Rev. Martin Van Trieste,

Summary of Case: Five men accused Van Trieste in a 2002 lawsuit of having sexually abused them in the 1960s and 1970s when they were young boys and members of Van Trieste's touring singing group for Latino boys, "The Little Martins".

: 1945


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Mobile bishop was Thomas Joseph Toolen (1927-1969)

1950 Holy Ghost Missionary Cenacle Holy Trinity AL

8/10 , 8/11, 8/12,




Paterson bishop was Thomas Aloysius Boland (1947-1952)

1951 Holy Ghost Missionary Cenacle Sterling NJ 3/4  


Natchez bishop was Richard Oliver Gerow (1924-1967)

1953 Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Tucker MS 1/1  
1951 1953 St. Catherine (Indian) Conehatta MS   This was a mission of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Tucker.
1951 1953 St. Francis Xavier (Indian) Pearl River MS



This was a mission of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Tucker.


Washington D.C. bishop was Patrick ALoysius O'Boyle (1947-1973)


1955 Holy Trinity Missionary Cenacle Silver Springs MD 16/16, 8/12 This was a house of studies for the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity.


Cleveland bishop was Edward Francis Hoban (1945-1966)

1963 Sacred Heart (for Spanish-speaking people)


• Two men accused Van Trieste in a June 2002 lawsuit of having sexually abused them between 1961-1970, when they were between six and twelve years old. As boys, the men were members of an Hispanic church traveling quartet run by Van Trieste, "The Little Martins". Van Trieste had the boys call him "Uncle Martin". (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
June 25, )

Three more men joined the suit in Sept. 2002 with claims that Van Trieste molested them when they were members of the Little Martins. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
September 19, 2002)

OH 2/2, 2/3, 1/2, 1/3 Van Trieste recruited Puerto Rican families to Lorain OH to work in steel mills and other industries.


San Juan archbishop was James Peter Davis (1943-1964), replaced by Luis Aponte Martinez (1963-1999)

1969 Nuestra Senora de Lourdes San Juan Puerto Rico 1/5, 1/6, 1/7 Parish had a school with 890-1,034 students.
1963 1969 Nuestra Senora de Lourdes Santa Bernadita Puerto Rico   This was a mission of Nuestra Senora de Lourdes in San Juan.
1969 1971         Van Trieste is indexed but not listed in the San Juan diocesan pages of the 1970 and 1971 Directories.
1971 1976 San Patricio Loiza Aldea Puerto Rico 1/1, 1/2  
1971 1976   Mediania Baja; Villa Canona, Pinones, Santiago Puerto Rico   These were missions of San Patricio in Loiza Aldea.
1976 1977         Indexed but not listed in the San Juan diocesan pages of the 1977 Directory as at San Patricio in Loiza Aldea.


Cleveland bishop was James Aloysius Hickey (1974-1980), followed by Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006)

1983 Chapel of the Sacred Heart (for Spanish-speaking people)

Lorain OH 4/5, 3/4, 2/3, 2/2  


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985)


1984 Our Lady of Victory Los Angeles CA 2/3  
1984 1987         Van Trieste is not indexed in the 1985-1987 Directories.



1989 Diocesan Hispanic Office Cleveland OH    
1989 1990         Not indexed in the 1990 Directory.


Los Angeles archbishop was Roger Michael Mahony (1985- )

1992 Our Lady of Victory Los Angeles CA 2/4, 2/3  
1992 1993         Not indexed in the 1993 Directory.


Philadelphia archbishop was Anthony Joseph Belivacqua (1987-2003)


1994 Holy Spirit Novitiate Philadelphia PA In residence.  
1994 1996 Trinity Missions   Mexico    
1996 1997         Not indexed in the 1997 Directory.


Martinez was replaced as San Juan bishop by Roberto Octavio Gonzalez Nieves, O.F.M. (1999- )

2000 Resurrection del Senor Canovanas Puerto Rico 3/3  
1997 2000 Nuestra Senora de la Providencia   Puerto Rico   This was a mission of Resurrection del Senor in Canovanas.
2000 2002         Not in dexed in the 2001 or 2002 Directories.


Washington DC archbishop was Theodore Edgar McCarrick (2000-2006), followed by Donald William Wuerl
(2006- )

2008 Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity Adelphi MD  

This was a Senior Ministry Residence. Van Trieste is noted beginning in the 2005 Directory to have retired.

He is said to have been a nursing home resident with dementia since at least 2002.

2008 2009 Fr. Judge Missionary Cenacle Adelphi MD    

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1946-2009).

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 Van Trieste'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. 30, 2009

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