The Most Reverend Paul Gregory Bootkoski, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen in New Jersey, will give the address at the 168th annual commencement of Saint Vincent Seminary on Friday, May 9, at 5 p.m. Bishop Bootkoski will also receive an honorary doctorate during the commencement ceremony, which will take place in the Saint Vincent Archabbey Basilica.
He was named the Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen by Pope John Paul II on January 4, 2002, and installed as the Fourth Bishop of Metuchen on March 19, 2002.
Born in Newark July 4, 1940, Bishop Bootkoski was one of two children of Peter and Antoinette Bootkoski. The family’s home parish was Queen of Peace, North Arlington, where he attended Our Lady Queen of Peace School. He went on to Saint Benedict Prep High School in Newark, where his desire to become a priest was nurtured by the Benedictine monks of Newark Abbey.
Following graduation from Seton Hall University, Bootkoski entered Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington. Archbishop Thomas Boland ordained him a priest for service in the Archdiocese of Newark on May 28, 1966.
Father Bootkoski’s first parish assignment was as parochial vicar of Sacred Heart Parish, Bloomfield. He also served as parochial vicar in Holy Spirit Parish, Orange, and Saint Michael Parish, Cranford. In 1972, Father Bootkoski was assigned to campus ministry at the Rutgers-Newark campus. He was named archdiocesan director of campus ministry in 1974, and served in that capacity until he was named assistant vice president for Student Affairs at Seton Hall University in 1980.
Father Bootkoski returned to parish ministry in 1983 as pastor of Saint Mary of the Assumption Parish in Elizabeth. He was subsequently appointed pastor of Saint Gabriel the Archangel Parish, Saddle River, in 1990.
In 1991, Pope John Paul II named Father Bootkoski a prelate of honor. Msgr. Bootkoski assumed additional archdiocesan duties as vicar for priests in 1996, and resumed responsibility for campus ministry activities in the archdiocese.
On July 8, 1997, Pope John Paul II named Msgr. Bootkoski to serve as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He was ordained by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick on Sept. 5, 1997 in Sacred Heart Cathedral Basilica, Newark. He subsequently was named vicar general and moderator of the curia, responsible for daily management and operation of the administrative agencies of the archdiocese.
On January 5, 2001, following Archbishop McCarrick’s installation as Archbishop of Washington, the College of Consultors of the Archdiocese of Newark elected Bishop Bootkoski diocesan administrator, responsible for the temporary management of the archdiocese. He served the archdiocese in that capacity until the installation of Archbishop John J. Myers on Oct. 9 that year.
Bishop Bootkoski holds a bachelor of arts degree in classical languages from Seton Hall University, a master of divinity degree in theology from Immaculate Conception Seminary, and a master of arts degree in education from Manhattan College.