By Paula Katinas
Bishop-elect Sweeney will be heading to a diverse diocese that includes both urban and suburban areas of New Jersey.
The Diocese of Paterson stretches across 1,200 miles and takes in three northern New Jersey counties — Passaic, Morris, and Sussex. Paterson, the center of the Diocese, is the third-largest city in the state.
There are 109 parishes in the Diocese, along with 39 Catholic schools. The Diocesan offices are located in Clifton, New Jersey.
While whites make up the largest segment of the overall population, the Diocese boasts a sizable Hispanic population, according to V Encuentro — 52% percent of the 285,756 Hispanics living within the Diocese’s territory as of 2016 were Catholic and 34 of the 109 parishes have a Hispanic ministry.
The seat of the Bishop is Saint John the Baptist Cathedral, a magnificent neo-gothic building whose cornerstone was laid in 1865. The building, at the time known as Saint John the Baptist Church, was officially dedicated five years later.
Pope Pius XI established the Diocese of Paterson on Dec. 9, 1937, the same day he created the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey.
The new Diocese of Paterson was carved out of territory that had previously belonged to the Diocese
Father Sweeney will be the eighth bishop in the 83 years since the diocese was established.
The current head of the diocese, Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli, was appointed in 2004 by Pope John Paul II. Bishop Serratelli will turn 76 on April 18.