Assignment Record– Rev. Joseph P. Reilly

Summary of Case: Ordained for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1943, Reilly worked at parishes in Foxboro, Milton, Plainville, Burlington, Cambridge, West Roxbury and Roslindale. He died in 1992. In 1999 two men each reported to the archdiocese that Reilly sexually abused them when they were boys at St. Agatha's in Milton, where Reilly was assigned 1948-1970. In 2002 another accusation emerged that he molested a prepubescent girl at the same parish in the early 1960s.

Born: 1914
Ordained: 1943
Died: June 4, 1992


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was William Henry O'Connell (1907-1944).

3/13/45 St. Mary's Foxboro MA 2/2  
3/14/45 8/02/48 U.S. Army     chaplain  


O'Connell was succeeded by Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

2/09/70 St. Agatha's


A man informed the archdiocese in January 1999 that Reilly had sexually abused him when he was a ten or eleven- year-old altar boy at St. Agatha's. The man said that all he wanted was an apology and for the Church to know about the abuse, in case Reilly had hurt others. (archdiocesan memo, Jan. 1999)

A man reported to the archdiocese in July 1999 that Reilly grabbed him and starting kissing him when the man was a 16-year-old St. Agatha's parishioner. The man said that he was a member of a boy's choir at St. Agatha's that Reilly had started. (archdiocesan memo July 1, 1999)

Reilly was accused in 2002 of having molested a pre-pubescent girl at St. Agatha's sometime between 1961-1963. (archdiocesan memo May 2002)

MA 4/4, 3/3, 2/4 Parish had a school with 198-559 boys and 229-555 girls.


Humberto Sousa Medeiros replaced O'Connell as Boston archbishop (1970-1983).

7/31/73 St. Martha's Plainville MA 1/1  


Bernard Francis Law succeeded Medeiros (1984-2002).

1986 St. Malachy's Burlington MA 1/2, 1/3  
1986 1989 Retired/St. John the Evangelist Cambridge MA

3/3, 3/4, 4/5

In residence.

Parish had a school with 152-198 students.
1989 1992 Holy Name West Roxbury MA   Per his obituary, Reilly celebrated Sunday masses here. (Boston Globe
June 6, 1992)
1990 1992 Retired Roslindale MA   Reilly lived at 1082 South St., in Roslindale. He died June 4, 1992.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1944-1993); Reilly Assignment History, Archdiocese of Boston

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 Reilly'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 9, 2015.

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