Rev. Richard A. Edelin—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Accused in 1996 of groping a girl 1981-82 beginning at age 17. Complainant given $5K with confidentiality agreement; Bishop Fiorenza’s 2/23/96 apology stated that Edelin would be suspended from ministry. From 1979 ordination, Edelin had worked at 6 parishes in 10 years. Then was USAF chaplain 1989-92; chaplain on leave of absence 1992-97; then not listed. Edelin’s reinstatement announced 5/03; complainant objected. Began working in Baker diocese instead, where seminary classmate Vasa was bishop.

: 1979


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes


Bishop was John L. Morkovsky (1975-84).

1980 St. Thomas More Houston TX 2/3. Pastor was Msgr. Thomas A. Donovan.

Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.

Parosh school had 502 students.

1980 1983 St. John Vianney


• Accused in 1996 of groping a 17-year-old girl 1981-82 and inviting her to his bedroom. Edelin denied the claim, which the diocese settled for $5K and a 2/23/96 letter from Bishop Fiorenza stating that Edelin would be officially suspended from ministry. See article.

TX 2/2. Pastor was Msgr. Joseph H. Crosthwait, who was also the dean of the Northwest Houston deanery. Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.
1983 1984 St. Francis de Sales Houston TX 2/3. Pastor was Msgr. Jack M. Dinkins.

Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.

Parish school had 544 students.


Bishop was Joseph A. Fiorenza (1984-2006).

1986 Sacred Heart Conroe TX 1/1.

Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.

Parish school had 194 students.

1986 1987 Sacred Heart Brookshire TX 1/1. Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.
1987 1989 Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral Houston TX 2/4, 2/3. Rector was Auxiliary Bishop Enrique San Pedro, who was also 1 of 3 vicars general. The others were Auxiliary Bishop Curtis J. Guillory and Msgr. Joseph H. Crosthwait, who had been Edelin's first pastor 1980-83. Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.


Archbishop was John J.T. Ryan (1985-91); then Joseph T. Dimino (1991-97).

1992 U.S. Air Force      

Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.

The 1990 Directory lists Edelin as stationed at Andrews AFB in MD in Washington archdiocese, near Suitland MD. But an incorrect state and zip code are provided. The 1991 and 1992 Directory lists him at McC[h]ord AFB in WA in the Seattle archdiocese. Co-founded the Four Chaplains council of the Knights of Columbus on 6/19/91. See account.

1992 1997 Military Chaplain on Leave of Absence Tucson AZ  

Listed as a priest of the Galveston-Houston diocese.

Indexed in 1993-1997 Directory as military chaplain and listed as a military chaplain on leave of absence. Index in 1993 provides Tucson phone number for Edelin: 602-792-0122. Edelin reportedly worked as an auditor.


Bishop was Joseph A. Fiorenza (1984-2006).

2006   Houston   In late 2002, Edelin asked Bishop Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston to reinstate him. Review board reassessed 1996 allegation and approved Edelin for ministry after he took psychological tests and went to a treatment center. In 5/03 Fiorenza announced that Edelin would be assigned to St. Laurence's in Sugar Land TX. Victim objected and met with review board in 9/03. Review board deemed the allegation unsubstantiated, but Fiorenza wrote a 12/10/03 letter to victim stating that Edelin would not be assigned until it counselors assured him that Edelin posed no danger. See article. Not indexed in 1998-2006 Directory.


Bishop is Robert F. Vasa (2000-)

4/3/06 Our Lady of Angels Hermiston OR

2/2. Pastor was Rev. Joseph Reinig.

Edelin went to seminary with Bishop Robert Vasa, who was ordained in 1976.

Not indexed or listed here in 2004 or 2005, but see article and parish bulletin. Staff at this parish were informed of the allegation but parishioners were not.

Catechism program had 259 students.

4/3/06   St. Elizabeth of Hungary John Day OR 1/1.

Listed as priest of Baker diocese.

Catechism program had 33 students.

4/3/06   St. Anne's Monument OR   Mission of St. Elizabeth's.
4/3/06   St. Charles Seneca OR   Mission of St. Elizabeth's.
4/3/06   St. Catherine's
Long Creek OR   Mission of St. Elizabeth's.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1980-2002).

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 Edelin's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegation against him as it is reported in the media. 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 12/13/07.