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Fichter, Stephen Joseph

Research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University

Pastor of Saint Elizabeth Church in Wyckoff, NJ

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Stephen Fichter is the pastor of Saint Elizabeth Roman Catholic Church in Wyckoff, New Jersey, and a research associate for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. He has a Ph.L. and an S.T.B. from the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, an M.S.W. from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Social Service, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Rutgers University. Following in the footsteps of his granduncle, the renowned Jesuit scholar Joseph Fichter, Stephen’s research interests cover all issues related to the sociology of religion, especially those that focus on Catholicism and priests. Prior to his appointment as pastor, he served as parochial vicar of Saint Gabriel the Archangel Church in Saddle River and taught Philosophy and World Religions at Bergen Community College. While studying in Europe for nearly twelve years, he learned to speak Spanish and Italian, and held various administrative posts including chief financial officer and vice rector of two seminaries. Stephen enjoys placing his sociological skills at the service of the Catholic Church. His current focus is on Cultivating Unity, a pastoral initiative of the National Organization for Continuing Education of Roman Catholic Clergy (NOCERCC) and CARA, to foster the unity of priests and bishops. He has published three books: 1) Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood Since Vatican II (Liturgical Press, 2012); 2) From Celibate Catholic Priest to Married Protestant Minister: Shepherding in Greener Pastures (Lexington Press, 2015); and 3) Catholic Bishops in the United States: Church Leadership in the Third Millennium (Oxford University Press, 2019).