Rev. Paul Gopaul 

Summary of Case:  From Trinadad, Gopaul was a visiting professor at St. John's Abbey in 1970 when he allegedly drugged and raped a student. The boy's father reported the allegation to the Abbey in 1971; boy died by suicide in February 1971. Gopaul died in 1988 while working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The victim's sisters again brought forth the allegation in 2006. The Abbey admitted there was a complaint in 2002. The 1971 complaint was found in archives in 2006. There were as many as 10 other victims, and a settlement in 2002.

: 195
Died: 1988
Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Burlington bishop was Edward Francis Ryan (1944-1956).

1959 St. Michael's College Winooski Park VT



Santa Fe bishop was Edwin Vincent Byrne (1943-1963).

1960 Via Coeli Jemez Springs NM  

Via Coeli was the motherhouse for the Servants of the Paraclete, and a treatment center for troubled priests.

1960 1961 Pius XII Seminary (Major) Albuquerque NM Seminary for the Servants of the Holy Paraclete
1961 1963 St. Pius X High School Albuquerque NM  

Gopaul is indexed in the Directories as at P.O Box 3408 in Albuquerque, which is the address for St. Pius X, but he is not listed there in the Santa Fe diocesan pages.


El Paso bishop was Ssidney Matthew Metzger (1942-1978.)

1965 Blessed Sacrament Church El Paso TX 2/4 Parish had a school with 322-283 boys and 324-269 girls. Gopaul is indexed as at this parish in the 1965 Directory, but is not listed there in the El Paso diocesan pages.


St. Louis archbishop was Joseph Elmer Ritter (1946-1967), followed by John Joseph Carberry (1968-1979).

1973 St. Gabriel the Archangel St. Louis MO   Parish had a school with 750-671 students. Gopaul is indexed as at this parish, but is not listed there in the St. Louis archdiocesan pages.

late 1960s

St. Cloud bishop was George Henry Speltz (1968-1987).

early 1970s St. John's University


The sisters of a St. John's college student who died by suicide in 1971 went public with claims that Gopaul drugged and raped their brother in 1970. (St. Cloud Times [Minnesota]
September 25, 2006) The University initially stated they were first made aware of the allegation in 2002, but later stated they had found a record of a 1971 exchange between the student's father and St. John's regarding the abuse allegation. (Minnesota Public Radio
September 25, 2006) The victim's sister, Rita Prince, became a SNAP leader and stated in 2008 that eventually 10 other Gopaul victims had come forward. She learned that Gopaul had a modus operandi of picking up hitchiking students and trying to molest them. (Pahrump Valley Times
December 31, 2008)

MN visiting professor of black history  


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985), followed by Roger Michael Mahoney (1985- ).

1978 Dominguez Seminary Compton CA   This was a Claretian Novitiate
1978 1989 CA State College at Dominguez Hills Carson CA    
1979 1988 St. Athanasius N. Long Beach CA  

3/3 In residence. Parish had a school with 316-262 students.

The 1989 Directory is the last in which Gopaul appears. His order's records list him as having died in 1988.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1953-1989).

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 & 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.


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