Rev.Vincent Dwyer, o.c.s.o.

Summary of Case: A Trappist monk and an award winning national retreat director and writer, Dwyer is accused of sexually victimizing a 15 year-old California girl beginning in 1969, and ending in 1981, when the girl was 28 years-old. His accuser received a settlement in 1995 from the Trappists. In 1999 a man emerged with an allegation against Dwyer. The man filed suit in Worcester, MA.

: 1961


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Burlington bishop was Robert Francis Joyce (1956-1971)

1962 Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Middlebury VT 2/2 Parish had a school with 277 students.  


Worcester bishop was Bernard Joseph Flanagan (1959-1983)

1969 St. Joseph's Abbey


Dwyer began sexual involvement with a 15 year-old girl in 1969, continuing intermittently until the girl was 28. The girl was a student at Santa Catalina School in the Monterey diocese. Dwyer had been invited to the school from MA to lead a spiritual retreat.

MA This was a community of Trappist monks.  
1969 1970 On Sick Leave        
1970 1971 Leave of Absence        


Charlotte bishop was Michael Joseph Begley (1971-1984)

1972   Charlotte NC   Address given is 9720 University City Blvd., Apt. L


Winona bishop was Loras Joseph Watters (1969-1986)

1977 St. Mary's College Winona MN Dwyer directed a program on human development.

This was a Brothers of the Christian School.



Ft. Wayne bishop was William Edward McManus (1976-1985)

1978 Universtiy of Notre Dame Ft. Wayne IN Dwyer lead clergy retreats.  
1978 1981 St. Joseph's Abbey Spencer MA    
1981 1982 Catholic University Washington D.C. Dwyer headed the Center for Human Development.  


Timothy Joseph Harrington succeeded Flanagan as Worcester bishop (1983-1994), followed by Daniel Patrick Reilly (1994-2004)

2002 St. Joseph's Abbey


In 1999 an allegation against Dwyer by a man emerged. The man filed suit in Worcester, MA.


In 1995 the St. Joseph's Abbey Trappists settled with the California woman who had accused Dwyer of taking sexual advantage of her from ages 15-28. The woman struggled with depression for many years as a result of the "affair". She sought payment froom the Trappists for her therapy bills. They had her sign a confidentiality agreement. She spoke out publicly in 2002, and filed suit against the Monterey diocese in 2004.

Dwyer is to be "in service outside the community" from 1999-2002. He is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1962-2002)

Breaking the Silence, Monterey County Herald, June 23, 2002
Survivors connect to heal, raise voices, By Jason Berry, National Catholic Reporter, November 08, 2002
Alleged Victim Sues Diocese, Monterey County Herald, January 1, 2004
Diocese Discusses Abuse Cases, By Dan Laidman, Monterey County Herald, January 28, 2004
Bishop Ryan's February Pastoral Letter, By Bishop of Monterey, February 4, 2004
Lead Us Not Into Temptation: Catholic Priests and the Sexual Abuse of Children, by Jason Berry

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.

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This assignment record collates Dwyer'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 Aug. 20, 2011