WASHINGTON (July 8, 1997) -- Pope John Paul II accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward T. Hughes of Metuchen, New Jersey, and appointed Monsignor Vincent DePaul Breen, Director of the Office for Catholic Education of the Diocese of Brooklyn, as his successor.
Bishop Hughes, 76, and Bishop-designate Breen, 60, are both veteran educators and former school superintendents with long histories of service to Catholic education in the United States.
Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to the United States, made the announcement.
Vincent DePaul Breen was born in Brooklyn on December 24, 1936. He attended Cathedral College, Douglaston, Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, and the North American College in Rome. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, July 15, 1962.
Following ordination, he was assigned to be parochial vicar at St. Edmund parish. Appointed Assistant Superintendent of Schools in 1962, he became Associate Superintendent in 1976 and Superintendent in 1978.
Bishop-designate Breen has been a member of the Diocesan Pastoral Committee on Catholic Education; the Catholic-Jewish Relations Committee for the Diocese of Brooklyn; the United States Catholic Conference (USCC) Advisory Committee on Public Policy in Catholic Schools; a board member of the National Catholic Educational Association; and a member of the Education Committee of the State of New York, public and non-public schools. From 1978-1980, he was President of the Association of Superintendents of Catholic Schools of the State of New York.
Edward Thomas Hughes was born November 13, 1920, in Landsdowne, Pennsylvania. He attended St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on May 31, 1947.
He was a high school teacher for seven years, served as assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception church in Jenkintown for two years, and was Vice Rector of St. Charles Seminary for four years. He became archdiocesan Superintendent of Schools in 1960 and was later Chairman of the Department of Education of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.
The then-Monsignor Hughes was named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, June 15, 1976. He was appointed second Bishop of Metuchen on December 11, 1986, and installed on February 5, 1987.
The Diocese of Metuchen was established on November 19, 1981. It comprises the counties of Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset and Middlesex in the State of New Jersey and has a Catholic population of 483,000 in a total population of slightly more than 1.1 million.