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Seton Hall's Seminary-Rectors

Rev. Msgr. William Hogan, Rector (1968-1972)

Monsignor Hogan's leadership, theological acumen and spiritual strength . . . saved the seminary when it was in deep trouble. Without his guidance and inspiration the seminary could easily have collapsed in disarray. The restoration of morale and the strengthening of the entire program are traceable to his unsparing efforts and his always perceptive response to the needs of the Church. - Statement of the Seminary Faculty

Monsignor William F. Hogan, an alumnus of Seton Hall (1942) and Immaculate Conception Seminary, was ordained to the priesthood in 1946. He earned an S.T.L. and later an S.T.D. from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Hogan was appointed to the seminary faculty in 1949 as professor of dogma and held various administrative and formational positions such as director of students, spiritual director, and academic dean.  Monsignor Hogan served as seminary rector from 1968 until his resignation in 1972. He was then appointed pastor of St. Vincent's Parish in Bayonne, a post he held until 1987. He retired in 1990 after serving three years as associate pastor of Mount Carmel Parish in Ridgewood. He died in 2001.

Rev. Msgr. Harold P. Darcy, Rector (1972-1974)

It is absolutely essential that our men be men of decision. Commitment to Christ is complex and so is discernment of the call to the priesthood, and both come hard.  Commitment to the priesthood requires the development and support of a determined and tough attitude; it cannot be sustained by careless indifference…We are preparing men to give creative pastoral leadership not only to meet the needs of today but the people of tomorrow… - Msgr. H.P. Darcy

Monsignor Harold P. Darcy earned a bachelor's degree from Seton Hall (1951) and attended Immaculate Conception Seminary for a brief period before being sent to continue his seminary training at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.  He was ordained a priest in 1954 and earned a licentiate in sacred theology (1955) and a doctorate in canon law (1960) from the Pontifical Gregorian University.  From 1961 to 1971, Darcy served at the apostolic delegation in Washington D.C.  Upon his return to New Jersey he was named pastor of Saint Vincent DePaul Church in Bayonne before being appointed seminary rector in 1972.  Monsignor Darcy returned to Rome as rector of the North American College (1974-1979).  From 1979-1987, Darcy served as pastor of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell and then returned to the Seton Hall community as minister to the university priest community and chaplain of the law school.  He died in December 1997.

Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Ciuba, Rector/President (1974-1982), Rector/Dean (1982-1985)

As I close the seminary at Darlington, on October 12, 1984, I…am taking all seminarian registers and documents pertaining to the seminary, thus closing the seminary at Mahwah, N.J., after 57 years…May God bless the seminarians, faculty and staff in our new home on the campus of Seton Hall University. - Msgr. E.J. Ciuba 

Monsignor Edward J. Ciuba, alumnus of Seton Hall (1955) received priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College, Rome while pursuing theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University from which he received a licentiate in sacred theology (1959). Following ordination to the priesthood in 1959, Ciuba continued studies and earned a licentiate in sacred scripture (1962) from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. From 1963-1985 he served as professor of sacred scripture at Immaculate Conception Seminary.  During his tenure as rector (1974-1985), Monsignor Ciuba oversaw the transition of the seminary from Darlington to the Seton Hall campus and served as the first rector/dean of the newly relocated Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology of Seton Hall University.  At the conclusion of his term as rector, Monsignor Ciuba served as a visiting fellow (1985-1987) at Princeton Theological Seminary and adjunct professor of biblical studies (1987-1991) at the School of Theology.  In 1987 he was named pastor of Notre Dame Church in North Caldwell, a position he held until his retirement from active ministry in 2009.

Rev. Msgr. Richard M. Liddy, Rector/Dean (1985-1990)

In January 1990, Monsignor Liddy took over the reins of the university as interim chancellor...Liddy later remarked, "In relation to being rector, being interim chancellor of the university was a breeze." -Msgr. R.J. Wister

Monsignor Richard M. Liddy, having earned a degree in classics from Seton Hall (1960) prepared for the priesthood at the Pontifical North American College and engaged in theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, earning a licentiate in theology in 1964. Ordained to the priesthood in 1963, Liddy was appointed to the seminary faculty and sent back to Rome for doctoral studies in philosophy, earning a Ph.D. from the Gregorian University in 1970.  After serving as professor of philosophical theology from 1967-1980, Liddy once again returned to Rome as spiritual director of the Pontifical North American College (1980-1984).  Monsignor Liddy was appointed rector/dean in 1985, a post he held until he was named interim chancellor (1990) of Seton Hall University. Since 1991, he has served as a professor in the Department of Religious Studies and in 1997 was appointed the director of Seton Hall's Center for Catholic Studies and named University Professor of Catholic Thought and Culture.

Rev. Msgr. Robert E. Harahan, Rector/Dean (1990-1995)

During his tenure as rector/dean, Monsignor Harahan had several significant accomplishments. Among these was his bringing to successful conclusion some issues that had lingered since the re-affiliation of the Seminary with the University in 1984. Monsignor Harahan also worked hard to strengthen the unity of the Seminary School of Theology faculty, insisting that the theological and formational dimensions of the faculty must remain united and cooperative. By the time Monsignor Harahan left the position of rector/dean, the Seminary School of Theology had become a stronger and more effective presence on campus. - Msgr. T. G. Guarino 

After studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Monsignor Robert Emmet Harahan was ordained in 1974.  After ordination he was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish in Newark. In 1977, Archbishop Gerety appointed him to the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary. In 1980, Monsignor Harahan earned a licentiate in Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington and in 1983 was awarded a doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Accademia Alfonsiana of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He taught Moral Theology at the seminary from 1983 until 1990 when he was appointed rector/dean. In 1996, Monsignor Harahan was appointed pastor of Saint Teresa's Parish in Summit where he remained until 2008, when he assumed the pastorate of Saint Elizabeth's Parish in Wyckoff.

Rev. Msgr. John W. Flesey, Rector/Dean (1995-2000)

A deeply spiritual and very serious man, Flesey accepted the appointment as a duty but grew to enjoy his role as rector…Upon completing his term…Flesey wrote: "Hidden in these five years have been difficulties and challenges, but also innumerable blessings." - Msgr. R.J. Wister

Bishop John W. Flesey pursued his undergraduate studies at Saint Peter's College, Jersey City prior to entering Immaculate Conception Seminary.  He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 and was assigned to Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Church in Plainfield where he served for fourteen years.  During this time of parish ministry, Flesey pursued studies at Iona College, New York, earning an M.A. in pastoral counseling.  In 1983, he was sent to Rome for further studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University from which he received an S.T.L. (1985) in spiritual theology.  Upon his return to the archdiocese, Flesey was assigned to the seminary faculty and taught courses in pastoral and spiritual theology while pursuing an S.T.D. (1990) from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas, Rome.  After serving for a number of years as spiritual director of the seminary, he was named rector/dean in 1995. Following his five-year term as rector, Monsignor Flesey went on sabbatical and, upon his return in 2002, he resumed teaching and his previous post as spiritual director in addition to service as Archdiocesan Director of the Office of Continuing Formation of Priests.  In June 2004, he was appointed pastor of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Franklin Lakes and in August of the same year was named auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark and regional bishop of Bergen County.

Rev. Msgr. Robert F. Coleman, Rector and Dean (2000-2012)

The history of Immaculate Conception Seminary is one of commitment to priestly formation which, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, remains our steadfast purpose today and, God willing, for many generations of priests yet to be called to serve in the image of Jesus Christ.  - Msgr. R.F. Coleman 

Monsignor Robert F. Coleman, an alumnus of Seton Hall University (1974), was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 following studies at Immaculate Conception Seminary. Following ordination, he served as parochial vicar of Saint Aloysius Church in Jersey City until 1982 when he was sent to Rome for further studies. Having earned a licentiate in canon law and a diploma in Latin Letters from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 1984, Coleman served in the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Newark.  In 1986, he returned to Rome for doctoral studies in canon law at the Gregorian University.  Joining the seminary faculty in 1988, he served on the academic and formation faculty of the seminary until he was appointed secretary to the archbishop for canonical affairs in 1994.  Returning to the seminary in 1996, Monsignor Coleman assumed his teaching responsibilities and was appointed vice rector/business manager and director of liturgy.  Monsignor Coleman was named rector and dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology in 2000.

Rev. Msgr. Joseph R. Reilly, Rector/Dean (2012-2022)

"Today is about Jesus Christ, about His loving desire to make a home within each of our hearts, a palace where He will dwell now and into eternity!  And I believe this is true in a particular manner for the men in preparation for His holy priesthood.  To these men, I remind you: Jesus Christ wants to make His home in you - to form you into His likeness, to heal you with his gentle mercy and to draw you into His loving embrace.  Our prayer, those of us who love Christ, His Church our loving Mother, and His priesthood, is that you will allow Him to be this for you and to do this within you.  So, today, I believe, is about you - Jesus Christ and you!"  - Msgr. Joseph R. Reilly after Mass of Dedication, Chapel of Christ the Good Shepherd

Msgr. Joseph Reilly, a Mountainside native, graduated from of Seton Hall University in 1987. After studies at the North American College in Rome, he was ordained a priest in 1991. His first assignments were as a parochial vicar at St. Paul, Ramsey and St. Andrew, Bayonne. In 1995, he joined the staff of Seton Hall Prep, where he served as a faculty member and chaplain. In 2002, he was named Rector of the College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception at Saint Andrew's Hall. He was appointed Rector /Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology in 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, a licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) from Pontificio Istituto di Spiritualità - Teresianum, Rome, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the Graduate School of Education at Fordham University. He has served as a member of the Archdiocesan Priest Personnel Board, the Presbyteral Council, the Advisory Committee on Continuing Education and Ongoing Formation of Priests, the Archdiocesan Vocations Board, and the Board of Trustees of Seton Hall University.