Rev. Robert Ponciroli

Ponciroli retired in 1999. Per Oakland diocese, he was removed from ministry in 1995 and underwent therapy after diocese received a sexual abuse allegation against him. In 8/02 suit, man said that he was sexually abused at age 11 in 1975 in Antioch California by Ponciroli. Arrested 2/03 for abuse of two brothers. Charges dropped 6/30. They filed suit in March 2003. $2 mil verdict 4/05. At least seven other known victims per plaintiff's attorney. Ponciroli admitted he was a sex addict.

Ordained: 1969



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Oakland bishop was Floyd Lawrence Begin (1962-1977)

1970 St. Leander San Leandro


Revs. Richard B. O'Connell, Levito Almeida, Robert Ponciroli. In res. Rev. Alexander Pinter.

St. Leander had a school with 232 boys and 272 girls.
1970 1974 Cathedral of St. Francis De Sales


In 2002 a man reported to the police that when he was an altar boy at the Cathedral, between 1973 and 1974, Ponciroli molested him. (West County Times
March 1, 2003)


3/4, 2/4

Rector during 1970-1971 was Msgr. Michael J. Lucid, and 1971-1973 Msgr. Joseph H. Skillin was Rector. In 1973-1974 Rev. Robert E. Fontaine was listed first as Administrator. Listed second 1970- 1973 was Rev. E. Donald Osuna, who was listed third after Ponciroli 1973-1974. Ponciroli was third priest 1970-1973. In residence 1970-1971 was retired Msgr. Richard A. O'Donnell, and Rev. Jerrold F. Kennedy was in residence 1971-1974.

The Cathedral had a school with 199-212 students.
1974 1975 St. Cornelius


Parents of two St. Cornelius boys reported to Bishop Begin in 1975 that Ponciroli had molested their sons. Other boys of the parish had told Fr. Meyer that Ponciroli tickled and rubbed them, and Chancellor Rev. Brian Joyce had gotten calls that Ponciroli was "Too free with boys, especially altar boys". ( San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)



Ponciroli worked under Rev. Gabriel J. Meyer.

St. Cornelius had a school with 189 students.

1975   St. Jarlath's


Per news reports, Ponciroli was sent to a psychiatrist and transferred to St. Jarlath's after allegations surfaced that he'd sexually abused boys at St. Cornelius. This assignment does not appear in the Directory. (San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)



John Stephen Cummins replaced Begin as bishop (1977-2003)

1979 Our Lady of Grace Castro Valley CA

3/4, 2/3

Pastor was Rev. James F. Keane. Second priest 1975-1977 was Rev. James Ghilardi, replaced in that spot 1977-1978 by Rev. Anthony Manthara (India), and by Ponciroli 1978-1979. In residence 1975-1979 was retired Msgr. Patrick Stack.

Our Lady of Grace had a school with 300-295 students.
1979 1983 St. Ignatius


Sued in 2002 for having abused a boy from 1980-1981 while at St. Ignatius. (Contra Costa Times
August 9, 2002)

CA 1/1


1983 1984 ? ? ?   Ponciroli is not indexed or listed in the 1984 Directory.
1984 1985 Sacred Heart Oakland CA 2/3 Pastor was Jerrold F. Kennedy. In residence were Ponciroli and Rev. Fred A. Riccio. Sacred Heart had a school with 260 students and an Early Childhood Education Center with 25 students.
1985 1986 ? ? ?   Ponciroli is not indexed or listed in the 1986 Directory.
1986 1995 Immaculate Heart of Mary Brentwood CA


Ponciroli is indexed in the Directory at Immaculate Heart, but listed in the Oakland diocesan pages at it's mission church only. Rev. John G. Garcia is the only priest listed in the Oakland diocesan pages at Immaculate Heart.

1986 1996 St. Anne


Removed from ministry in 1995 due a lawsuit filed accusing Ponciroli of having abused in the 1970s. (San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)

CA 1/1 St. Anne's was a mission of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Brentwood.
1996 1999 St. Cyril (Korean-Vietnamese)


Per news reports, Ponciroli was on administrative leave while at St. Cyril's, with no parishioner contact. (San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)



Rev. John Fernandes, Parochial Administrator. In residence were Revs. Javier F. Kutsche; James Song (Korea), Korean Pastoral Center; Anthony Phan Lam; Robert Ponciroli.

St. Cyril's had a school with 182-151 students.
1999 2003 Retired


Arrested in 2003 at his Florida home and charged with having molested two altar boys in the 1980s. (San Francisco Chronicle
February 27, 2003) Charges were dropped when the Supreme Court overturned part of a California law that had temporarily lifted the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse. (San Jose Mercury News
June 27, 2003).


Ponciroli no longer appears in the Directories after 2002.

Per news reports, Ponciroli moved to Florida and was allowed "limited" ministry. (San Jose Mercury News
March 31, 2008)

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1970-2003).

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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