Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Newark in 1981, Father Paul Holmes is Distinguished University Professor of Servant Leadership at Seton Hall University. A native of New Jersey, he graduated Seton Hall with a B.A. in sociology and, in five years of study at the North American College in Rome, Father Holmes earned an S.T.B. magna cum laude from the Gregorian University and an S.T.L. summa cum laude in moral theology from the Lateran University’s Academia Alfonsiana.
While ministering at Newark’s Cathedral parish, he received an S.T.M. at Yale University, working with Benedictine liturgist Aidan Kavanagh. He also earned a doctorate magna cum laude from Rome’s University of St. Thomas Aquinas (‘Angelicum’). In 1992, Father Holmes helped inaugurate Clergy Consultation and Treatment Service, an interdisciplinary outpatient treatment program for priests at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Westchester, New York, and recently returned (2010 – 2015) to serve once again as the program’s Spiritual Director.
Father Holmes was invited to be the first occupant of the Carl J. Peter Chair of Preaching at the North American College in Rome (1999-2000). Returning to Seton Hall, he was named Associate Provost for Academic Administration, continuing to teach courses in moral and sacramental theology. As the University’s first Vice President for Mission and Ministry, he led the efforts to obtain a $2-million award from Lilly Endowment, establishing the Center for Vocation and Servant Leadership. He then served as Vice President and Interim Dean of Seton Hall’s School of Diplomacy and International Relations and, later, as the University’s Executive Vice President.
Father Holmes has published articles in numerous journals and was invited to create This Sunday’s Scripture, the first homily service of Twenty-Third Publications. He has also offered a number of “Authentic Preaching” practicums to seminarians, deacons and priests from around the English-speaking world. In collaboration with the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, he has developed the Toolbox for Pastoral Management, teaching new pastors the administrative skills needed to lead a vibrant Catholic parish in the 21st century. He also edited the award-winning A Pastor’s Toolbox: Management Skills for Parish Leadership (2014) from Liturgical Press.
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Leadership Roundtable promotes best practices and accountability in the management, finances, communications, and human resources development of the Catholic Church in the U.S., including greater incorporation of the expertise of the laity.