Rev. Philip C. Keyes

Summary of Case: Keyes was convicted in 1993 of sexually assaulting a 10 year-old boy, and was accused in 1994 lawsuits of the sexual assault of another minor and of an adult male. Keyes was a priest of the Madison diocese until he left the Roman Catholic Church in 1979 to serve as a priest in an ultra-conservative independent Catholic church. He died in 1998.

: 1958


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Madison bishop was William Patrick O'Connor (1946-1967)

1963 St. Paul's Madison WI 3/6, 3/7, 3/5, 3/8, 3/11 This was a chapel for the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
1963 1964 Holy Mother of Consolation Oregon WI 2/2 Parish had a school with 170 students.


O'Connor was succeeded by Cletus Francis O'Donell (1967-1992)

1968 St. Paul's Evansville WI


In residence.

1968 1976 St. Coletta School for Exceptional Children Jefferson WI Chaplain This residential school served 370-353 "mentally retarded" children.
1976 1979 Absent on Leave       Keyes is not indexed beyond the 1979 Directory.
1979? 1993 St. Pius V


Keyes was convicted in April 1993 of sexually assaulting a ten-year-old boy. He was sentenced to one year in jail, during which time he was allowed to be released to go home to feed his cats.

In 1994 Keyes was accused by a man in a lawsuit who claimed Keyes sexually abused him as a minor, while Keyes was a St. Pius V priest. St. Pius V Church and the Society of St. Pius X settled with the man, as well as with the boy he was convicted of sexually assaulting. The boy's father also received a settlement after alleging sexual assault by Keyes in a lawsuit.


Keyes left the diocese in 1976 and became a priest of an independent Catholic church,St. Pius V, in Mukwonago WI. The church was affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X, which rejects Vatican II reforms.

Keyes died in 1998.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1959-1979)

Priest Convicted, Wisconsin State Journal, April 3, 1993
Child Molester Can Feed Cats, Capital Times, October 14, 1993
Two File Sexual Assault Lawsuit against Priest from Edgerton, By Pat Schneider, Capital Times, May 14, 1994
Priest Settles Sex Suit; Sun Prairie Boy to Get $ 6,378, By Kevin Murphy, Capital Times, August 16, 1995
Former Priest Convicted of Sex Assault Working As Counselor, By Marie Rohde, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 17, 2002

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 Keyes' 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 May 19, 2011