Assignment Record – Rev. Terence O. "Fr. Mac" McAlinden

Summary of Case: Terence McAlinden was ordained a priest of the Trenton diocese in 1967. He did parish work for several years in Sayerville and Trenton before becoming Director of the diocese's Catholic Youth Organization, a position he held for almost two decades. The CYO was headquartered in Keyport. In 1988 McAlinden was assigned as pastor to St. Theresa's in Tuckerton. The parish moved to a building in Little Egg Harbor in 2006.

In September 2007 McAlinden was removed from active ministry after an allegation surfaced that he had sexually abused a boy in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning when the boy was age 13. In 2011 two other men alleged publicly that McAlinden sexually abused them as teenagers, one in 1969 and the other from 1980-1985. This accuser said his abuse was reported to the diocese in 1989, and that he received a settlement in 1992 and was made to sign a confidentiality agreement. Diocesan officials claimed in 2011 that there was no record of this. In October 2014 the diocese settled a lawsuit with a fourth man who claimed McAlinden sexually abused him over a three-year period in the 1980s, beginning when the man was 14 years old. McAlinden died February 6, 2015.

Ordained: 1967
Died: February 6, 2015



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Trenton bishop was George William Ahr (1950-1979).

1971 Our Lady of Victories


McAlinden was accused in 2011 of sexually abusing a 14-year-old altar boy in the late 1960s. McAlinden's accuser said the abuse occurred in the rectory of Our Lady of Victories.

NJ 2/2 Our Lady of Victories had a school with 566-466 students.
1971 1973 Incarnation Trenton NJ 4/4, 3/3 In residence. Incarnation had a school with 665-630 students.


Ahr was succeeded by John Charles Reiss (1980-1997).

1989 Catholic Youth Organization


McAlinden was accused in 2007 of sexually abusing a boy beginning in 1985, when the boy was 13 years old, and continuing for more than a decade. His accuser said he met McAlinden in 1985 at a CYO retreat, and that the abuse began on the priest's boat not long after. He said some of the incidents occurred during trips to Delaware, Connecticut, New York, Atlantic City and the Virgin Islands.

In a 2011 news conference a 43-year-old man accused McAlinden of sexually abusing him when he was a boy, from 1980-1985. He said the abuse occurred at two youth camps, on McAlinden's boat, and in the priest's parents' home. McAlinden's accuser said, too, that he reported the abuse to the diocese in 1989, received a settlement in 1992 and was made to sign a confidentiality agreement. He said diocesan officials begged him not to go to the police. The diocese said in 2011 that there was no record of the man's 1989 report.

McAlinden was accused in a lawsuit settled in Oct. 2014 of sexually abusing another boy over a three-year period in the 1980s, beginning when the boy was 14 years old. The boy was a parishioner of St. Joseph's parish in Keyport; the diocese's youth group headquarters, Jeremiah House, was in Keyport. The priest is said to have asked the boy to help him out at Jeramiah House, and that the abuse occurred there and on McAlinden's boat, in the priest's Keyport home, his parents' house and in his van.

NJ Director The title "Catholic Youth Organization" is no longer used after 1986. The 1987-1988 Directories show McAlinden as Director of the Office of Youth Ministry and Director of Young Adult Ministry. He was Director of the Office of Youth Ministry only 1988-1989.


John Mortimer Fourette Smith replaced Reiss as Trenton bishop (1997-2010).

2007 St. Theresa's Tuckerton/Little Egg Harbor NJ 1/2, 1/1 St. Theresa's had a CCD program with 798-575 students. The parish was moved from Tuckerton in 2006 to a new building in Little Egg Harbor.
1997 2002 St. Michael's Little Egg Harbor NJ  

This was a mission of St. Theresa's in Tuckerton.

McAlinden was placed on leave in Sept. 2007 after an accusation surfaced that he sexually abused a boy in the 1980s and 1990s.


Smith was succeeded by David Michael O'Connell, C.M. (2010-).

2015   Little Egg Harbor NJ  

In February 2011 McAlinden was said to be living in a house near St. Theresa's and working as a real estate agent.

McAlinden died February 6, 2015.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1968-2008)

Allegations of Abuse Made against Priest, By Matt Pais, Asbury Park Press, September 30, 2007
Little Egg Harbor Priest Faces Sex-Abuse Allegation, By Rob Spahr, Press of Atlantic City, October 2, 2007
Suspended Priest Case Forwarded to Vatican, By Hartriono B. Sastrowardoyo, Asbury Park Press, October 3, 2007
Parishioners Support Priest Removed from St. Theresa's, By Rob Spahr, Press of Atlantic City, October 3, 2007
Little Egg Sex-Abuse Allegations Shake Faith, But Church Leaders Say It Is Possible to Rise above Scandal, By Rob Spahr, Press of Atlantic City, October 7, 2007
Victim of Alleged Ocean County Priest Abuse Demands Trenton Diocese Action, By Rob Spahr, Press of Atlantic City, September 15, 2008
Man Says He Was Sexually Abused by Priest, By Paula Scully, Ashbury Park Press, September 16, 2008
Statement by Mark Crawford on Fr. Noche and Fr. McAlinden, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, December 14, 2008
Three Men Accuse Former Ocean County Pastor of Sex Abuse, Asbury Park Press, February 21, 2011
Two More Men Allege Catholic Priest Abused Them in Ocean County and Elsewhere, Point Pleasant Patch, February 21, 2011
Three Men Accuse Priest of Sexual Abuse in N.J., By Shai Ben-Yaacov, The Newsworks, February 21, 2011
New Allegations of Priest Sex Abuse Emerge against Former Diocese of Trenton Pastor, By Carmen Cusido, The Times, February 21, 2011
Ousted Trenton-Area Priest Accused of Molesting More Boys, By Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman, The Trentonian, February 21, 2011
Three Pastor Sexually Assaulted Them As Boys, Including at Our Lady of Victories in Sayreville, By Stephanie Loder, My Central Jersey, February 22, 2011
Two Additional Men Say They Were Sexually Abused by Former Priest, Press of Atlantic City, February 22, 2011
Delaware Lawsuit Claims Abuse by Former Ocean County Priest, By Stephanie Loder, Asbury Park Press, February 23, 2011
St. Theresa’s Names New Pastor to Replace Pastor Accused of Sexually Abusing Boys, By Donna Weaver, Asbury Park Press, May 27, 2011
Catholic Diocese Claims Priest Was "off Duty" When He Molested Boy As They Attempt to Deflect Responsibility for Sex Crimes, By Ashley Collman, Daily Mail, June 2, 2014
Victims Blast Trenton Bishop for Legal Tactics, SNAP, June 2, 2014
We’re Not Liable, Because Molesting Boys Not Part of Priest’s Official Duties, By Travis Gettys, Raw Story, June 2, 2014
Catholic Church Defense: All Molestation Occurs “off the Clock”, By Farron Cousins, Ring of Fire, June 2, 2014
The actions of the Trenton Diocese with regard to clergy sexual abuse are not in accord with the recent statements of Pope Francis, Road to Recovery, June 02, 2014
When is a priest not a priest? When he's molesting a child, diocese says in defense of lawsuit, By Mark Mueller, Star-Ledger, June 2, 2014
Catholic church can't claim priest was 'off-duty': Editorial, The Star-Ledger, June 03, 2014
Abuser Priests Were "off Duty," Lawyer Argues, By Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches, June 6, 2014
'He destroyed my life': Fourth alleged victim of priest settles sex abuse case with Trenton Diocese, By Mark Mueller, NJ Advance Media for, Oct. 27, 2014
Little Egg Harbor Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Dies, By Stephanie Loder, Press of Atlantic City, February 12, 2015


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 McAlinden'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 November 12, 2015.