Rev. Joseph Pacheco

Summary of Case: Pacheco was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of having sexually abused an altar boy between 1965-1968, while assigned to Merced and Tulare parishes. In 2006 Fresno bishop Steinbock acknowledged the abuse occurred, apologized to the victim, and said the diocese had learned since 2003 that Pacheco had sexually abused other boys.

: 1957
Died: May 17, 1992


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Monterey-Fresno bishop was Aloysius Joseph Willinger, C.SS.R (1953-1967)

1961 U.S. N.O.T.S. (Naval Ordnance Test Station) China Lake CA Chaplain  
1961 1967 St. Aloysius





Pacheco was the priest listed as serving St. Aloysius' mission parish, St. Rita's. He is not listed in the Monterey-Fresno diocesan pages of the Directories at St. Aloysius.

St. Aloysius had a school with 169-137 boys and 181-187 girls.

1961 1967 St. Rita's


Pacheco was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of having sexually abused an altar boy between 1965-1968, while at this parish and Sacred Heart in Merced.



Pacheco was also vice chair of the Tulare Interracial Advisory Council, while at St. Rita's. The Council was a youth organization. Additionally, he was a leader of the Columbian Squires, which was a group for boys ages 14-18.

St. Rita's was a mission of St. Aloysius in Tulare.


Fresno split off to become its own diocese in 1967. Its bishop was Timothy Manning (1967-1969), followed by Hugh Aloysius Donohoe (1969-1980)

1971 Sacred Heart


The accuser in the 2003 lawsuit claimed he would spend nights in Pacheco's rectory rooms in Tulare and Merced, and that he would spend weekends with Pacheco at a mountain camp.

CA 1/1, 1/2 In 2006 Fresno's Bishop Steinbock apologized to the Pacheco's victim, and said that the diocese learned after 2003 that Pacheco had sexually abused other boys.
1967 1973 St. George's El Nido CA   This was a mission of Sacred Heart in Merced, later of the Catholic Church of Merced, which combined Sacred Heart with two other parishes.
1971 1973 Catholic Church of Merced Merced CA 3/5, 3/4

This was a combination of Our Lady of Mercy, Sacred Heart, and St. Patrick).

Parish had a school with 122-116 boys and 163-158 girls.

1971 1973 St. John the Baptist Hopeton CA   This was a mission of the Catholic Church of Merced.


Columbus bishop was Edward John Herrmann (1973-1982)

1977 On Duty Outside the Diocese/Pontifical College Josephinum Worthington OH




Donohoe was succeeded as Fresno bishop by Jose de Jesus Madera Uribe, M.Sp.S. (1980-1991)

1981 Catholic Church of Merced Merced CA

4/4, 1/4, 1/3

Administrator 1978-1981

Parish had a school with 317-453 students.
1977 1981 St. John the Baptist Hopeton CA   This was a mission of Catholic Church of Merced.
1977 1981 St. George El Nido CA   This was a mission of Catholic Church of Merced.
1981 1986 Holy Ghost Gustine CA


Pacheco was elevated to Monsignor in 1983.

Parish had a school with 150-189 students.
1981 1987 Vicars Forane Fresno CA    
1982 1992 Diocesan Finance Committee Fresno CA    
1982 1984 Senate of Priests

Fresno CA President  
1983 1987 Bishop's Advisory Council Fresno CA    


John Thomas Steinbock replaced Uribe (1991-2010)

1992 Our Lady of Miracles Gustine CA 1/1

Parish had a school with 189-176 students.

Pacheco died May 17, 1992


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1958-1993)

Fresno Diocese Sued in Alleged Abuse in 1960s, By Michael Baker, Fresno Bee (California), December 16, 2003
More Sex Abuse Suits Filed against Valley Priests, By Marc Benjamin, Fresno Bee (California), December 17, 2003
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
Diocese to Pay $750,000, By Pablo Lopez, Fresno Bee [Fresno CA], December 22, 2006
News from the San Joaquin Valley, Associated Press, carried in Mercury News, December 22, 2006
Catholic Diocese to Pay $750K in Sex Abuse Case, CBS 13, December 22, 2006

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 Pacheco'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 Sept. 8, 2011.