Assignment Record– Rev. Donald Bolton, C.SS.R.

Summary of Case: Donald Bolton was ordained for the Redemptorist Order's Baltimore Province in 1952. He worked in Brazil for many years, returning to the U.S. in 1970 to a Redemptorist retreat house in Canaidagua NY. From 1974-84 Bolton was assigned to St. Gregory's in North East PA. It was there that the parents of a 7-year-old girl reported to the Redemptorists that Bolton had molested their daughter over a two-year period. He was transferred to a Brooklyn NY parish. When the parents of the little girl discovered he was teaching school in NY, they went to law enforcement. Bolton was charged in November 1986 with indecent assault and corruption of minors. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 1987 to three years' probation. He spent those three years at a Hampton VA retreat house. In 1990 he moved to a New Smyrna Beach FL Redemptorist residence, and to another in Saratoga Springs NY in 2003. He died October 27, 2006.

Ordained: 1952
Died: October 27, 2006


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was Francis Joseh Spellman (1939-1967).

1954 Mount St. Alphonsus Esopus NY student priest

This was a Redemptorist Fathers' House of Studies. In the 1954 Directory, Bolton is indexed as at Mount St. Alphonsus, but he is not listed in the New York pages as there.


Diocese of Corumbá until 1957; under Diocese of Dourados 1957-59.

Corumbá bishop was Orlando Chaves, S.D.B. (1948-1956), followed by Ladislau Paz, S.D.B. (1957-1978). Dourados bishop was Jose de Aquino Pereira (1958-1960).

1959 Bela Vista Mato Grosso Brazil 5/5, 4/5, 3/5, 3/6, 2/6  


Diocese of Campo Grande

Bishop was Antonio Barbosa, S.D.B. (1958-1986).

1962 Campo Grande Mato Grosso Brazil 7/8, 6/8, 6/9  


Diocese of Corumbá

Bishop was Ladislau Paz, S.D.B. (1957-1978).

1967 Bela Vista Matto Grosso Brazil 1/4, 1/5
Rector; "Very Rev. 1965-67


Diocese of Ponta Grossa

Bishop was Geraldo Claudio Luiz Micheletto Pellanda, C.P. (1965-1991).

1969 Monte Alegre Parana Brazil 5/6, 5/8  


Diocese of Paranaguá

Bishop was Bernardo José Nolker, C.SS.R. (1963-1989).

1970 Rocio Parana Brazil 2/3  


Diocese of Rochester

Bishop was Joseph Lloyd Hogan (1969-1978).

1974 Notre Dame Retreat House Canadaigua NY 2/5  


Diocese of Erie

Bishop was Alfred Michael Watson (1969-1982), followed by Michael Joseph Murphy (1982-1990).

1984 St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

North East

Parents of a 7-year-old girl told the Erie County Assistant D.A. that Bolton had molested their daughter over a two-year period. The family were St. Gregory's parishioners. They went to law enforcement after discovering that Bolton was teaching at a New York school; they said the Redemptorists had promised them that Bolton would never again work with children.

PA 2/2, 2/3, 3/3, 2/3, 2/4

St. Gregory's had a school with 198-260 students.



Diocese of Brooklyn

Bishop was Francis John Mugavero (1968-1990).

1987 Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Basilica Brooklyn NY 9/24, 9/23, 6/21

Our Lady of Perpetual Help had a grade school with 809-668 students, and a high school (numbers of students not noted).

Bolton was charged in November 1986 with indecent assault and corruption of minors, due to the allegation he had molested a young girl while assigned to St. Gregory's in North East PA. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in February 1987 to three years' probation.


Diocese of Richmond

Bishop was Walter Francis Sullivan (1974-2003).

1990 Holy Family Retreat House Hampton VA 2/3, 2/5
"Promotion" 1987-88.


Diocese of Orlando

Bishop was Norbert Mary Leonard James Dorsey, C.P. (1990-2004).

2003 St. Alphonsus Villa-Redemptorist Fathers and Brothers New Smyrna Beach FL    


Diocese of Albany

Bishop was Howard James Hubbard (1977-2014).

2006 St. John Neumann Residence Saratoga Springs NY   Per his Order, Bolton died at October 27, 2006, at age 80.

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.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1953-2011)

A Greater Openness, by Eleanor Bergholz, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, August 25, 1987
Deaths, SCALA Redemptorist Newsletter, November 16, 2006

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 Bolton's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, 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 July 21, 2016.


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