Deacon Patrick Brannigan
Deacon Patrick Brannigan

Deacon Patrick Brannigan, of St. James Parish, Pennington, and former executive director of the New Jersey Catholic Conference, has a long history of fostering communication in faith-fueled entities.

His new role, as co-chair of the Trenton Diocese phase of the 16th Ordinary Synod of Bishops, will assure his skills continue to be put to good use.

“I hope that the Holy Spirit will instill openness into the hearts of the people of God so that as we listen – to each other – we all will be better able to hear the voice of God in our lives,” he said. “The Pope’s call will require an outreach that will involve all parishes, schools, colleges, diocesan organizations and other Catholic programs and organizations. This is an enormous task – some would say an impossible task, but as we hear in the Gospel, ‘with God all things are possible.’”

Retiring in 2019 as spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey on public policy matters through NJCC, Deacon Brannigan continues to manage ministry to the homebound of his three Hopewell Valley parishes, which include St. Alphonsus, Hopewell, and St. George, Titusville. He was ordained a deacon for the Diocese of Trenton in 2010. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have been married 53 years and have three daughters and seven grandchildren.

Before joining NJCC, he served as Deputy Chief of Management and Operations for Governors Richard J. Codey and James E. McGreevey.

From 1983 through 2002, Deacon Brannigan held a number of positions at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, including associate vice president for Technology Development, executive director of University Relations and executive director of the Center for Information Age Technology.

For 16 years prior to that, he worked in New Jersey state government departments of Community Affairs, Civil Service and Public Advocate. In Brendan Byrne’s administration, he served as acting director of the Division of Motor Vehicles. He also was a counselor at Essex County Youth House and did summer recreational work for the city of Newark and the town of Maplewood. He served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves, 404th Civil Affairs.

Throughout his career, Deacon Brannigan has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University, New Brunswick; Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck; Kean University, Union, and NJIT.

Since 1968, he has been active as member or leader of numerous national committees and community groups, as well as being a principal author of the American Society for Public Administration’s first national Code of Ethics. 

“With the help and support of the Holy Spirit, Mary Liz and I have been asked to help to make possible this dialog among God’s people in the Trenton Diocese,” Deacon Brannigan said. “We will need the participation and assistance of everyone in the Diocese.

“Because we will attempt to establish the largest possible outreach, I think we will hear amazing things,” he continued. “I am confident because I anticipate all four corners of the Diocese to be touched by amazing grace.”