Assignment Record: Rev. Charles J. Davis

Summary of Case: In a 2005 Camden diocesan tribunal, a man accused Davis of sexually abusing him when the victim was a boy at St. Luke's parish in Stratford NJ in the early 1960s. Davis had been removed from ministry in 2002 and the case against him had been referred to Rome. See tribunal correspondence.

: 1962
Incardinated: Camden
Removed from Ministry: 12/6/02


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes


Camden bishop: Celestine J. Damiano (1960-67)

1964 St. Luke's Stratford NJ 2/2. Pastor was Rev. Patrick J. Madden. When Davis left St. Luke's, his replacement was Rev. Charles P. McColgan, who has also been accused of abusing boys. Incardinated in the Camden diocese, where Celestine J. Damiano was bishop 1960-67. The 1965 Directory shows a parish school, which means in was likely established in 1964. The school was run by the Sisters of St. Joseph and had 352 pupils.    
1964 1965 St. Agnes Blackwood Terrace NJ 2/3. Pastor was Very Rev. Msgr. Edward A. Buckley, who was director of the diocesan Holy Childhood office, director of the diocesan Society for the Propagation of the Faith, and director of the diocesan St. Pascal Babylan Tabernacle Society. The third priest was Rev. Peter F. Beglan. Incardinated in the Camden diocese. The parish school was run by the Sisters of St. Francis of Allegany NY and had 503 pupils in 1964-65.
1965 1966 St. Francis Metuchen NJ 3/3. Pastor was Rt. Rev. Msgr. John J. Foley. Second priest was Rev. Stephen H. Congdon. Still incardinated in Camden but lend leased to the Trenton diocese, where George W. Ahr S.T.D. was bishop 1950-79. The index of the 1966 Directory reads "on duty outside diocese," and the Camden pages just say "Trenton." The Trenton section of the 1966 Directory must be scrutinized to reveal Davis's assignment. The St. Francis parish school was run by the Sisters of Mercy with the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, and had 1,063 pupils in 1965-66.
1966 1967 Brazilian Mission Brazil South America On duty outside the diocese. Other Camden priests on duty in Brazil were Revs. Quentin Walsh, John P. Kelly, Joseph Cacciapolli, William F. Echert, Jerome C. Romanowski, Alfred J. Hewett, and Robert L. Karpinski. Still incardinated in Camden, which has maintained a Brazilian Mission for many years.


Camden bishop: George H. Guilfoyle (1968-89)

1970 U.S. Army, Organized Reserve Corps, Active Duty     Chaplain. Still incardinated in Camden. The Military Ordinariate, as it was called at the time, had as its bishop Francis J. Spellman, also cardinal archbishop of New York (1939-67) and then Terence J. Cooke, also cardinal archbishop of New York (1968-83).
1970 1971 Leave of Absence       Incardinated in Camden.
1971 1972 St. Mary's Williamstown NJ 4/4. The pastor was Rev. John P. Corrigan. The other priests were Revs. James McCall and Peter F. Finnerty. Incardinated in Camden. The parish school was run by the Felician Sisters and had 360 pupils in 1971-72.
1972 1974 Immaculate Heart of Mary Woodlynne NJ 2/4. Pastor was Rev. William B. Cannon. Other priests were Joseph P. Herron (administrative secretary of the diocese) and William J. Reynolds, with Rev. Edward P. Sommers replacing Reynolds after a year and Herron, who had become a monsignor, going "in residence." Incardinated in Camden.
1974 1977 U.S.A.B. [U.S. Army, Berlin] Fort Benning GA Chaplain. Listed under the subhead "Graduate Studies" in the section "On duty outside the diocese: Military Chaplains." Incardinated in Camden.
1977 1980 U.S. Army Fort Benning GA Chaplain. In the 1978-79 Directories, the Camden pages call this a USAF assignment, but in the Military Ordinariate pages, Davis is identified as a U.S. Army chaplain, with the Army Reserve on Active Duty. Incardinated in Camden.


Camden bishop: James T. McHugh (1989-98)

1992 U.S. Army Location not specified   Chaplain. Davis became a Regular Army Chaplain in 1981. Formerly he had been Army Reserve on Active Duty. In the 1991-92 Directory, Davis is indexed as an Army chaplain, but unlike previous years, there is no entry for him in the Military Services pages, although he continues to be listed as a chaplain in the Camden pages. Davis was incardinated in Camden.
1992 1993 St. Michael's Cedarville NJ In the 1993 Directory's index, Davis's phone number is 609-447-3480. This is the phone of St. Michael's in Cedarville. Davis is not listed as a priest of this parish; it is only by matching the phone numbers that the connection can be established. The pastor was Rev. Neal F. Dante, and Rev. Alfred J. Hewett was in residence. Hewett and Davis had been in Brazil together in 1966-67. No phone number is given in the 1994 Directory. Davis was incardinated in Camden. St. Michael's "stations" included two prisons: N.J. State Medium Security Prison, Bayside Prison; Southern State Correctional Facility, Delmont
1992 1996   Freeport FL In the 1993-96 Directories, Davis is indexed as "On Duty Outside the Diocese," and his contact information in the Camden pages is: 7 Gale Ct., Freeport FL 32439. This small neighborhood is surrounded by Eglin Air Force Base. The nearest church is Christ the King Mission, attended from St. Margaret's in De Funiak Springs, where Rev. J. Craig Williams was pastor, followed by Rev. Roger Latosynski and Rev. Stephen A. Voyt. Davis was incardinated in Camden but was living in the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese, where the bishop was John M. Smith (1991-95).


Camden bishop: Nicholas A. DiMarzio (1999-2003)

2002   Woodsville NH In the 1997-1999 Directories, Davis is indexed as "On Duty Outside the Diocese," and his contact information in the Camden pages is: RRI, Box 20-1, Woodsville NH 03785. After he retires (see below) he's still sometimes described as "on duty outside the diocese." The nearest NH church is St. Joseph's in Woodsville, where Rev. Mark E. Dollard was pastor, followed by Daniel J. Sinibaldi in 2000. In the 2001 Directory only, Davis's name in the Camden "Retired" list has (Military) next to it.  
1999         Retired.  
2002 2003   Bath NH The contact info for Davis in the 2003 Directory is: 73 Joy Rd., Bath NH 03740. Tel. 603-747-3776. This is near Woodsville, and might be the address where Davis lived in the late 1990s.  
12/6/02         Removed from ministry. See the documents relating to Davis's canonical trial for sexual abuse.  
Camden bishop: Joseph A. Galante (2004-)  


: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P. J. Kenedy & Sons, 1963-2003).

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 Davis's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with an allegation against him as it is referenced in the Camden diocese's correspondence with a Davis 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 10/12/05.