Assignment Record– Rev. Michael D. O'Herlihy

Summary of Case: Michael D. O'Herlihy was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, ordained in 1961. Early in his career he assisted at parishes in Livingston Manor, New Brighton, and the Bronx. For most of his career he was a teacher, 1970-1980 at Cardinal Hayes High School and then at Cardinal Spellman High School 1980-1992.

O'Herlihy was placed on an unexplained leave of absence in 1992. In 1993 he was laicized. His name was included in 2002 on a list of New York archdiocesan priests with complaints of child sexual against them. The archdiocese gave the list to the District Attorney; no charges were filed.

In a 2004 lawsuit O'Herlihy was accused of having sexually abused a Cardinal Hayes' student in 1980. According to the lawsuit, O'Herlihy told the student he had heard that he was being sexually abused by a Catholic youth group leader. When the boy acknowledged the rumor to be true, O'Herlihy allegedly went on to also sexually abuse him, plying the boy with alcohol and pornography. The suit claimed that other Cardinal Hayes students were abused as well.

O'Herlihy was found in 2009 to be teaching at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School.

Ordained: 1961
Laicized: 1993


Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Archdiocese of New York

Archbishop was Francis Joseph Spellman (1939-1967).

1962 St. Aloysius Livingston Manor NY 2/2


1961 1962 Sacred Heart; Gate of Heaven; All Souls De Bruce; Roscoe; Shandelee Lake NY   These were missions of St. Aloysius in Livingston Manor.


Spellman was succeeded by Terence James Cooke (1968-1983).

1968 St. Paul's New Brighton (Staten Island) NY 2/4, 2/3, 2/2 St. Paul's had a school with 228-180 boys and 215-172 girls.
1968 1969 Our Lady of Solace New York (Bronx) NY 2/4 Our Lady of Solace had a school with 208 boys nad 222 girls.





Cardinal Hayes High School

New York (Bronx)


O'Herlihy was accused in a February 2004 lawsuit of sexually abusing a Hayes student in 1980. Per the lawsuit, O'Herlihy told the student he had heard that he was being sexually abused by a Catholic youth group leader. When the boy acknowledged the rumor to be true, O'Herlihy allegedly went on to also sexually abuse him. O'Herlihy was said to have plied the boy with alcohol and pornography. The abuse allegedly occurred in O'Herlihy's living quarters. The lawsuit also claimed that O'Herlihy abused other students.

NY biology teacher

Cardinal Hayes High had 2,325-1,328 students, all male.

The 1972 Directory indexes O'Herlihy as at Cardinal Hayes', but it does not list his as there in the New York pages.



The lawsuit, which had 15 claimants alleging abuse by NY priests 1944-1981, was thrown out in 2006 due to the statute of limitations.


John Joseph O'Connor replaced Cooke as New York archbishop (1984-2000).

1992 Cardinal Spellman High School New York (Bronx) NY   Cardinal Spellman High had 2,312-1,800 students, male and female.
1992 1996 Absent on Leave      

O'Herlihy is not indexed beyond the 1996 Directory. He was laicized in 1993.

In 2002 O'Herlihy's name was included on an archdiocesan list given to the District Attorney of priests with complaints against them of child sexual abuse.

In 2009 O'Herlihy was teaching at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School.

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, 1971-1996).

Complaint, Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, February 26, 2004 
Sex Suits Hit Egan, Church, By Dan Mangan, New York Post, February 27, 2004 
'Perv Priest' Works at HS, By Douglas Montero and Dan Mangan, New York Post, March 30, 2009

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 O'Herlihy'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 March 21, 2017.


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