Rev. S. Joseph Collova

Summary of Case: Collova was accused in a 1993 lawsuit of having sexually abused a boy beginning in 1980, when the boy was 14, and continuing until 1987. He was placed on leave and fully restricted from ministry. Collova left the Roman Catholic Church in 2004 to practice as a priest in alternative Catholic groups without ties to Rome. As a result, he was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church. Collova was named on a list released by the Milwaukee archdiocese in 2004 as a priest with substantiated allegations against him of sexual abuse of a minor. He was made a bishop of the American Apostolic Church in June 29, 2009 and was pastor of a church in Milwaukee. Collova died Jan. 4, 2013.

: 1976
Died: Jan. 4, 2013


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Milwaukee archbishop was William Edward Cousins (1958-1977), followed by Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. (1977-2002)

1977 St. James' Mequon WI 2/2 St. James' had a school with 225 students.
1977 1981 Holy Apostles

New Berlin

In a 1993 lawsuit, Collova was accused of sexually assaulting a boy beginning when the boy was 14 years old in 1980 and continuing until 1987.

WI 2/3 Parish had a school with 518-487 students.
1981 1985 St. James Franklin WI 2/2  
1985 1993 St. Rita's Milwaukee WI 1/2, 1/1 Parish had a school with 158-230 students.
1993 2002 On Leave       Collova is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.



2013   Milwaukee WI  

Collova left the Roman Catholic Church to join the Independent Evangelical Catholic Church in America as a priest, but was with that church for less than a year. He then was briefly affiliated with The Independent Catholic Christian Church.

He was excommunicated in 2004 from the Roman Catholic church after establishing affiliation as a priest in non- Roman Catholic denominations.

Collova was named on a list put out by the Milwaukee archdiocese in 2004 among 43 priests restricted from ministry due to substantiated allegations of sexual abuse against minors.

Collova was made a bishop of the American Apostolic Church in 2009.

Collova died Jan. 4, 2013.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1977-2002)

Negligence Issue, Court to Rule on Diocese Lawsuits, Justices to Decide If Church Can Be Sued over Priests in Sex Cases, By Richard P. Jones, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [Wisconsin], July 31, 1996
High Court to Hear Priest Sex Cases; Seven Claim Emotional Damage and Say Catholic Church Should Pay, By Cary Segall, Wisconsin State Journal [Madison WI], January 26, 1997
Court Applies Time Limit to Some Sexual Abuse Suits, By Cary Segall, Wisconsin State Journal [Madison WI], June 28, 1997
Statement by Milwaukee Archdiocese, July 9, 2004
Archdiocese Lists Priests Restricted from Duties, 43 Milwaukee-area clergy were subject of abuse allegations, Associated Press, July 9, 2004
List of 43 Abusive Priests Released, Dolan Names Only Diocesan Clergy in Long-Awaited Move, By Tom Heinen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [Wisconsin], July 10, 2004
Restricted' Priest Starts New Ministry, Man Accused of Sexual Abuse Opens Branch of Upstart Church in State, By Raquel Rutledge,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel [Wisconsin], July 16, 2004
Archdiocesan Warning on Clergyman Urged, Group Says New Church Should Know of Allegations of Sex Abuse, By Marie Rohde,
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, March 15, 2007
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Website, Restricted Diocesan Priests Due to Substantiated Reports of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, July 9, 2004 (as updated 11/26/07)
Restricted Diocesan Priests Due to Substantiated Reports of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, July 9 2004, Updated After 11/26/07
Accused Priest to Become Bishop, By Mick Trevey, Today's TMJ4, June 18, 2009
Ex-priest Consecrated a Bishop, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 27, 2009
Archdiocese of Milwaukee List of Clergy Offenders, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, March 3, 2012
S. Joseph Collova Assignment Record, Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 2012
Rev. S. Joseph Collova Obituary, Pioneer Press, January 9, 2013

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 Collova'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 Jan. 21, 2013