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Father Victor Phelan.
Priest with the Society of Missionaries of Africa, also known as the White Fathers. Those who are Brothers or priests with the society have the initials W.F. or M.Afr. behind their names. The name “White Fathers” derives from their white habit which is said to be based on the traditional North African . A rosary is worn around the neck.
Ordained either 1970 or 1971.
Nationality at this time unknown.
Allegations that he sexually abused boys in various parishes and schools in the States while presumably fund-raising for the African missions. Some allegations date to the late 70s.
13 July 2016: BLOG Shy a lot of information
07 July 2016: BLOG Latest news…
There is very little information available regarding the sex abuse allegations against Father Phelan aside the fact that a lawsuit was launched and settled in 2013, and the sex abuse referenced in the lawsuit transpired in the 1970s. His whereabouts after 1992 are unknown.
There have been reports that Phelan spent time in the late 60s at Ottawa’s Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church and teaching at Corpus Christi school. This would have been prior to his ordination.
It seems he must have been in Ottawa (Eastview/Vanier) attending what was called the order’s Scholasticate, the equivalent of a seminary but, it seems from what I have read in some articles, with a particular a focus on Theoogy. I get the impression that by the time a young man arrived at Eastview he already had attained requisites in Philosphy elsewhere, and had been in studies for about four years. (Actually, at the time the town was known as Eastview – in 1969 it was renamed Vanier. In 2001 Vanier amalgamated with the City of Ottawa.) At the time Phelan was there the preparation at the scholasticate was four years after which the seminarians were ordained and off to the missions in Africa. If that is the case, Father Phelan must have spent four years in the Ottawa area? It seems too that many of the White Fathers ordinations were conducted in Ottawa. It is unknown if Father Phelan was ordained in Ottawa or elsewhere.
It is also unknown exactly in what capacity Father Phelan was assisting at Blessed Sacrament – he may have been there during his diaconate year? or the White Fathers may have routinely sent seminarians from the Scholasticate to local Ottawa parishes to assist in order to become familiar with interacting with parishioners, running a parish and so on?
According to my contact, Victor Phelan was also teaching at Corpus Christi school. It seems that it was the norm for clergy from Blessed Sacrament to assist at the school:
– According to Wikipedia, the school was run by the Grey Sisters of the Immaculate Conception and “two assistant priest from Blessed Sacrament Parish taught Bible history and Catechism.” ( in A History of Blessed Sacrament – Blessed Sacrament Parish
– Father LeSage was Pastor at Blessed Sacrament from 1962 to 1973 . According to one account, during those years “Corpus Christi school always received great attention from the early pastors, and no one was more interested in the school than Father Lesage.” ( Corpus Christi School Grey Nuns and Blessed Sacrament priests)
Given that “Brother” Phelan, as he was probably called at the time, was assisting at Blessed Sacrament he was probably also assigned to assist/teach at the school? My guess is that it was probably fairly common practice for the White Father seminarians to assist in religious instruction at various schools in the Ottawa area – this would both be of assistance to the schools plus experience for the seminarians in teaching children before heading off to the missions.
In the following post on a blogspot Father Phelan is referred to by a teacher as “the lowest of the low” who molested boys at various parishes in the US while presumably visiting to raise money for African missions.
11 August 2014: Teacher references Phelan as a vicious paedophile
I just found out that Father Victor Phelan was outed September 2013 as the vicious pedophile he is. Years and years of abuse – only now being exposed.
Phelan abused at will as a missionary priest who made visits to various parishes in the US to raise money for the African missions. He took the opportunity while in these parishes to rape young boys in the parish and the parish school. He was the lowest of the low. I only found out about 8 years ago that some of his victims were in a school where I taught in the late 1970s. My students.
I am angry not only at the vicious abuser and the bishop and priests who enabled his crimes, but at myself. I wish I could go back in time and stop this molester who stole so much joy from these wonderful boys. I wish I had had the vision to know. . . . but I didn’t.
There is no prison sentence or punishment that is suitable for this low-life scum. Nothing is bad enough for Victor Phelan. I only hope that a dear friend of mine is right when she tells me, “God knows and he will take care of these perps.”
“Assignment Record” for Rev. Victor Phelan (Bishop Accountability website) – click to enlarge
The White Fathers
The White Fathers is a Society of Apostolic Life which was founded in Algeria in 1868 by the Archbishop of Algiers.
The White Fathers and their supporters often refer to themselves as “Pelicans” – the Pelican was the emblem of Cardinal Lavigerie. the founder of the White Fathers. (White Fathers Legend of the Pelican)
(Below, some history of the White Fathers scholasticate in the Ottawa area)
– History of the White Fathers of Africa in Vanier History of Richelieu Park
– And a little more history and mention of the sugar shack (maple syrup) established by the order:
– the scholasticate, which boasted 200 rooms, was at one time the only international “scholasticate” for the White Fathers. ( White Fathers Vanier 200 rooms only seminary for White Fathers )
– many of those attending the scholasticate assisted at Camp Lavirgne, a family summer camp run by the White Fathers in Onchiota, NY (reference White Fathers family summer camp in Onchiota NY – click here for an external link to the page. This website is operated by the Pelicans, a group comprised of both White Fathers and their supporters)
– As far as I can determine, between the years of 1938 and the 1970s approximately 700 men from around the world attended the scholasticate before heading for Africa.
Boston Lawyer Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Releases New List of Alleged Abusers
(from Bishop Accoutnability website BishopAccountability.org)
By Jay Lindsay
September 4, 2013
BOSTON — Six Roman Catholic clerics and a choir director were named publicly as alleged abusers for the first time by a prominent lawyer for clergy sex abuse victims.
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian released the names of the five priests, one nun and the choir director on Wednesday.
Each of the alleged victims is a client of Garabedian’s and all their cases were settled within the last year for amounts ranging from the high five figures to the low six figures, he said.
Garabedian periodically releases new names publicly, and is highly critical of Catholic church officials for what he says is their refusal to consistently do so.
He said the public disclosures are needed to help victims heal and also as a matter of public safety, if the alleged abuser is still alive.
Garabedian said it is also a reminder that, despite decreased media coverage, the clergy sex abuse crisis is ongoing.
“I don’t expect it to ever end,” Garabedian said.
The crisis broke nationally in 2002 after The Boston Globe wrote a series of stories revealing that church officials in Boston shifted pedophile priests between parishes without disclosing their alleged crimes.
At least four of the seven previously unnamed people on Garabedian’s list are deceased. All four worked in the Boston Archdiocese during the alleged abuse, which occurred between 1963 and 1985.
The Rev. Alan Caparella, a Franciscan, worked at St. Leonard’s of Port Maurice Parish in Boston. Brother Paul White, a Capuchin, worked at St. Lawrence Friary in Milton. The Rev. Joseph Maffei, of the Salesians of Don Bosco, worked at Sacred Heart Retreat House in Ipswich. W. Emmitt O’Brien was children’s choir director at St. John Chrysostom Church in West Roxbury.
Terry Donilon, a spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese, referred questions about the other priests to their religious orders, which he said would have handled any claims. The orders either didn’t comment or didn’t know anything about the priests.
Donilon said the archdiocese remains dedicated to restoring trust and “implementing our significant policies and practices for the protection of children.”
He did not answer a question about O’Brien, who was a layman.
White’s alleged victim said White abused her in the late 1960s when she was about 9 and he was living in Milton.
The woman said White would sometimes take her and her brother ice skating at a local pond and on one occasion, he put her on his lap, reached under her clothes and fondled her chest. She said he cut her deeply with his nails as she struggled and broke free.
“I have a permanent scar that reminds me every single day of what happened,” she said in an interview. The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sex abuse without their permission.
The woman said the incident robbed her of her innocence: “And once it’s gone, it’s gone.” Speaking about it is part of healing, and can show other sex abuse victims they aren’t alone so they seek help, she said.
“I’m in the club, sadly,” she said.
The others named by Garabedian on Wednesday include:
— The Rev. Vincent Inghilterra, who was chaplain at Trenton State Teachers College in New Jersey when he allegedly abused a minor in the 1970s.
— Sister Agnes Daniels, who worked at St. Mary school in Boston when she allegedly committed the abuse.
— The Rev. Victor Phelan, who worked in the African countries of Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Attempts to determine the whereabouts of Phelan, Daniels and Inghilterra weren’t successful.
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton, Rayanne Bennett, said in May, a review board found the charge against Inghilterra credible and Bishop David M. O’Connell suspended him from priestly ministry anywhere.
Inghilterra hasn’t ministered in Trenton, New Jersey, for 30 years, and the diocese has notified anyone involved in his ministry outside Trenton, Bennett said.
“We also release names of all accused priests, living or dead, to law enforcement,” she said.