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. Bishop-Elect Elias has been serving as Abbot President of the American-Cassinese Congregation, an association of Benedictine monasteries in the United States, which includes Saint Vincent Archabbey.
The appointments were posted on the Vatican website this morning, followed by a communication from Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, today in Washington, DC.
Upon introducing the newly named prelates this morning 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 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 auxiliary bishops will have responsibility for the life and mission of Church in one of the four counties that comprise the Archdiocese (Bergen, Hudson, Essex, and Union).
The date and time for the Episcopal Ordination of the three bishops-elect will be announced.
Bishop-elect Lorenzo, 59, was born in Brooklyn, where he attended St. Agatha Parish Elementary School (Sunset Park) and Cathedral Prep (Fort Green), before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Don Bosco College Seminary in Newton, NJ.
He entered Saint Mary’s Abbey Morristown in 1983, making his first monastic profession on March 21, 1985. He 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, MN, a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ, and a Licentiate in canon law from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Bishop-elect Lorenzo 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, member of the Board of Trustees, and Vice President for Development.
In the monastery, Bishop-elect Lorenzo served as Director of Liturgy, Prior of the Abbey, and Rector of Church. He also served as chairman of the Paterson Diocesan Liturgical Commission and Vicar for Religious in the Diocese of Metuchen. He was canonical counsel for Praesidium, Inc. in the development of national standards to respond to the sex abuse cases, and currently serves on its advisory board. Additionally, for the global Benedictine Confederation, Bishop-elect Lorenzo served at Sant’Anselmo Rome as Prior of the monastic community. He is a founding member of the International Commission for Benedictine Education. In 2016, he was elected Abbot President of American Cassinese Congregation, an association of Benedictine monasteries in the United States, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Taiwan.
Bishop-elect Saporito, 57, was born in Newark and raised in Bloomfield, NJ. He attended St. Thomas the Apostle Elementary School in Bloomfield and, in 1980, 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.
Bishop-elect Saporito 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 February of 2011.
Bishop-elect Studerus, 71, was born and raised in West Orange, NJ, and has spent nearly four decades as an archdiocesan priest serving in Hudson County.
Bishop-elect Studerus 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 College. He served in the National Guard while pursuing a successful career as an artist, teacher, and owner of an art gallery and workshop. 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.
About the Archdiocese of Newark
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., was appointed Archbishop of Newark on November 7, 2016, elevated to Cardinal by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, on November 19, 2016, and installed as Archbishop of Newark on January 6, 2017.
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 on June 9, 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 generously 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 on May 3, 1976. St. John Paul II accepted the resignation of Bishop Marconi in 2002, but even at the age of 92, 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 511 square miles of the Archdiocese of Newark, comprised of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties. The Archdiocese includes 213 Catholic parishes and 93 primary and secondary Catholic schools. For more “Facts and Figures,” click on the “About Us” tab at www.RCAN.org or click here.