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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Bishop James T. McHugh
Third Bishop of Rockville Centre

mchughBishop James Thomas McHugh was born in Orange, New Jersey on January 3, 1932, the son of Caroline Scavone McHugh and the late James T. McHugh. He attended Saint Venantius School and Our Lady of the Valley High School, both in Orange, and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Languages at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington, New Jersey, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark at Sacred Heart Cathedral on May 25, 1957.

Father McHugh's first assignment was as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Newark; followed by Holy Trinity Church, Fort Lee. During this time, he did graduate work in Sociology at Fordham University.

In 1965, Father McHugh joined the staff of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference (NCCB/USCC) where he was named Director of the Family Life Bureau (1965-1975) and Director of the NCCB Office of Pro-Life Activities (1972-1978). He became Director of Diocesan Development Program for Natural Family Planning (NFP) in 1978. During his stay in Washington, DC, he did further study in Sociology at Catholic University of America.

In 1971, Father McHugh was appointed papal chamberlin to His Holiness by Pope Paul VI with the title Monsignor; he was elevated to the rank of prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II in 1986.

Also during the 1970's, Msgr. McHugh was visiting lecturer at Princeton Theological Seminary (1974), Immaculate Conception Seminary, Newark (1976) and American College, Louvain, Belgium (1976).

From 1978 to 1981, he studied Moral Theology with a concentration in medical ethics at Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, earning a doctorate in Sacred Theology, and in 1982 was visiting lecturer in Theology at Pontifical Lateran University, Rome.

Appointed titular bishop of Morosbisdus and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark on November 20, 1987, he was ordained January 25, 1988. A little over a year later, on May 13, 1989, Bishop McHugh was appointed Bishop of Camden and installed on June 20, 1989.

On December 7, 1998, Bishop McHugh was appointed coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. He took canonical possession of that office on February 22, 1999. Shortly after, he was appointed Apostolic Administrator of the Camden Diocese, overseeing that diocese until July, 1999, when Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio became that diocese's sixth bishop.

On January 4, 2000, upon the acceptance by the Holy See of Bishop John R. McGann's resignation, Bishop McHugh became the third bishop of Rockville Centre; he was welcomed into his cathedral on January 21, 2000.

Bishop McHugh belonged to several professional associations including the National Council on Family Relations, the American Sociological Association, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the Population Association of American and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was invested into the American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in January, 2000.