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 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


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.

Act Now to Stop Assisted Suicide

S382, a bill authorizing assisted suicide may be heard by the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee as early as December 8.  An identical bill, A2270 was passed by the General Assembly on Thursday, November 13, 2014 by a vote of 41 to 31.
If your Senator is on the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee, please ask them to vote "No" on S382 - the Aid in dying for the Terminally Ill Act.  If your Senator is not on the Committee, please ask them to urge their colleagues  on the Committee to vote no on the bill. 


To Take Action Click here.


Did you give your child up for adoption in New Jersey?


New Jersey’s Adoption Law has changed

What birth parents need to know…


New Jersey’s adoption law has changed with regard to adoptees’ access to full birth record information.  In the future, the names of all birth parents who placed a child for adoption in New Jersey will be made available to adoptees upon request unless the birth parents file a form with the State indicating that they do not want contact with the child.


Birth parents who were assured anonymity previously are able to request continued privacy but to do so, they must complete and submit a form with the State no later than December 31, 2016.


As soon as more information is available and the State of New Jersey releases the necessary form(s) Catholic Dioceses statewide will post related information on their websites.


In the meantime, here is what all birth parents should know:


For adoptions finalized prior to August 1, 2015:


  • Adoptees will be able to obtain an original birth certificate without involvement of the courts beginning January 1, 2017.


  • Birth parents have until  December 31, 2016 to file a request with the State of New Jersey indicating that they want no contact with the child they gave to adoption.  If a birth parent files such a request, the State Registrar will redact the birth parent’s name from any documents provided to adoptees.  If they fail to file such a form – their identity will be revealed to the adoptee upon request.
  • All birth parents who request redaction will be required to update medical history information every 10 years until the birth parent reaches the age of 40 and every five years thereafter.


For adoptions finalized after August 1, 2015:


  • Long-form birth certificates will be available to adoptees without redaction of a birth parent’s name.  
  • Birth parents, who give a child to adoption after August 1, 2015, will be able to file a form with the State indicating that they wish to have no contact with the adopted child or whether they are willing to have direct contact or contact through an intermediary.  In all cases, in the future, birth parents will need to file with the State information about their medical history.


As noted above, information on how birth parents should request continued privacy is not yet available from the State. As soon as the State releases the information, all Catholic Dioceses in New Jersey will post that information on their websites.


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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