WASHINGTON (June 30, 1997) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop John C. Reiss of Trenton, New Jersey. Most Reverend John M. Smith, Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton since 1995, succeeds Bishop Reiss.
The Pope appointed Msgr. Robert A. Brucato, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York, as Titular Bishop of Temuniana and Auxiliary Bishop of New York.
Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the United States, made the announcements.
John Mortimer Smith was born June 23, 1935, in Orange, New Jersey. After ordination as a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark, May 27, 1961, he was Assistant Chancellor, Defender of the Bond of the Metropolitan Tribunal, archdiocesan director of the Cursillo Movement, and professor of pastoral theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington. He earned a doctorate in Canon Law at the Catholic University of America in 1966.
In 1973 Bishop Smith became part of a team ministry at St. Joseph church, Oradell, New Jersey, after which he was assigned to the North America College in Rome where he served as Director of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education. In 1986 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary's church in Dumont and later that year was named Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General.
He was serving in those posts when he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Newark on December 1, 1987. Named Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, on June 25, 1991, Bishop Smith was transferred to Coadjutor Bishop of Trenton, November 21, 1995.
Bishop Reiss was born May 13, 1922, in Red Bank, New Jersey. He studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary, Darlington, and at the Catholic University of America. Ordained May 31, 1947, he received a doctorate in Canon Law from Catholic University in 1954.
The Diocese of Trenton was established in 1881. It comprises the counties of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean in the State of New Jersey, and has a Catholic population of 695,000 in a total population of 1.7 million.
Newly named Auxiliary Bishop of New York, Robert A. Brucato, was born there August 14, 1931.
He attended Cardinal Hayes High School, Cathedral College, St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoodie, and the University of Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio.
Bishop-designate Brucato was ordained a priest on June 1, 1957.
He was parochial vicar, St. Charles Borromeo, Dover Plains, 1957-58; parochial vicar, St. Anthony, Silver Lake, 1958-59; parochial vicar, St. Ann, Ossining, 1959-60; a military chaplain in the Air Force, 1960-82; pastor of St. Gabriel, in the Bronx, 1982-84; pastor of Holy Rosary, Staten Island, 1984-87; pastor of St. Benedict, 1987-1994; and episcopal vicar for the East Bronx, 1988-94.
Bishop-designate Brucato was named Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York in 1994.