Assignment Record – Rev. Joseph B. Di Peri

Summary of Case: Joseph B. Di Peri was a priest of the Newark NJ archdiocese, ordained in 1956. He worked in a number of archdiocesan parishes and schools, and was a hospital and youth detention center chaplain. He then spent more than a decade as an instructor at Oratory School in Summit NJ. In 1977 Di Peri was sent to Canoga Park CA for "health" reasons, where he worked at Marianist-run Chaminade Preparatory High School. He appears to have returned to NJ after a year, where he again taught at Oratory, and then at a high school in Englewood NJ. His whereabouts after 1986 are unclear. In September 2002 Los Angeles police received a report that Di Peri molested a male Chaminade student during 1977-1978. The Newark archdiocese removed his privileges in 2003. By 2005 Di Peri was on the archdiocese's "permanent monitoring system" and was living in a Trenton diocese retirement home. He died in 2007.

Ordained: 1956
Died: 2007

 

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Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1956

Newark archbishop was Thomas Aloysius Boland (1952-1974).

1960 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Jersey City NJ

4/4 , 3/4, 3/5

Di Peri taught in the elementary school and organized and directed a high school equivalency program for high school dropouts.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel had a school with 155-230 boys and 138-194 girls.
1960 1962 St. Anthony's Belleville NJ 3/4, 2/4 St. Anthony's had a school with 224-222 boys and 199-208 girls.
1960 1962 Clara Maas Hospital Belleville NJ chaplain  
1960 1962 Essex County Youth House       This was a detention center for "juvenile delinquents."
1962 1967 St. Lucy's Newark NJ 5/5, 3/4, 4/5 St. Lucy's had a school with 228-109 boys and 96 girls.
1963 1967 St. James High School Newark NJ English, Spanish and American history teacher; group guidance counselor  

1967

Boland was succeeded by Peter Leo Gerety (1974-1986).

1977 Oratory School Summit NJ full-time teacher; dean of students for four years; student council moderator Oratory was a private Catholic college preparatory school with 180-275 students, all boys.

1977

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

1978 Chaminade Preparatory High School

Canoga Park

In September 2002 Los Angeles police received a report that Di Peri molested a male Chaminade student and dormitory resident 1977-1978. The abuse was said to have been reported to school officials and the police at the time.

CA Dormitory chaplain and prefect; teacher

Chaminade Prep had 544 boys and 440 girls. It was run by the Society of Mary (Marianists).

The 1978 Directory lists Di Peri as at both Oratory in NJ and Chaminade in CA.

Di Peri was granted leave from the Newark archdiocese to work in CA for "health" reasons.

1978

Newark archdiocese

1980 Oratory School Summit NJ    
1980 1981         Di Peri is not indexed in the 1981 Directory, nor is he listed as at his previous or next assignments.
1981 1986 St. Cecilia Regional High School Englewood NJ  

St. Cecilia's had 132-63 boys and 113-83 girls.

Di Peri is not indexed beyond the 1986 Directory.

1986

Gerety was replaced as Newark archbishop by Theodore Edward McCarrick (1986-2000), followed by John Joseph Myers (2001-).

2007     NJ  

Di Peri was removed from ministry in 2003 after the Newark archdiocese learned he had been credibly accused of molesting a boy in CA in the 1970s. By 2005 Di Peri was living in a retirement home in the Trenton diocese and was on the Newark archdiocese's "permanent monitoring system."

He died in 2007.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1956-1986)

LA Archdiocesan Report, Feb. 17, 2004
LA Times Database, April 20, 2006
More Church Abuse Scandal Files Released by 5 Catholic Religious Orders, By Barbara Jones and Susan Abram, Contra Costa Times, July 31, 2013
Religious Orders Released Files, Law Offices of Raymond Boucher, August 1, 2013
Priest Personnel Files Released in California Court Case Reveal Alleged Abuser in N.J.., By Mark Mueller, The New Jersey Star-Ledger, August 1, 2013

 

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 Di Peri'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 26, 2015.


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