Jay Scott Newman was born on 6 August 1962 in Elkin, North Carolina to a family of Southern Baptists and Brethren. He grew up in the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina and was graduated from Ragsdale High School in Jamestown, North Carolina in 1980. That fall he matriculated at Princeton University, and there on 15 October 1981, after being an atheist for five years, he was converted to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was baptized in the Episcopal Church on 17 January 1982 and received into full communion with the Catholic Church on 5 November 1982. After studies at Princeton and the Catholic University of America he was graduated with an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Belmont Abbey College near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Father Newman studied for five years at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and received priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College. He was ordained to the diaconate on 19 December 1992 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and to the priesthood on 10 July 1993 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, South Carolina. He holds degrees in sacred theology and canon law.
Father Newman began his service as the sixteenth pastor of St. Mary’s Church on 28 June 2001, before which he served as Dean of Men and Assistant Professor of Canon Law at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to teaching at the Josephinum, Father Newman had previously served as Catholic Chaplain to The Citadel and as pastor of three other parish churches in South Carolina: St. Mark’s, Newberry; St. Boniface, Joanna; and Divine Redeemer, Hanahan, and he had also taught at the University of the Virgin Islands, Thomas More College, and The Citadel.
Father Newman presently serves as Dean of the Greenville Deanery of the Diocese of Charleston and as a member of the diocesan College of Consultors, the Presbyteral Council and the Priest Personnel Board, and he previously served for seven years as diocesan Director of Continuing Education for Priests and as a member of the diocesan Vocations Board. Father Newman is a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the Knights of Columbus, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, the Canon Law Society of America, and the Society for Catholic Liturgy.