New episcopal vicar of education appointed for the Archdiocese of Newark

The Rev. Stephen J. Fichter

NEWARK, NJ — Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, archbishop of Newark, has appointed the Rev. Stephen J. Fichter, pastor of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Parish in Wyckoff, as the new episcopal vicar of education of the Archdiocese of Newark, effective July 1. 

In his new role, Fichter will support the archbishop in the exercise of his responsibilities and oversight of all areas relating to Catholic schools, education and faith formation within the Archdiocese of Newark, including oversight of 74 primary and secondary Catholic schools, campus ministry, and young adult and youth faith formation programs and services. Fichter will continue as pastor at St. Elizabeth of Hungary parish.

“I am deeply grateful to Father Stephen for his willingness to undertake this new service. He is a clear champion of the teaching ministry of our Church, and will bring his academic formation, broad pastoral experience and proven creativity to this vital new role,” Tobin said.

“I was both surprised and honored to be asked by Cardinal Tobin to take on this new assignment, and I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve the larger community of our archdiocese,” Fichter said. “I look forward to working alongside the thousands of amazing women and men among us who bring Christ’s light into all our educational programs.” 

Fichter, who was ordained a priest in 2000, earned his Licentiate in Philosophy and Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, a Master of Social Work from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in sociology from Rutgers University. While studying in Europe for almost 12 years, he learned to speak Spanish and Italian, and held various administrative posts, including chief financial officer and vice rector of two seminaries.

Monsignor Thomas J. McDade, who has served as the vicar for education and interim superintendent of schools of the Archdiocese of Newark since July 2020, will resume his interrupted retirement at the end of June.