Assignment Record – Rev. John M. Fiala
Summary of Case: John M. Fiala was a priest of the Omaha archdiocese, ordained in 1986. In 1996 he left the archdiocese to join the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity in Texas. Omaha archdiocesan officials stated publicly in April 2010 that they had received a complaint in 2002 that Fiala "made sexual advances" toward a minor in the mid-1980s. Also in 2010 the archdiocese settled with a man who claimed sexual abuse by Fiala and that the archdiocese covered-up the priest's abuse of minors. In an April 2010 lawsuit Fiala was accused of having sexually assaulted a boy in 2007-2008, when the boy was 15 to 16 years-old. Accusations included rape at gunpoint and threats that he would hurt the boy and his family if the boy told. Fiala is also said to have plied the boy with alcohol and gifts. The boy disclosed the abuse to his school counselor after running away and trying to commit suicide. Fiala was arrested in Dallas County TX in November 2010 for trying to hire a hit man to kill the boy. Fiala was convicted on solicitation of murder in May 2012, and sentenced to 60 years in prison. In December 2014 he pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of the boy and was sentenced to an additional 30 years in the Texas House of Corrections.
Omaha archbishop was Daniel Eugene Sheehan (1969-1993).
• The Omaha archdiocese stated in April 2010 that it had received a complaint that Fiala "made sexual advances" toward a minor sometime in the mid-1980s.
|NE||2/3||St. Columbkille's had a school with 241-295 students.|
|Sacred Heart||Norfolk||NE||This assignment is per Omaha archdiocesan press release.|
|1987||1990||St. Peter's||Omaha||NE||2/2; In residence||Parish had a K-8 school with 45 students.|
|1988||1989||St. Joan of Arc||Omaha||NE||This assignment is per Omaha archdiocesan press release and news reports.|
|1990||1992||Christ the King||Omaha||NE||3/3; 2/3||Parish had a school with 263 students, and a CCD program with 235 students.|
Sheehan was succeeded by Elden Francis Curtiss (1993-2009).
|1994||St. Mary's||Spencer||NE||1/1||St. Mary's had a CCD program with 94 students.|
|1994||1995||St. Joseph's||Wisner||NE||1/1||Parish had a CCD program with 109 students.|
|1994||1995||West Point Central Catholic High School||Wisner||NE||religion teacher||This assignment is per news reports.|
|1995||1996||Fiala is said to have left the archdiocese of Omaha to join the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT) in Texas.||Fiala is not indexed in the 1996 Directory.|
|1996||1997||Absent on Leave|
Corpus Christi bishop was Rene Henry Gracida (1983-April 1997), followed by Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M. (April 1997-1999).
|1998||Our Lady of Victory||Beeville||TX||2/2; In residence.||
Parish had a CCD program with 80 students.
Beginning in the 1998 Directory, Fiala is listed as Rev. John M. Fiala, S.O.L.T.
|1997||1998||Sacred Heart Mission||Beeville||TX||1/2||Parish had a CCD program with 3 students.|
Kansas City -St. Joseph bishop was Raymond Joseph Boland (1993-2005)
|mid-2001||Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity||Kansas City||MO||
Spiritual Director for S.O.L.T. community
Kansas City archbishop was James Patrick Keleher (1993-2005)
|April 2002||St Joseph's||Shawnee||KS||2/2||
St. Joseph's had a school, grades 1-8, with 618 students, and an Early Childhood Education Center with 421 students.
Per an April 2010 statement by the Omaha archdiocese, they received a complaint in 2002 that Fiala had "made sexual advances" toward a minor in the mid-1980s. They further stated that, at the time of the complaint, they informed the San Antonio archidocese, the Kansas City archdiocese, and the S.O.L.T order. The San Antonio archdiocese denied receiving a complaint of child sexual abuse against Fiala.
|Jan. 2002||April 2002||Holton||KS||helped out at a Holton parish|
|2002||2003||Fiala is not indexed in the 2003 Directory.|
Corpus Christi bishop was was Edmond Carmody (2000-2010).
|2007||Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity||Robstown||TX|
San Antonio bishop was Jose Horacio Gomez (2004-2010).
|2008||The Blue Army/The World Apostolate of Fatima||San Antonio||TX||Director|
|2006||2008||Sacred Heart of Mary (Hispanic)||
• Fiala was accused in an April 2010 lawsuit of having sexually assaulting a 15-16 year old boy in 2007 and 2008, while Fiala was pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary. The accuser was a parishioner. Fiala is said to have plied the boy with alcohol and gifts, and to have raped the boy at gunpoint, threatening to hurt him and his family if he told. The boy ran away from home in late 2008, and tried to commit suicide. He disclosed the abuse to a school counselor, who contacted legal authorities.
Parish had a CCD program with 72-51 students.
Fiala was suspended from ministry in the Fall of 2008 after the Edward's County Sheriff's Department informed San Antonio archdiocesan officials that Fiala was being investigated for "interference in the custody of a minor." The boy's grandmother/legal guardian had reported Fiala to law enforcement because she was concerned that Fiala had taken the boy on overnight trips without her permission.
|2006||2008||St. Mary Magdalen||Camp Wood||TX||This was a mission of Sacred Heart of Mary in Rock Springs.|
|2006||2008||St. Raymond of Pennafort||Leakey||TX||This was a mission of Sacred Heart of Mary in Rock Springs.|
|2008||2014||• Fiala was arrested in November 2010 in Dallas County, TX after being caught on tape trying to hire someone to kill a boy who had accused Fiala of sexual abuse. The man Fiala offered $5,000 to kill the boy was an undercover police officer.||TX||
Fiala is not indexed in the 2009 Directory. Per the San Antonio archdiocese, he was removed from active ministry in 2008.
In 2010 the Omaha archdiocese settled with a man who claimed Fiala sexually abused him and that the archdiocese covered up sexual abuse of minors by Fiala.
Fiala was convicted in May 2012 of solicitation of murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison. In December 2014 he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to an additional 30 years for aggravated sexual assault of the boy he tried to have murdered. He is serving his time in the Texas Department of Corrections.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1985-2009)
• Priest Named in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit, By Abe Levy, Express-News, April 9, 2010
• Sex Abuse Suit Is Filed in Texas Diocese Supervised by L.A.'s Incoming Archbishop, By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times, April 9, 2010
• Allegation of Sexual Abuse by Priest Shocks West Texas Town, By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 2010
• Priest Accused of Child Sex Assault, By Michael Kelly, Standard Times, April 15, 2010
• Former Omaha priest accused of sexual abuse of minor in Texas, By Rev. Joseph C. Taphorn, Archdiocese of Omaha, April 20, 2010
• Ex-Omaha Priest Accused of Abuse, By Bob Glissmann, World-Herald, April 20, 2010
• Former Omaha priest accused of sexual abuse of minor in Texas, By Rev. Joseph C. Taphorn, Archdiocese of Omaha, April 20, 2010
• Accused Priest Served in Nebraska, By David Hendee, World Herald, April 21, 2010
• Concerns Increase over Accused Priest, By Abe Levy, San Antonio Express-News, April 21, 2010
• Catholic Priest Who Had Worked in KC Area Is Accused of Molesting Boy in Texas, By Judy Thomas, Kansas City Star, April 24, 2010
• LAWRENCE | Priest arrested on Texas charges, Kansas City Star, September 4, 2010
• Priest Arrested in Area Sex Case, By Abe Levy, San Antonio Express-News, September 4, 2010
• Ex-Priest Tells Judge He Thought Texas Officials Had Dropped Charges Alleging Sex Crimes against Children, By George Diepenbrock, Lawrence Journal-World, September 8, 2010
• Former Priest to Be Extradited to Texas to Face Sex-abuse Charges, By George Diepenbrock, KTKA, September 14, 2010
• Priest Accused in Murder-for-hire Plot, By Eva Ruth Moravec, San Antonio Express-News, November 22, 2010
• Bail $700,000 for Ex-Omaha Priest, By Susan Szalewski and Christopher Burbach, Omaha World-Herald, November 23, 2010
• Police: Priest Solicited Murder of Boy Accusing Him of Sex Abuse, By Ashley Hayes, CNN, November 23, 2010
• Attorney: "Father Fiala Is a Danger to Society", By Tim Gerber, KSAT, November 23, 2010
• Archdiocese Settles Suit for $946,000, By Abe Levy, The Express-News, January 21, 2011
• 3 Catholic Groups Settle Case, By Abe Levy, The Express-News, January 29, 2011
• Church Ignored Warnings about Fiala, By Abe Levy, The Express-News, February 20, 2011
• Marian Devotion Was a Tactic for Father Fiala, Records Suggest, By Abe Levy, The Express-News, February 21, 2011
• Archdiocese Faces Criticism, By Christopher Burbach, The World-Herald, April 6, 2011
• Group Wants Catholic Church in Kansas to Improve Communication about Sexual Abuse, Shawnee Dispatch, June 16, 2011
• Group Urges Grand Jury Inquiry into Priest Sex Crimes, Cover-Ups, By Michael Mansur and Judy L. Thomas, Kansas City Star, April 27, 2011
• Update: Ex-priest Convicted of Trying to Hire Hit Man to Kill Abuse Accuser, By Scott Goldstein / Reporter, Dallas Morning News, May 14, 2012
• Trial Begins for Catholic Priest Accused of Trying to Hire Hit Man to Kill Accuser, By Jennifer Emily, Dallas Morning News, May 16, 2012
• Ex-Priest Accused of Hiring Hit Man to Kill Abuse Accuser Testifies He Thought His Life Was in Danger, By Scott Goldstein, Dallas Morning News, May 17, 2012
• Fate of Ex-priest Accused of Death Plot with Jury, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, May 17, 2012
• Former Priest Convicted in Murder-for-hire Plot, By Melissa Cutler, My Fox DFW, May 17, 2012
• Former Priest Who Allegedly Raped Boy in Big Spring Found Guilty in Dallas, By Audrey Castoreno, NewsWest 9, May 17, 2012
• Trial of Ex-Priest in Reported Death Plot Opens, Odessa American, May 17, 2012
• Evil Ex Priest, Daily Mail, May 18, 2012
• Update: Man Testifies Ex-priest Sexually Assaulted Him As Boy at Gunpoint, Threatened to Harm His Family, By Scott Goldstein, Dallas Morning News, May 18, 2012
• Update: 60-year Sentence for Ex-priest Who Plotted to Kill Abuse Accuser, By Scott Goldstein, Dallas Morning News, May 18, 2012
• Former Priest Sentenced for Hiring Hit Man to Kill Teen, NewsWest 9, May 18, 2012
• Ex-Kansas Priest Found Guilty of Plotting Death of Accuser, Wichita Eagle, May 18, 2012
• Ex-Texas Priest Gets 60 Years in Murder Scheme, San Antonio Express-News, May 18, 2012
• Ex-priest Gets 60 Years for Murder-for-hire Plot, By Melissa Cutler, My Fox DFW, May 19, 2012
• Ex-Priest Guilty of Conspiring to Kill Boy Who Accused Him of Rape, Press TV, May 19, 2012
• Ex-Priest Gets 60 Years for Plot to Kill Abuse Accuser, By Arthur Weinre, Digital Journal, May 20, 2012
• Ex-omaha Priest Gets 60 Years in Plot to Kill Accuser, Omaha World-Herald, May 26, 2012
• NM - New NM Bishop Blasted on Child Sex Cases, By David Clohessy, SNAP, January 10, 2013
• Omaha Archbishop Is Contender for Promotion, SNAP, June 5, 2014
• Rocksprings Priest Pleaded Guilty to Aggravated Sexual Assault, Concho Valley Homepage, December 3, 2014
• Former Priest, an Omaha Native, Is Sentenced in Sex Assault, The World-Herald, December 4, 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 Fiala'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 December 8, 2014.
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