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Assignment Record– Rev. Justin Paul Pechulis

Summary of Case: Justin Paul Pechulis was ordained for the Diocese of Raleigh in 1958. He assisted in Newton Grove before being named pastor of a Tarboro parish in 1962. From there he pastored parishes in North Wilkesboro, Charlotte and Asheville, which became part of the Charlotte diocese when it was established in 1971.

In 2009 Pechulis was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy from Philadelphia in the late 1970s. Per the suit, the boy was being abused by Philadelphia priest, John McCole, who took the boy on a trip to Asheville NC where Pechulis was pastor of St. Lawrence parish. McCole and Pechulis were friends from seminary. The alleged victim said the two priests forced him to participate in group oral sex, and a third man watched while masturbating.

Pechulis died unexpectedly at age 53 in April 1983.

Ordained
: 1958
Died: April 30, 1983


   

Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1958

Diocese of Raleigh

Bishop was Vincent Stanislaus Waters (1945-1974).

1959 Our Lady of Guadalupe Newton Grove NC 2/2

 

1958 1959 St. Mary's Mt. Olive NC   This was a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton Grove.
1958 1959 Good Shepherd Duplin NC   This was a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton Grove.
1958 1959 Sacred Heart Goldsboro NC   This was a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton Grove.
1958 1959 Transfiguration Wallace NC   This was a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton Grove.
1959 1961 Our Lady of the Assumption Charlotte NC 2/2 Our Lady of the Assumption had a school with 180-236 students.
1961 1962 Infant of Prague Jacksonville NC 2/2 Infant of Prague had a schoolw ith 700 students.
1962 1968 St. Catherine's Tarboro NC 1/1  
1962 1968 St. Anne's Scotland Neck NC   This was a mission of St. Catherine's in Tarboro.

1968

The Charlotte diocese was established November 12, 1971. Its bishop was Michael Joseph Begley (1971-1984).

1973 St. John Baptist de LaSalle North Wilkesboro NC 1/1, 1/2 St. John Baptiste de LaSalle became part of the Charlotte diocese when it was established in 1971.
1968 1973 St. Frances of Rome Sparta NC   This was a mission of St. John Baptist de LaSalle in North Wilkesboro.
1973 1977 St. Peter's Charlotte NC 1/2  
1977 1983 St. Lawrence's

Asheville

Pechulis was accused in a 2009 lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy along with retired Philadelphia priest, Rev. John McCole, in the late 1970s. His accuser, who was from Philadelphia, said McCole had been abusing him and took him on a trip to Asheville, where the two priests forced him to participate in group oral sex. The priests were friends from seminary. The alleged victim also said a third man watched while masturbating.

NC 1/1

Pechulis died unexpectedly at age 53 in April 30, 1983.

 

Pechulis and McCole's accuser said he told Philadelphia archbishop Krol about the abuse, whose response was, “That’s just how men behave with each other.”

 

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.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1959-1984).

Sex Abuse Lawsuit Names Deceased Asheville Priest, By Clarke Morrison, Citizen Times, June 2, 2009
'70s Altar Boy Alleges Abuse & That Krol Abetted Cover-up, By St. John Barned-Smith, Philadelphia Daily News, June 9, 2009
Philly Priests Face Sex-abuse Charges, Philadelphia Gay News, June 25, 2009 


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 Pechulis's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations 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 January 25, 2017.


 
 

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