Assignment Record – Rev. Ruben V. Abaya

Summary of Case: Ruben V. Abaya is a Filipino priest who worked in the US from 1977 to 1982, in New Jersey. He was accused in a 1984 lawsuit with six other priests of sexual abuse of a girl 1980-1982 in the Los Angeles CA archdiocese. Abaya visited the other priests at St. Philomena parish in Carson CA in April 1980, and allegedly assaulted the girl then. The girl became pregnant by one of the priests (not Abaya). The priests fled the US and returned to the Philippines after the 1984 lawsuit was filed; the suit was then dropped. In 1991 Santiago Tamayo, the priest who first raped the girl, held a news conference to apologize to the victim for his own crimes and for involving the other priests in her abuse. In 2007, the LA archdiocese paid $500,000 to settle the victim’s case. A Rev. Ruben V. Abaya, JCD is listed online in a 2012-2013 Catholic directory as Defender of the Bond of the Laoag diocese and as chaplain for Monasterio de Santa Clara, a convent in Laoag City, province of Illocos Norte.




Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


Newark archbishop was Peter Leo Gerety (1974-1986).

1978 Our Lady Help of Christians East Orange NJ 4/5 Our Lady Help of Christians had a school with 193 students.
1978 1980 Holy Cross Rumson NJ 2/2, 2/3 Holy Cross had a school with 268 students.
1978 1980 Holy Rosary Rumson NJ   This was a mission of Holy Cross.

April 1980

Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985).

April 1980 St. Philomena


Abaya was accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl, along with another priest, in a hotel while he was visiting St. Philomena's in April 1980.


Abaya was granted faculties for 11 days in April 1980.

The girl accused six other Filipino priests working in L.A. of also sexually assaulting her. (She became pregnant in 1982 and bore the child of one of them -not Abaya. She was secretly sent by the priests to the Philippines to have the baby.)


Trenton bishop was John Charles Reiss (1980-1997).

Metuchen bishop was Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1981-1986).

1983 St. Mary's Perth Amboy NJ 3/3

St. Mary's had a grade school with 211 students, and a high school with 186 students.

The 1981 Directory shows Perth Amboy to be part of the Metuchen diocese.

Abaya is not indexed beyond the 1983 Directory.

1983 1984          
1984 2015     Philippines  

The accuser of Abaya and the other six priests filed suit in 1984; the priests fled to the Philippines, and the suit was dropped. In 1991 one of the priests, Santiago Tamayo, who was the first to rape the girl, apologized publicly for his crimes and for involving the other priests. In 2007 the woman received a $500,000 settlement from the Los Angeles archdiocese.

A Rev. Ruben V. Abaya, JCD is listed online in a 2012-2013 Catholic directory as Defender of the Bond of the Laoag diocese and as chaplain for Monasterio de Santa Clara, a convent in Laoag City, province of Illocos Norte.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1978-1983)

Milla v. Tamayo, 187 Cal.App.3d 1453, March 4, 1987
Shattered Faith, By Nick Green, Daily Breeze, December 5, 2007
Legal Battle Finally Ends for Victim of Priest Abuse, By Susannah Rosenblatt, Los Angeles Times, December 5, 2007
Tamayo File from LA Archdiocese, released 01.21.13
Tamayo File from LA Archdiocese released 01.31.13
Sexual Misconduct among Priest in the Philippines: Key Cases,,


Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Abaya's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on July 14, 2015.