Assignment Record Rev. Virgilio (Virgil) Elizondo

Summary of Case: Virgilio Elizondo was ordained a priest of the San Antonio TX diocese in 1961. He has assisted in parishes, pastored a cathedral, was chaplain of a boys' day and boarding school, has served as dean of studies and vice-rector of a seminary, and was founder and president of San Antonio's Mexican-American Cultural Center. Elizondo gained prominence through his career as a professor of Latino theology, and has been called the founder of Latino theology in the United States. He was a long-time Notre Dame University faculty member, beginning in 1999. In in a civil lawsuit filed May 22, 2015 Elizondo was accused of sexually abusing a male minor in 1983 in San Antonio. His accuser said the abuse occurred when he sought help from Elizondo for sexual abuse he said he had suffered by former seminarian and then-Rev. Jesus Armando Dominguez. The lawsuit says Elizondo was driving the boy in a car when the boy told the Elizondo of the abuse by Dominguez, and that Elizondo reached over, kissed him and fondled him. Elizondo denied the abuse. He died March 14, 2016, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Ordained: 1963

 

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Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1963

San Antonio archbishop was Robert Emmet Lucey (1941-1969).

1964 Our Lady of Grace

San Antonio

TX  

Our Lady of Grace had a school with 211 students.

1963 1964 Our Lady of Sorrows San Antonio TX 3/3 This was a mission of Our Lady of Grace.

1964

1966 Sacred Heart Floresville TX 2/2 Sacred Heart had a school with 208-222 students.

1966

1967 Mount Sacred Heart School for Boys San Antonio TX Chaplain This was a boarding and day school for Kindergarten through Grade 8, with 302 students.
1967 1968 The Assumption Seminary San Antonio TX Dean of Studies  

1968

Francis James Furey succeeded Lucey as San Antonio archbishop (1969-1979).

1970         Elizondo is not indexed in the 1969 or 1970 Directories.
1970 1972 The Assumption Seminary San Antonio TX Dean of Collegians-Theologians  
1972 1978 Mexican-American Cultural Center San Antonio TX Founder and President  

1978

Patrick Fernandez Flores replaced Furey (1979-2004).

1980 Away for Studies        
1980 1983 On Special Assignment: Mexican-American Cultural Center San Antonio TX    
1983 1995 Cathedral of San Fernando

San Antonio

Elizondo was accused in a May 2015 civil lawsuit of kissing and fondling a boy in 1983. His accuser said he had gone to Elizondo for help for sexual abuse he said he had previously suffered by former seminarian priest Jesus Armando Dominguez. The accuser is said to have lived at the time in an orphanage across the street from Assumption Seminary; Elizondo is said to have been driving him back to the orphanage after an outing when the abuse occurred. Elizondo denies the abuse.

TX 1/4, 1/3

The Cathedral had a religious education program with 663-485 students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominguez has been accused of sexually abusing at least six boys in California in the 1970s and 1980s. He was charged in 2005 with 58 counts of sexual abuse of two altar boys in California in 1988 and 1989. He fled to Mexico.

1983 1995

San Francesco di Paola (Italian)

San Antonio TX    
1995 1996 Special Assignment: Sabbatical San Antonio TX    

1996

José Horacio Gómez Velasco succeeded Flores (2004-2010). Gómez Velasco was replaced by Gustavo Garcia-Siller, M. Sp.S. (2010-).

2015 St. Rose of Lima San Antonio TX 2/2, 2/3 St. Rose of Lima had a religious education program with 859-1,400 students.

1999

Ft. Wayne-South Bend bishop was John Michael D'Arcy (1985-2009), followed by Kevin Carl Rhoades (2009-).

2015 University of Notre Dame South Bend IN faculty  

2011

 

2016 Assumption Seminary San Antonio TX Vice Rector

A civil lawsuit was filed May 22, 2015 accusing Elizondo of the sexual abuse of a boy in 1983. As of June 8, 2015 Elizondo remained in ministry.

Elizondo died of reported suicide March 14, 2016.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1962-2014)

Fugitive Ex-Priest Thought to Be in Mexico, by Michael Fisher, The Press-Enterprise [California], February 8, 2006
John Doe vs Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Antonio, May 22, 2015
Notre Dame Professor, Ex-priest Accused in Suit of Sexual Assault of Texas Orphan 30 Years Ago, by Tom Coyne, Associated Press, May 28, 2015
Theology Professor Priest Faces Sexual Abuse Allegations, The Observer [serving Notre Dame and St. Mary's], May 30, 2015
Fr. Virgilio Elizondo Reportedly Takes His Own Life, By Robert Rivard, Rivard Report, March 15, 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 Howlin'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 17, 2016.


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