Msgr. John E. Hart
A native of Brooklyn, and parishioner of St. Philip Parish in Clifton, Monsignor. John E. Hart attended Woodrow Wilson Jr. High in Clifton and graduated from the former Neumann Prep in Wayne. After graduation, he attended college seminary at Seton Hall University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in French in 1977. During his senior year he participated in the University’s Theatre in the Round. Msgr. Hart completed his priesthood studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington and earned a Masters of Art in Theology with a concentration in Sacred Scripture.
Msgr. Hart’s deacon internship was served at Annunciation Parish in Wayne, where his responsibilities included assisting the youth program and adult education. He was ordained to the priesthood at Annunciation Parish by Bishop Frank J. Rodimer on May 9, 1981. After ordination, Father. John was assigned to Corpus Christi Parish in Chatham Township. As a parochial vicar, his responsibilities included moderating the youth ministry, especially SEARCH retreats and days of recollection, the parish’s Young Actors’ Guild, and Junior and Senior CYO Basketball. He taught religion to both junior high and high school students at the parish and implemented the RCIA program with a team of parishioners and religious. He also conducted Bible Study classes.
In 1987 Father John was assigned to full-time service in the Diocesan Tribunal with a residence at St. Ann Parish, Parsippany, where he lived until 1990. In 1988 he began advanced studies in canon law at St. Paul University, Ottawa, Canada where he earned his J.C.L. (licentiate in canon law) in 1990. He wrote his thesis on a topic of matrimonial jurisprudence and co-dependency, entitled: “The Effects of ACOA Syndrome and Matrimonial Consent.” Upon his return to the tribunal he was appointed defender of the bond and a judge in 1991. Monsignor Hart served as Bishop Rodimer’s priest secretary and master of ceremonies from September 1990 until September 1996. During that time, he also served as a full- time member of the Diocesan Tribunal and a week-end assistant at St. Christopher Parish in Parsippany. Monsignor Hart was named an Adjutant Judicial Vicar in 1995.
Bishop Rodimer appointed Msgr. Hart as Pastor of St. Cecilia Parish, Rockaway, effective on September 16, 1996. He succeeded Rev. Msgr. Charles F. Powers, who retired on September 1 of that year. Bishop Rodimer also appointed Msgr. Hart Administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, Rockaway in 1999, remaining as Pastor of St. Cecilia and working full-time in the Tribunal as Adjutant Judicial Vicar.
Msgr. Hart served as the Chancellor of the Diocese of Paterson from February 25, 1999 to June 24, 2005. During this time he also served as a member of the Diocesan Review Board. Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli appointed him Chairperson of the Presbyteral Council and Chair of the Diocesan Theological Commission
Msgr. Hart is a diocesan representative to the New Jersey Catholic Conference Public Policy Committee. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus (Third Degree) and a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. He is also a member of the Canon Law Society of America, the Canadian Canon Law Society and the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Pope John Paul II appointed him a Chaplain to the Holy Father on August 14, 2003.
Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli appointed Father. John pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Morristown, which will be effective on September 8, 2009.
Msgr. John’s father, John H. Hart died on January 2, 1992. His mother Vivian lives in Clifton. His brother Tim and his sister-in-law live nearby with their children Michael and Lori. Father John’s hobbies include movies, golf, exercising, singing, reading, theatre, dining in restaurants, doing impressions and telling jokes. His favorite movies are “ A Man for All Seasons” and “Beckett.” He enjoys spending time with family and friends. He likes Italian, American, French, German, Chinese and Japanese cuisine (sushi) and will try almost any kind of food (except liver!).