Rev. Msgr. Vincent Ignatius Breen

Summary of Case:
 In 1982, Breen, then age 70, agreed to retire, seek treatment, and leave the area to avoid prosecution for fondling eight girls, ages 7-14,  over a 1 1/2  year period. Estimated to have sexually abused possibly over 100 children. Vicar General of the Diocese, William Macchi, stated that he had first heard "rumors" of Msgr. Breen's 'activities' three years prior. Breen died in 1986.

: 1936
Died: December 23, 1986



Start Stop Assignment Town State Position Notes


San Francisco bishop was John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961)

1938 St. Mary's Stockton
CA 3/4, 2/4 Parish had a school with 188-207 boys and 222-262 girls.


Baltimore-Washington bishop was Michael Joseph Curley (1921-1947)

1942 Catholic University Washington DC   Earned a PhD in economics. (The Argus [Fremont CA]
May 9, 2005)
1942 1944 Nativity (for Slavs) San Francisco CA


In residence.

Breen was Assistant Superintendent of Schools.
1944 1946 St. Joseph Military Academy Belmont CA Chaplain St. Joseph's was an elementary school with 225-237 students, both day and resident.
1944 1952 Serra High School for Boys San Mateo CA Principal

School had 89-366 students.

Breen referred to as "Very Rev."

1952 1953 St. Mary's Walnut Creek CA





Oakland bishop was Floyd Lawrence Begin (1962-1977), followed by John Stephen Cummins (1977-2003)

1982 Holy Ghost
(or Holy Spirit)



• In 1976 there was an investigation of Breen, lead by another child molester, Msgr. George Francis. (The Argus [Fremont CA] May 9, 2005). The results were not made public. A 1981 police investigation found that Breen had molested at least 8 girls, ages 7-14 (San Jose Mercury News (CA)
December 31, 1987). No criminal charges were filed, on the condition that Breen agree to retire, leave the area, and seek counseling. He may have molested more than 100 children (Pioneer News, 5-19-05).


1/2, 1/1, 1/3,1/4


Holy Ghost was in Centerville until 1957, when Centerville became a district of newly incorporated Fremont. A parish school was established in 1956. It had 135-390 students.

The parish was in the San Francisco archdiocese until 1962, when the area became part of the newly established Oakland diocese.

1982 1986 Retired       Died Dec. 31, 1986.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1936-1986).

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 & 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.


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