Assignment Record– Rev. Edwin Modicowitz, O.F.M. Cap.

Summary of Case: Modicowitz was a Capuchin Franciscan priest, ordained in 1933. He worked in Indiana, Wisconsin, New York, and Massachusetts, and died in 1980. Modicowitz was accused in 1998 of having sexually abused an altar boy in 1965 or 1966 at St. Denis' in Westwood, Massachusetts. The accuser indicated there may have been other victims. Modicowitz' former Provincial acknowledged in 1998 that he had removed Modicowitz from a New York parish due to "problems."

: 1933
Died: February 23, 1980


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Ft. Wayne bishop was John Francis Noll (1924-1956).

1935 St. Felix Capuchin Monastery and Novitiate Huntington IN    


Milwaukee archbishop was Samuel Alphonsius Stritch (1930-1939).

1936 St. Elizabeth's (German) Milwaukee WI 4/5 Parish had a school with 868 students.


New York archbishop was Patrick Joseph Hayes (1919-1938), followed by Francis Joseph Spellman (1939-1967).

1946 Our Lady of Sorrows (German-Italian) New York NY 4/5, 3/5, 3/7, 5/6, 6/7, 5/5 Parish had a school with 149-118 boys and 157-132 girls.
1936 1946 Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel New York NY   This was a chapel for Our Lady of Sorrows.
1946 1948   East Harlem NY  

Modicowitz is indexed in the 1947 and 1948 Directories as at Our Lady of Sorrows in NYC, but is not listed there in the New York archdiocesan pages.

Modicowitz' obituary states he spent these two years in East Harlem, but it doesn't say where or in what capacity. (Capuchin website)

1948 1950 St. Felix Capuchin Monastery and Novitiate Huntington IN 5/7  
1950 1962 Our Lady of Sorrows (German-Italian/ English- Spanish)

New York

In 1998 a former NY Capuchin Provincial, Fr. Paul Steffen, reportedly told a Boston archdiocesan official, Sr. Rita McCarthy, that he once had to pull Modicowitz out of a NY parish due to "problems" with Modicowitz. This was in response to Sr. Rita's informing Steffan of a child sexual abuse accusation against Modicowitz. (1998 Boston archdiocesan memo)

NY 3/5, 3/6, 3/4, 3/7, 3/8, 2/7, 3/7

Parish had a school with 150-361 boys and 178-346 girls.

The 1956 Directory shows that the parish became "English-Spanish" rather than "German-Italian".

Per his obituary, Modocowitz "did seem to enjoy teaching catechism to children." (Capuchin website)

1950 1962 Our Lady of Sorrows Chapel New York NY   This was a chapel for Our Lady of Sorrows.


Springfield bishop was Christopher Joseph Weldon (1950-1977).

1963 St. Francis of Assisi Chapel and Catholic Information Springfield MA 4/6  


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

1967 St. Lawrence Friary Milton MA 6/6, 5/6  
1963 1967 St. Denis


In 1998 a man reported to the archdiocese that Fr. Edwin molested him in 1965/1966 at this parish. The man was an altar boy at the time. He indicated that he wasn't the only victim. (1998 Boston archdiocesan memo)

MA   Per archdiocesan documents, Modicowitz "helped out" at St. Denis'.
1967 1968         Modicowitz is indexed but not listed in the Boston archdiocesan pages of the 1968 Directory as at St. Lawrence Friary.


Albany bishop was William Aloysius Scully (1954-1969), followed by Edwin Bernard Broderick (1969-1976).

1972 St. Joseph Friary, Mission Band, Capuchin Fathers Fultonville NY

In residence.

Said to have been in charge of all domestic responsibilities.

The Friary closed in 1972, so Modicowitz and his fellow Capuchins from Fultonville moved to Interlaken, NY.


Rochester bishop was Joseph Lloyd Hogan (1969-1978), followed by Matthew Harvey Clark

1980 St. Fideles Friary Interlaken NY   Modicowitz died February 23, 1980.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1934-1981)

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 Modicowitz' 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 Sept. 23, 2010.