Rev. Joseph J. Rives (Reeves)

Summary of Case: Three women came forward in 2003 with accusations that Rives had sexually abused them as children in the 1960s, when they were students at St. Francis of Rome's parish school in Louisville, KY. Rives died in 1971.

Ordained: 1920


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Louisville bishop was Denis O'Donaghue (1910-1924)

1928 St. Augustine's Reed KY



Parish had a school with 75-113 students.
1920 1923   Lewisport KY   This was a mission of St. Augustine's in Reed.


O'Donaghue was replaced as bishop by John Alexander Floersh (1924-1967)

1934   Hawesville KY   This was a mission of St. Augustine's in Reed, and of St. Rose's in Cloverport.
1928 1934 St. Rose's Cloverport KY 1/1 Parish had a school with 70-90 students.
1928 1934   Lewisport KY



This was a mission of St. Rose's in Cloverport.
1934 1939 St. Aloysius Louisville KY 1/1 Parish had a school with 163-149 students.
1939 1956 St. Paul's Louisville KY 1/1, 1/2 Parish had a school with 115-83 students.


Succeeding Floersh was Thomas Joseph McDonough (1967-1981)

1968 St. Frances of Rome


• Rives was accused by a woman in a 2003 lawsuit of having abused a girl between 1962-1964, when she was a student at St. Frances of Rome. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
May 10, 2003)

• A second woman filed suit in 2003, accusing Rives of sexually abusing her as a child in 1962 in the St. Frances of Rome rectory. She was also a student in the parish school. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
May 15, 2003)

• A third woman named Rives in a 2003 lawsuit as having having sexually abused her as a child at St. Frances of Rome, where she was a student. (The Courier-Journal [Louisville KY]
Downloaded June 5, 2003)

KY 1/2, 1/1, 1/3 Parish had a school with 311-203 students.
1968 1971 Retired Louisville KY   Rives died Sept. 5, 1971

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1921-1971)

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 Rive'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 Jan. 15, 2010