Assignment Record – Rev. Victor Phelan, w.f, or m.afr.

Summary of Case: A priest of the African Foreign Missions, or "White Fathers" ordained in 1971, Phelan's ministry took him from Ghana in West Africa to the archdioceses of Chicago IL, Newark NJ and Los Angeles, CA. His whereabouts beyond 1992 are unknown. Phelan was accused of child sexual abuse in a lawsuit settled in May 2013.

: 1971


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes
1971 1976 Bawku Catholic Mission Bawku Ghana, West Africa The earlier Directories show Phelan's name with the suffix, w.f. Later Directories use m.afr.


Chicago archbishop was John Patrick Cody (1965-1982).

1978   Chicago IL    


Newark archbishop was Peter Leo Gerety (1974-1986).

1979 St. Mary's Plainfield NJ

St. Mary's had a school with 441 students.

Phelan is indexed in the 1979 Directory as at this assignment, but he is not listed as there in the Newark archdiocesan pages.

1979 1989     Africa    


Chicago archbishop was Joseph Louis Bernardin (1982-1996).

1991 Missionaries of Africa Chicago IL   The 1991 Directory indexes Phelan twice: in Chicago with an ordination year of 1970, and Los Angeles with an ordination year of 1971.


Los Angeles archbishop was Roger Michael Mahony (1985-2011).

1992 Missionaries of Africa

Los Angeles CA Superior Phelan is not indexed beyond the 1992 Directory.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1972-1992)

Boston Lawyer Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Releases New List of Alleged Abusers, By Jay Lindsay, The Republic, September 4, 2013
Two More NJ Predator Priests “outed”, SNAP, September 6, 2013

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 Phelan'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 Sept. 17, 2013.

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