|Assignment Record – Rev. John P. Nickas
Summary of Case: A Newark parish priest, Nickas was known as a progressive who served the poor and homeless. He founded several shelters, a childrens' center, a day care and an alternative high school. In the 2000s two men came forward separately with accusations that Nickas sexually abused them as young boys in the 1970s. One of the men said he was abused for two years, beginning when he was an 8 year-old altar boy, and that Nickas plied him with altar wine and threatened to harm his family if he told. The other accuser said his abuse occurred while he lived at one of Nickas' homeless shelters, and included incidents in a car while Nickas cruised the streets in search of young male prostitutes. The Archdiocesan Review Board deemed the accusations to be not credible, yet the archdiocese settled with one of the accusers in May 2013.
Incardinated: Newark archdiocese
Died: Oct. 9, 2008
|1966||1967||Blessed Sacrament||Franklin Lakes||NJ||This assignment is per Nickas' obituary.|
Newark archbishop was Thomas Aloysius Boland (1952-1974).
|1969||St. Patrick's Pro-Cathedral||Newark||NJ||4/6, 3/5||St. Patrick's had a school with 97-120 boys and 101-112 girls.|
|1969||1972||St. Rocco's (Italian)||
• In May 2013 Nickas was accused publicly of having sexually abused an altar boy at St. Rocco's from 1970-1972, beginning when the boy was 8 years-old. Nickas' accuser said the priest plied him with altar wine before sexually assaulting him in the the church and in the rectory. He also said that Nickas threatened to hurt his family and that he would be punished by God if he told anyone about the abuse.
|NJ||2/3, 3/3; In residence 1971-1972.||
St. Rocco's had a school with 138-135 boys and 148-129 girls.
The Archdiocesan Review Board, which was appointed by Archbishop John Myers, deemed the allegations to be not credible, yet the archdiocese settled with his accuser.
Boland was succeeded as Newark archbishop by Peter Leo Gerety (1974-1986).
|1977||St. Ann's||Newark||NJ||2/2, 3/4, 2/3; In residence.||St. Ann's had a school with 240-293 students. The 1976 and 1977 Directories show St. Ann's Bilingual Learning Center, The Learning Experience Alternate High School, with 35 students, and St. Ann's Community Day Care Center with 82 children.|
Gerety was replaced by Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1986-2000).
• NIckas was accused publicly in May 2013 of having sexually abused a homeless boy in the 1970s at a shelter the priest founded. This accuser said the abuse occured at the shelter, at a parish rooming house, in St. Rocco's church and in a car while Nickas drove around looking for young male prostitutes.
St. Rocco's had a school with 210-453 student. The Directories show a Youth Residence Community Outreach Center 1982-1983, and an Adult Residence Community Outreach Center 1983-1987. The parish also had a Children's Center (preschool - K), with 40-45 children.
St. Rocco's merged sometime later with St. Ann's to become the Parish of the Transfiguration.
John Joseph Myers succeeded McCarrick (2001-).
|2004||St. Peter Claver's||Montclair||NJ||1/1; 2 deacons.||St. Peter Claver's had a catechism program with 105 students.|
|2004||2005||Nickas is not indexed in the 2005 Directory.|
Nickas lived at the Rev. Msgr. James F. Kelley Residence for Retired Priests.
Nickas died October 9, 2008.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1967-2008)
• Reverend John P. Nickas , The Star Ledger, Oct.18, 2008
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