Rev. Joseph Neeson (Neesen)

Summary of Case: Neeson was accused in a 2002 lawsuit of having molested an altar boy in the 1950s. Neeson died in 1966, and had been a priest for 76 of his 99 years.

: 1890


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Louisville bishop was William George McCloskey (1868-1909)



Denis O'Donaghue succeeded McCloskey (1910-1924)

1913 Holy Trinity St. Matthew's KY


A brief history of Holy Trinity parish on the Louisville archdiocesan website lists Neeson as pastor 1898-1913.

Holy Trinity had a school with 56-83 students.

Neeson's name is spelled "Neesen" in the 1900-1915 Directories.


Buffalo bishop was Charles Henry Colton (1903-1915)

1914 Seminary of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Stella Niagra NY Chaplain This is described in the Directory as "Conducted by the Sisters of St. Francis, Motherhouse, Novitiate, Boarding School for Young Ladies, Scientific and Domestic Science Department."It had 14 boys and 49 girls.


New York archbishop was John Murphy Farley (1902-1918)
1915 St. Francis' Home for Chronic Incurables New York NY   Neeson is indexed in the Directory as at Home's address, but is not listed there in the New York diocesan pages.
1915 1919      



Neeson is not indexed in the 1916-1919 Directories.
1919 1921 Seven Sorrows Chapel Louisville KY Chaplain  


John Alexander Floersh replaced O'Donaghue as Louisville bishop (1924-1967)

1925 St. Ambrose's Cecilian KY 1/1 St. Ambrose's had a school with 86-58 students.
1921 1925 St. Ignatius Harcourt KY   This was a mission of St. Ambrose's in Cecilian.
1921 1925 Our Lady of Mercy Hodgenville KY   This was a mission of St. Ambrose's in Cecilian.
1921 1925 St. Anthony's Red Mills KY   This was a mission of St. Ambrose's in Cecilian.
1921 1925 St. Elizabeth's Aker's Valley KY   This was a mission of St. Ambrose's in Cecilian.
1925 1928 St. Rose's Cloverport KY 1/1 St. Rose's had a school with 56-80 students.
1928 1957 St. Denis'


Accused in a 2002 lawsuit of having abused an altar boy at St. Denis' in 1954 or 1955. (Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY]
June 6, 2002) The accuser later said the abuse occurred in 1951-52. He said he told his mother, who informed the archdiocese. (Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002)

KY 1/1, 1/2

St. Denis had a school with 96-567 students.

Louisville became an archdiocese in 1937.

1957 1966 Sacred Heart Home

Louisville KY In residence Neeson died July 7, 1966

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1900-1967)

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 Neeson'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 Jan. 10, 2010