Assignment Record Rev. Bennett "Ben" Colucci, O.F.M. Cap.

Summary of Case: Bennett "Ben" Colucci was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscans in 1957. He spent his career in Washington DC, Pittsburgh PA, the dioceses of Arecibo, San Juan and Ponce in Puerto Rico, Denver CO, and Salina KS. Colucci was removed from ministry in Denver in 1993 for "reported misconduct" and was transferred to KS. He retired in 2005. In 2015 a woman reported to the Capuchins that Colucci sexually abused her in the 1980s when she was a student at Marycrest High School in Denver, where Colucci was working. The Order deemed the allegation credible.

Ordained: 1957
Retired: 2005

 

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Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes

1957

Washington DC archbishop was Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle (1947-1973).

1958 St. Francis Capuchin College

Washington

DC  

 

1958

Pittsburgh bishop was John Francis Deardon (1950-1958), followed by John Joseph Wright (1959-1983).

1959 St. Augustine Monastery Pittsburgh PA   This was the Motherhouse of the St. Augustine Province of the Capuchin Order.

1959

Arecibo bishop was Alfredo José Isaac Cecilio Francesco Méndez-Gonzalez, C.S.C. (1960-1974).

1963 St. Michael's Utuado Puerto Rico 4/7, 2/6, 2/5 St. Michael's had a grade school with 159 boys and 145 girls, and a high school with 82 boys and 123 girls.

1963

San Juan archbishop was James Peter Davis (1943-1964), followed by Luis Apote Martínez (1964-1999).

1967 Santa Cruz Trujillo Alto Puerto Rico 2/3

Santa Cruz had a school with 512-550 students.

The 1967 Directory indexes but does not list Colucci in the San Juan pages as at Santa Cruz.

1967

Ponce bishop was Juan Fremiot Torres Oliver (1964-2000).

1970 Iglesia San Joaquim Adjuntas Puerto Rico 2/3 San Joaquim had a grade school with 101 boys and 99 girls, and a high school with 25-24 boys and 35 girls.

1970

Denver archbishop was James Vincent Casey (1967-1986).

1974 Annunciation Denver CO 2/3 Annunciation had a school with 292-267 students.
1970 1993? Marycrest High School

Denver

A woman reported to the Order in 2015 that Colucci sexually abused her when she was a Marycrest student in the 1980s. The Order deemed the accusation credible.

CO   Per the archdiocese, Colucci served "1970 to 1993 at Marycrest High School, Annunciation Parish, and the Samaritan House."
1974 1977         The 1975-1977 Directories index Colucci as at Annunciation, but he is not listed as there in the Denver pages.
1977 1980 Holy Cross Friary Denver CO    
1980 1982         Colucci is not indexed in the 1981 or 1982 Directories, nor is he listed in the Denver pages as at his previous or next assignments.
1982 1983 Santa Clara Friary Denver CO In residence  
1983 1986 Holy Cross Friary Denver CO    
1986 1993 Annunciation Friary Denver CO Vicar 1990-1993  

1986

Casey was succeeded by James Francis Stafford (1986-1996).

1993 Samaritan House

Denver

Colucci was removed from ministry in 1993 for "reported misconduct."

CO Assistant Director  
1993 1994         Colucci is not indexed in the 1994 Directory, nor is he listed in the diocesan pages as at his previous or next assignments.

1994

Salina bishop was George Kinzie Fitzsimons (1984-2004), followed by Paul Stagg Coakley (2004-2010).

2005 St. Joseph's Hays KS

7/7, 6/6, 5/5, 4/4

In residence

St. Joseph's had had a CCD program with 290-137 students, and a a school until 2001 with 152-308 students.

Only the 2002 and 2004 Directories index Colucci; the others for 1994-2005 do not index him, yet he is listed consistently in the Salina pages as at St. Joseph's.

2005 2007 Retired/St. Joseph's Friary Hays KS    

2007

Coakley was succeeded as Salina bishop by Edward Joseph Weisenburger (2012-).

2014 Retired/St. Fidelis Victoria KS  

St. Fidelis had a CCD program with 174-201 students.

When the allegation was made public in March 2016 that Colluci had abused a girl in the 1980s, the Denver archdiocese stated, "Father Colucci has not been in active ministry for many years, [so] it was not necessary for the Capuchin Franciscans to remove him from ministry as a result of the complaint."

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1958-2014)

A Life Dedicated to Prayer, By Fr. Charles Polifka, O.F.M.Cap., Provincial Porter, a newsletter of the Capuchin Province of Mid-America, Spring 2013, Issue 154
Which Leaves Brother Ben, By Brother Brandon Berg, The Caperone, Newsletter of the North American Pacific Capuchin Conference Novitiate, August 2011
Archdiocese of Denver Receives a Complaint of Abuse, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver, March 3, 2016
Colorado Woman Says Priest Sexually Abused Her As a Teen, By Kieran Nicholson, Denver Post, March 2, 2016
Allegation of sexual misconduct in Denver lodged against retired Capuchin, The Register, March 25, 2016

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 Colucci'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 January 6, 2017.


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