Rev. Donald R. Peters

Summary of Case: Peters was accused in 2002 of having molested a 16-year-old boy in 1959-1960 and of taking nude photos of adolescent boys. He admitted to the taking nude photos, and to exposing himself to three boys while serving at a Fond du Lac, WI parish. The District Attorney was tipped off anonymously in 1992 that Peters had sexually assaulted a minor. As a result, Peters retired and was restricted by the archdiocese from unsupervised contact with minors. He was allowed to act as a fill-in priest at various parishes. After the 2002 allegations, Peters was fully restricted from public ministry. He was laicized in October 2007 and died in December 2018.

Ordained: 1951
Retired: 1993
Laicized: October 6, 2007
Died: December 2018


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1950 1950 St. Micheal's Milwaukee WI   This assignment is per the Milwaukee archdiocese.


Milwaukee archbishop was Moses Elias Kiley (1940-1953), followed by Albert Gregory Meyer (1953-1958), and then William Edward Cousins (1958-1977)

1960 St. Clement's


Peters was accused in 2002 of having taken nude pictures of and fondling a 16 year-old boy in 1959 and 1960. The incidents are said to have taken place at Peters' father's Lake Ellen cottage. Peters admitted to taking nude pictures of the boy The accuser stated that Peters also showed him pictures of other boys in various stages of undress.

WI 3/3, 2/2 Parish had a school with 231-348 students.
1960 1962 St. Mary's Hales Corners WI 2/2 Parish had a school with 550-650 students.
1960 1962 Holy Assumption St. Martin's WI   This was a mission of St. Mary's in Hales Corner.
1962 1967 St. Patrick's

Fond du Lac

Peters admitted in 2002 to having taken nude pictures of and exposing himself to three boys during his time at St. Patrick's.

WI 3/3, 2/3 Parish had a school with 457-375 students.
1967 1969 Catholic Memorial High School Waukesha WI   School had 943-904 students.
1969 1969 St. Paul's Milwaukee WI   This assignment is per the Milwaukee archdiocese.
1969 1971 St. Patrick's Fond du Lac WI 1/2 Parish had a school with 321-309 students.
1971 1977 St. Mary's Sheboygan Falls WI 1/2, 1/3 Parish had a school with 182-129 students.
  1993 Boys Scouts Milwaukee WI Scout Chaplain for the archdiocese; Order of the Arrow lodge Chapter Advisor for 20 years.  
    National Catholic Committe on Scouting     Executive Board Member The committee's stated mission is "Delivering Catholic Youth Ministry Through Scouting Programs".


Cousins was succeeded by Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. (1977-2002)

1993 St. Clement's


An anonymous report was made in 1992 to the Sheboygan County District Attorney's office of the sexual assault of a minor by Peters.

WI 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/1

Parish had a school until 1985 with 203-119 students.

Peters retired as a result of the anonymous allegation, and was officially restricted from unsupervised contact with minors. He went on to act as a fill in priest at archdiocesan parishes.

1993 1995 Retired





Weakland was replaced by Timothy Michael Dolan (2002-2009)

2003 Retired Lakeland FL  

Peters is not indexed beyond the 2003 Directory.

Peters was informed in May of 2002 that he was restricted from public ministry, after a man alleged abuse as a 16-year- old by Peters in 1959 and 1960. He was laicized  in October 2007. Per the archdiocese, Peters died in December 2018.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1951-2003)

Sheboygan Priest Admits Taking Graphic Pictures of Boys, Associated Press, June 28, 2002
Priest/Sex Scandal Hits Home, By Troy Laack, Sheboygan Press, June 29, 2002
Retired Priest's Computer Seized in Sheboygan County, By Marie Rohde, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 29, 2002
Restricted Diocesan Priests Due to Substantiated Reports of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
July 9, 2004, Updated After 11/26/07
Catholic Scouters and Sexual Abuse website, November 30, 2007

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 Peters''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 February 21, 2021.