The son of the late John A. Studerus and Ann Rita Davis, Bishop Gregory J. Studerus was born on March 31, 1948, in Orange, New Jersey. He was raised in West Orange and has spent nearly four decades as an archdiocesan priest serving in Hudson County.
Bishop Studerus attended elementary and high school at Our Lady of the Valley in Orange before pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education from Montclair State College. He served in the National Guard while pursuing a successful career as an artist, teacher, and owner of an art gallery and workshop. After receiving his Master of Divinity degree, he was ordained a priest on May 31, 1980, and assigned as parochial vicar to St. Aloysius Parish in Jersey City.
While at St. Aloysius Parish, Bishop Studerus organized youth programs and had opportunities to study Spanish in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. This allowed for a lifelong ministry in our Archdiocese to the Spanish-speaking population that continues to this day. From 1990 to 1997, he served as pastor of St. Bridget Parish in Jersey City. During this time, he served on the Archdiocesan Presbyteral Council and was named Dean of the Jersey City Downtown Deanery, a position he would hold again from 2002 to 2005. In 1997, he was the founding pastor of Parish of Resurrection, which included the former parishes of St. Boniface, St. Bridget, St. Mary, St. Michael, and St. Peter.
Since 2005, Bishop Studerus has served as pastor of St. Joseph of the Palisades in West New York, the largest Hispanic parish of the Archdiocese and among the largest overall. In 2005, he was named Chaplain to His Holiness by Pope Benedict XVI. From 2013 to 2016, he served as Dean of North Hudson Deanery 8, and in 2015, he was appointed Episcopal Vicar of Hudson County.
On February 27, 2020, His Holiness, Pope Francis named Reverend Monsignor Gregory Studerus to serve as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark.
He has continued his work in Hudson County at the direction of Cardinal Tobin visiting and supporting the work of the priests and parish communities of the county that has been his home for many years.
Coat of Arms
Blazon: Party per bend sinister Bleu Celeste and Or; in chief a tree with three main branches growing from the trunk Proper on a hillside Vert; in base a cross throughout Sable and in the four quadrants created thereby well spaced horizontal and vertical lines intersecting at right angles; on a chief Gules a crescent flanked by, to dexter a tre-foil and to sinister a Greek cross all Argent. Shield ensigned with an episcopal cross Or behind the shield and a bishop’s galero Vert cords and twelve tassels disposed in three rows of one, two and three all Vert. On a scroll below the shield the motto: “For-get Not His Love”.
Explanation: The armorial bearings assumed by Bishop Studerus reflect those things he values most in his life as well as his family background.
The main portion of the shield is divided by a diagonal line running from the viewer’s upper right to the lower left. This is called dividing the field with a bend sinister be-cause it starts on the left side of the shield from the point of view of the one holding the shield from behind. The upper portion depicts a tree growing from a green hillside. The tree is depicted as we would find it in nature and shows three branches as an allusion to the Holy Trinity. All of this is set against a light blue sky. In heraldry blue is one of the five tinctures used. However, there is also the possibility of using what are known as “stains” in heraldry and among these are Bleu Celeste which is a decidedly lighter shade of blue than that usually used in heraldry and is frequently used to depict the sky. This symbol is borrowed from a coat of arms that was adopted by the bishop’s family. This section of the shield symbolizes Bishop Studerus’ love and concern for the environment.
The lower portion shows a black cross on a gold (yellow) background with the four quadrants of the cross being intersected with thin black lines spaced unevenly sug-gesting a map of city streets. This section of the shield symbolizes Bishop Studerus’ forty years of priestly ministry served in the city.
The upper third of the shield, called a “chief” takes it red color by borrowing from the coat of arms of the See of Newark which has a similar red chief with a crescent flanked by two trefoils. Here we see three symbols alluding to the cultural influences in the bishop’s life. The trefoil resembles the shamrock which is a symbol of St. Patrick and of Ireland. It is used here to allude to the Irish heritage of the bishop’s mother. The cres-cent in the center is symbolic of the Immaculate Conception of Mary which is the titular patron of the United States of America. The cross with four equally long bars, known as a “Greek cross”, does not in this instance symbolize anything Greek. Rather, it is the same cross found in the coat of arms and on the flag of Switzerland and it alludes to the Swiss heritage of the bishop’s father. All three are colored silver (white).
The motto below the shield is, “Forget Not His Love” (Psalm 103)
The shield is also ensigned with those external ornaments that indicate the bearer is a bishop. The gold (yellow) episcopal cross, not to be confused with a processional cross, is placed vertically behind and extending above and below the shield. In former times archbishops, and later all bishops, had a cross mounted on a staff carried imme-diately in front of them while in procession or on solemn occasions. This cross was a symbol of their rank as bishop. While such an episcopal cross is no longer used prac-tically it has been retained heraldically. In fact, there are other clerics who make use of the ecclesiastical hat with its many tassels but the one true heraldic emblem of a bish-op, and the only essential one, is the episcopal cross placed behind the shield.
Above the shield is the ecclesiastical hat, called a galero which, in heraldry, replaces the martial helmet, mantling and crest. “The hat with six pendant tassels (green, purple or black) on each side is universally considered in heraldry as the sign of prelacy. It, therefore, pertains to all who are actually prelates.” (Heim, Bruno B., Heraldry in the Catholic Church 1978, page 114) The galero is green with green cords pendant from it and twelve green tassels arranged in a pyramid shape on either side of the shield. At one time in history bishops and archbishops wore green before adopting the more Roman purple we see today. In heraldry the green hat and tassels was retained for prelates with the rank of bishop according to the Instruction of the Secretariat of State, “Ut Sive” of March, 1969.
The armorial bearings of Bishop Studerus were designed, blazoned and rendered by the Rev. Guy Selvester a priest of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey.