Msgr. Gerard McCarren Appointed Interim Rector and Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School

The Archdiocese of Newark and Seton Hall University announced that Monsignor Gerard McCarren, S.T.D., will begin a one-year appointment on July 1 as the Interim Rector and Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall. Monsignor McCarren currently serves as Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and the seminary’s Spiritual Director. 

Monsignor Joseph Reilly, S.T.L., Ph.D., will conclude his tenure as Rector and Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology on June 30. After Monsignor Reilly steps down, he will begin a sabbatical year during which he will renew his vocation with study, travel, reflection and professional administrative development.

“Monsignor McCarren is a well-respected priest, theologian, and seminary spiritual director, with excellent and relevant experiences that will allow him to continue our vital mission of supporting our seminarians as they discern God’s call to the priesthood,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark.  “I am confident he will guide the men closer to Christ our Redeemer and prepare them to be good shepherds who will minister to the flocks that will ultimately be entrusted to them. I am grateful for his gracious acceptance to join us in the Archdiocese as interim Rector and Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology.” 

Monsignor McCarren is a well-known scholar of Saint John Henry Newman and was a member of the Newman Association of America’s board of directors from 2001 to 2016. In addition to his work at Seton Hall, he has taught and provided spiritual direction at the Institute for Priestly Formation at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

His multifaceted experiences in priestly formation, deep knowledge of theology and esteemed reputation among priests and seminarians made Monsignor McCarren a clear choice for this interim appointment. During his interim year, the University and Archdiocese will advance the ongoing search for the seminary’s next full-time Rector and Dean.

“We thank Monsignor Reilly for his service in priestly formation over two decades. In 10 years as Rector and Dean, he cultivated an outstanding formation faculty while completing several facilities projects, including the seminary chapel. Perhaps most importantly, the seminary under his leadership instructed scores of young men in serving the people of God as priests and deacons,” said Seton Hall University President Joseph E. Nyre.

After his sabbatical year, Monsignor Reilly will take up his new role as Vice Provost for Academics and Catholic Identity, and will continue integrating the University’s Catholic identity ever more deeply across academics — especially in local and international initiatives and academic programs that make Seton Hall an icon of Catholic education worldwide.

“The University and Archdiocese of Newark are fortunate to count Monsignors Reilly and McCarren among the servants of Christ who enrich our spiritual lives. We pray for their success in fulfilling these new responsibilities,” said Cardinal Tobin and President Nyre. 


One of the country’s leading Catholic universities, Seton Hall has been showing the world what great minds can do since 1856. Home to nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students and offering more than 80 rigorous majors, Seton Hall’s academic excellence has been singled out for distinction by The Princeton Review, US News & World Report and Bloomberg Businessweek.  Seton Hall, which embraces students of all religions, prepares its graduates to be exemplary servant leaders and caring global citizens. Its attractive main campus is located in suburban South Orange, New Jersey, and is only 14 miles by train, bus or car to New York City, offering a wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities. A new independent economic analysis of the University found that Seton Hall provides a significant impact on New Jersey’s economy, totaling over $1.6 billion annually and creating and sustaining nearly 10,000 jobs. The university’s nationally recognized School of Law is prominently located in downtown Newark. The University’s Interprofessional Health Sciences (IHS) campus in Clifton and Nutley, N.J. opened in the summer of 2018. The IHS campus houses Seton Hall’s College of Nursing, its School of Health and Medical Sciences as well as Hackensack Meridian Health’s Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine.  For more information, visit


The Archdiocese of Newark, under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., the sixth archbishop of Newark, serves approximately 1.3 million Catholics in 212 parishes and 73 schools throughout the counties of Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union. The Archdiocese serves the northern New Jersey community through faith, education, and social services. To learn more, visit