Rev. George A. Costigan—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Accused on 11/19/93 by Patricia Clancy of sexually abusing her, starting when she was less than nine years old in the mid-1960s. Costigan denied the accusation. At the time of the alleged abuse, Costigan was a friend of Clancy's father and a Christian Brother teaching at West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys in the Philadelphia archdiocese. The alleged abuse, which is said by Clancy to have included rape, continued until Clancy attempted suicide as a sophmore in high school. Costigan's last assignment as a Christian Brother was assisting his brother, a pastor in the diocese of Tucson AZ, where a priest of the Covington KY diocese, later accused of abuse, was also working. Costigan left the Christian Brothers in 1971, was ordained in 1974, and was incardinated in the Paterson NJ diocese, where he resided for one year in a parish with a school and then worked as a hospital chaplain. In 1993, the year that Clancy made her accusation, Bishop Rodimer of Paterson changed Costigan's status to "retired" and re-assigned him as a convent chaplain to the Felician sisters in Mount Arlington NJ. The nuns run a youth retreat house next door to their convent. In approximately 2002-2004, Costigan lived in Puentenansa, Spain, where he had previously gone on pilgrimage in 1994. After living in Puentenansa, he returned to Mount Arlington. In 2006 Costigan was doing Katrina relief work in Huntsville AL.

In his career, Costigan has been a religious brother and a diocesan priest, and he has worked and resided in at least five dioceses in at least two countries. Often his assignments have been between jurisdictions—as a brother at a diocesan high school, for example, and a diocesan priest among members of a women's religious order running a retreat center catering to diocesan youth groups. Clancy has accused the church of exploiting these jurisdictions, instead of clarifying them and taking responsibility.

Took Vows: 1948 as Christian Brother, called Brother Daniel Eliseus, F.S.C. (an acronym for Fratres Scholarum Christianarum, i.e., Brothers of the Christian Schools)
: 1974, reportedly after training at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington NJ, in the Newark archdiocese
Incardinated: Paterson NJ diocese
Retired: 1993

Ordained 1974 Traveled to Spain 1994  

Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes
1947 1948 Ammendale Normal Institute, Brothers of the Christian Schools
Ammendale / Beltsville MD Novice. Rev. Brother Emilian James, F.S.C., was the provincial of the Baltimore province.

Novices 22; postulants 16.

In the Washington archdiocese, where Patrick A. O'Boyle was the archbishop.

1948         Took vows  
1948 1952 De La Salle College (House of Studies of the Brothers of the Christian Schools) Washington DC

Student. Brother Charles Henry, F.S.C., was the director.

Student brothers 144; professed brothers 18.

In the Washington archdiocese.

1952 1953 Philadelphia Protectory for Boys
Phoenixville PA

Practice teaching. Brother Frederick Leo, F.S.C., was the director.

"For the protection and training of boys and for their education and instruction in useful arts and handicrafts." Brothers 27. Boys 300.

In the Philadelphia archdiocese, where John F. O'Hara was archbishop.

1953 1954 St. John's College High School
Washington DC

Brother Dominic Luke, F.S.C., was president.

"Military training under the direction of detailed officers of the U.S. Army." Brothers 23; lay teachers 5. Boys 650.

In the Washington archdiocese.

1954 1956 Holy Family Community
Ammendale / Beltsville  

Took care of elderly brothers.

Rev. Brother Edelwald James was the provincial of the Baltimore province.

In the Washington archdiocese.
1956 1957 Philadelphia Protectory for Boys
Phoenixville PA

Brother V. Felix, F.S.C., was the director.

Rev. Brother Edelwald James was the provincial of the Baltimore province.

Brothers 26. Boys 300.

In the Philadelphia archdiocese.

1957 1958 St. Francis Vocational School Eddington PA

Brother Eulogius James, F.S.C., was the director. Residence was at Holy Ghost Missionary College in Cornwells Heights.

Rev. Brother Edelwald James was the provincial of the Baltimore province.

Brothers 21. Boys 224.

In the Philadelphia archdiocese.

1958 1961 Holy Family Community
Ammendale / Beltsville MD Took care of elderly brothers.  
1961 1965 West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys


• Accused in 1993 of sexually abusing Patricia Clancy during this assignment, beginning when she was age 9. See article (this article incorrectly reports that Costigan has died). See also Clancy's account and video.


Brother Galdrick John was the director; then Brother Gerald Joseph, F.S.C..

Brother D. John, F.S.C., was now the provincial of the Baltimore province.

Brothers 56; lay teachers 9. Students 1,922.

John J. Krol was now archbishop.

1965 1970 Holy Family Community
Ammendale / Beltsville MD Took care of elderly brothers.  
1970 1971 St. Bartholomew's parish San Manuel AZ Visiting. Pastor was Rev. Richard J. Costigan, George A. Costigan's brother. Assistant was Rev. Paul J. Ranft of the Covington diocese. Ranft has been accused of abuse. Richard J. Costigan is not known to have been accused, but he was put on administrative leave by the Tucson diocese in 2002 or 2003. He died in 2004. In the Tucson diocese, where Francis J. Green was bishop.
1970 1971 St. Helen's
Oracle AZ   Mission of St. Bartholomew's.
  1971       Leaves Christian Brothers.  
1971 1974 Immaculate Conception Seminary Darlington NJ  

We have been informed that Costigan likely atttended Immaculate Conception Seminary, and that he might have lived in hospital chaplain's quarters.

In the Newark archdiocese, where Thomas A. Boland was archbishop.

1974         Ordained.  
1974 1975 St. Cecilia's
Rockaway NJ Pastor was Msgr. Denis A. Hayes, who was a diocesan consultor. Other priests were Revs. William McCarthy and George Costigan (in residence).

School was run by the Sisters of Christian Charity. Pupils 161.

In the Paterson diocese, where Lawrence Casey was bishop.

1975 1993 Dover General Hospital
Dover NJ Chaplain.

In the Paterson diocese. Frank J. Rodimer became bishop in 1977.

1993 2001

Felician Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi Convent

Mount Arlington

• The 1993 complaint by Patricia Clancy coincides with Costigan's move from the hospital to the convent. See article.

NJ Retired. The superior at the convent was Sr. Mary Josita C.S.S.F.

Address is 37 Windemere Ave. Next door at 35 Windemere Ave. was the Felician Retreat House, where Sr. Mary Gilbert Szaroleta was the director.

In the Paterson diocese.

According to an account posted by Costigan on a Spanish Web site, he traveled in 1994 on a health-related pilgrimage to Lourdes and the Puentenansa area of Spain, where he would later live. See Costigan's account and a translation. In the account, Costigan states that he is a retired U.S. army chaplain.

2002 2004   Puentenansa Spain Retired. The city name is incorrectly spelled Puentenans in the Directory.

Felician Sisters of St. Francis of Assisi Convent

Mount Arlington   Retired.

Next door at 35 Windemere Ave. is the Claremount Retreat House, where Sr. Mary Jean Ryder is the director. See Clancy's letter and Serratelli's reply.

In the Paterson diocese, where Arthur J. Serratelli became bishop in 2004.

2006   Hurricane Katrina relief Huntsville AL Temporary assignment

For this assignment, see a Guestbook entry for St. Cyril's parish.

In the Birmingham diocese, where David E. Foley was bishop until his retirement in 2005.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1948-2005); Pat Clancy's Story, by Patricia Clancy (1/31/04); Oh Brother, by Mike Newall, Philadelphia Weekly (3/3/04); SNAP video, by Pat Clancy et al. (2006); The Appearances of the Most Holy Virgin Mary in San Sebastián de Garabandal, by Fr. George Costigan (1994); Guestbook entry, St. Cyril's parish (3/5/06). Costigan's assignments with the Christian Brothers were described to us by informants; the information was verified by the Christian Brothers and supplemented from entries in the Official Catholic 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 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 Costigan's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with an accusation reported in the media and in accounts by his accuser. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.

This assignment record was last updated on 8/26/06.