protect the future of Our Common Home.  The Most Reverend David M. O’Connell, C.M., Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, issued a thoughtful statement on Laudato Si in which he indicated:

“It is very clear that the Holy Father did his homework and benefitted from the input of many scientific and environmental experts.  He confronts head on the vexing issues of pollution, global warming and climate change; the quality of available supplies of fresh drinking water; biodiversity and caring for the earth’s ecosystems and a host of other environmental concerns.”

Laudato Si is consistent with the long tradition of Catholic social teaching. Over the coming months, there will be many commentaries in secular and religious media on this landmark encyclical.  Some of these commentaries might misinterpret or misrepresent Pope Francis’ message.  The following links will help readers to place the encyclical in the context of Catholic Social Teaching:

Praised be the God of All Creation
 a statement by Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Statement of Archbishop Myers on the Encyclical of Pope Francis

Resources on Catholic Social Teaching on the Environment

Laudato Si' - On Care for Our Common Home - English

Laudato Si’ - Sobre el Cuidado de la Casa Común – Espanol

Now is a time to read and reflect on Pope Francis’ important message.


Statement on Affordable Housing by the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey

On October 28, 2014, Pope Francis called our attention to the plight of the homeless:

We live nowadays in immense cities that show off proudly, even arrogantly, how modern they are.  But while they offer wellbeing and innumerable pleasures for a happy minority, housing is denied to thousands of our neighbors, our brothers and sisters including children who are called elegant names such as ‘street people’ or ‘without fixed abode’ or ‘urban camper.’  Isn’t it curious how euphemisms abound in the world of injustices!

To read the entire statement, click here





Patrick Brannigan's Statement in Opposition of Assisted Suicide

Thank you Doctor Conaway and members of the Committee for the opportunity to testify before you in opposition to Assembly Bill 3328 which we think has serious flaws.  Let me focus on just two.

To read full statement, Click here.


Executive Director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference

There are few things in life as important as protecting our children and young people.

Any abuse of a child is sinful and must not be tolerated in any way.  Every step must be taken at all times to protect all children entrusted to our care.

Anyone who is aware of inappropriate conduct with a minor by a member of the clergy, a diocesan or parish employee, or anyone else should contact law enforcement immediately.

The names and addresses of the twenty-one County Prosecutors can be found here.











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