Rev. Bernard V. Ward, c.p.p.s. (Bernie)

Summary of Case: Ward was convicted in 2008 of receiving and distributing child pornograpy. He had been a priest of the Society of the Precious Blood 1977-1979, became a husband and father of four, and a popular radio personality. He claimed to have had the child porn for research purposes. He was sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Also accused in 2008 of having "inappropriate contact" with two girls in the 1970s. The girls were Ursuline Academy students, and Ward was a faculty-member.

: 1977


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Santa Rosa bishop was Mark Joseph Hurley (1969-1986)

1979 Society of the Precious Blood Province of the Pacific Santa Rosa CA   Ward is indexed only in the 1977 and 1978 Directories.
1978 1979 Cardinal Newman High School Santa Rosa CA teacher  
1978 1979 Ursuline High School

Santa Rosa

• In 2008, two women publicly stated that Ward had unwelcome "sexual contact" them when they were students at Ursuline in the 1970s. (Press Democrat
May 10, 2008)

CA teacher  
1979 2009  

San Francisco

• In December 2007 he was indicted for obtaining and sending child pornography over the internet. (Associated Press, carried in San Jose Mercury News
December 6, 2007)


Ward left the priesthood, married, and had four children. He taught at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose 1982-1985. (San Francisco Chronicle
December 7, 2007) He became a popular radio personality in San Francisco.

Ward pleaded no contest in 2008, admitting to sending 15 to 150 images of child porn to a number of individuals. (NBC 11
May 8, 2008) He had claimed that he had the porn as part of research for a book. He was sentenced in Aug. 2008 to more than seven years in prison. (San Jose Mercury News, August 28, 2008)

: fficial Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1978-1979)

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 Ward'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 allegations 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 February 9, 2019.