Assignment Record Bro. Joseph J. Alexander, O.S.B./Rev. Joseph J. Alexander

Summary of Case: A native of Lafayette LA, Joseph J. Alexander joined the Benedictine order in 1955. He lived and worked as a religious brother at a monastery in KY, and was ordained a priest in 1973. Alexander left the Benedictines in 1984, returning to LA to serve as a priest of the Lafayette diocese. He was involved in education and parish work. In April 2002 Lafayette bishop Edward O'Donnell removed Alexander from active ministry after learning of an allegation that Alexander had "engaged in sexual impropriety" with a teenage boy in KY in the early 1960s. Alexander acknowledged the "impropriety."

Joined Benedictine Order: 1955
Ordained: 1973



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Owensboro bishop was Francis Ridgely Cotton (1937-1960), followed by Henry Joseph Soenneker (1961-1982).

1973 St. Mark's Monastery

South Union

In April 2002 the Lafayette LA bishop Edward O'Donnell announced that an allegation had emerged that Alexander was involved in "sexual impropriety with a minor" in KY in the early 1960s, when Alexander was a monk at St. Mark's. Alexander acknowledged his behavior. The abuse occurred in a seminary; Alexander's victim was a teen-age boy.

KY monk Per news reports, Alexander joined the Benedictine Order as a brother in 1955.


Soenneker was succeeded by John Jeremiah McRaith (1982-2009).

1984 St. Mark's Monastery South Union KY Sub Prior 1975-1977; Prior 1977-1983  


Lafayette bishop was Gerard Louis Frey (1972-1989).

1988 Our Lady of Wisdom, University of Southwestern Louisiana Lafayette LA

3/4, 3/3, 2/3

In residence 1987-1988

Per news reports, Alexander left the Benedictines in 1984 and returned to his native Lafayette to serve as a priest of the diocese.


Harry Joseph Flynn followed Frey as Lafayette bishop (1989-1994), followed by Edward Joseph O'Donnell (1984-2002).

1987 St. Thomas More High School Lafayette LA teacher  
1987 1988 Holy Rosary Institute Lafayette LA principal  
  April 2002 St. Edmund Catholic School Eunice LA chancellor  
1988 April 2002 St. Anthony of Padua Eunice LA 2/3, 2/2, 1/2

Alexander was placed on Administrative Leave in April 2002 due to the surfacing of the allegation and his acknowledgment that he had had sexual contact with a boy in the early 1960s.

Alexander is not indexed beyond the 2003 Directory.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-2002)

Eunice Priest Removed for Sexual Misconduct, Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 15, 2002
Eunice Priest Out; Bishop Cites Claim That He Abused Boy, By Bruce Schultz, Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), April 16, 2002
Priest Removed from Eunice Post; Pope Summons Cardinals to Talk about Scandal, By John Sullivan, Daily Advertiser, (Lafayette, LA), April 16, 2002
Some Parishioners Upset over Removal of Priest, Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 16, 2002
Allegations against Two More Priests in South Louisiana, By Jessica Bujol, Associated Press State & Local Wire, April 17, 2002
Priest Charged in Alleged Sex Crime, By Richard Burgess, Daily Advertiser, May 10, 2002
Records reveal new info in priest child abuse case, By Billy Gunn And Richard Burgess, Advocate, September 7, 2014



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 Alexander'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 March 26, 2015.

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