Assignment Record– Rev. James J. Tully, S.X.

Summary of Case: A Xavierian priest ordained in 1975, Tully is accused of sexual abuse of boys in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and in Sierra Leone. He is also accused by a former Xaverian seminarian of sexual assault. He pleaded no contest in 1992 to "disorderly conduct" for plying adolescent boys with alcohol and grabbing the inner thigh of one of them. He was sentenced to two years probation and sent to Connecticut for treatment. After a 2002 accusation Tully was sent to Italy by his order. He relocated to New Jersey in late 2008, and was laicized in January 2009.

: 1975
Laicized: 2009


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970), followed by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

  St. Brendan's


Tully was accused in an April 2002 letter to the archdiocese of having sexually abused a parishioner here in 1970.

MA   This assignment is per news reports, and pre-dates Tully's ordination.
1975 1978 Xaverian Center Holliston MA    


Makeni bishop was Augusto Fermo Azzolini, s.x. (1952-1986).

1985 Xaverian Foreign Missions


In May 2010 a 40- year-old man in Sierra Leone accused Tully of having abused him and other boys during these years. The man said Tully would ply them with palm wine.

Sierra Leone    


Milwaukee archbishop was Rembert George Weakland (1977-2002).

1990 Xaverian Missionary Fathers College


Tully was accused of giving alcohol to three Milwaukee boys and grabbing one of them. He pleaded no contest to the charge of "disorderly conduct" related to this in 1992. He was sentenced to two years' probation.

A Massachusetts man settled with the Xaverians in 2005, having reported to them that Tully sexually abused him at the Xaverian Seminary in Milwaukee when the man was a 21- year-old student there in the late 1980s.

1990 1992         Tully is not indexed in the 1991, 1992, or 1993 Directories.


Hartford bishop was Daniel Anthony Cronin (1991-2003).

  Institute of Living Hartford CT patient This was a mental health center.



1994 Holy Family Monastery Farmington CT In residence. This was a monastery for the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (C.P.) Tully is the only Xaverian listed.


Makeni bishop was George Buguzzi, s.x.

1998 Xaverian Foreign Missions Makeni Sierra Leone   Although the Directories list Tully as in Sierra Leone until 2001, news outlets report he was returned to the U.S. in 1998.
1998 2002 Xaverian Foreign Missions      

The 2002 Directory indexes Tully as "Xaverian Foreign Missions", but he is not listed in the diocesan pages as in Sierra Leone or in any of the s.x. missions.

Tully is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.

2002 2007 Union of Superiors General Rome Italy   Per news reports, Tully worked for this association for leaders of the world's Catholic orders, and lived with the Xaverian Missionary Fathers. He arrived in Rome just after the April 2002 accusation.
November 2007 2008   Vicenza Italy  

A former seminarian victimized by Tully located him in Vicenza and publicly exposed him there via the media. (010 WINS November 20, 2008)


Paterson bishop was Arthur Joseph Serratelli (2004- ).

2009 Xaverian Missionary Fathers Wayne NJ  

Tully is said to have been moved from Italy to the Xaverian's New Jersey headquarters in 2008.


Tully was laicized in January 2009.

  2010   Little Falls NJ   Tully was known in June 2010 to be living here.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1976-2002)

Ashfield Man Grateful for Bishop’s Help in Laicizing Priest, By Father Bill Pomerleau, The Observer, February 1, 2009
Documents on Priests
Latest Files Include Graphic Description, By Sacha Pfeiffer and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, January 18, 2003
Runaway Priests, Hiding in Plain Sight, The Rev. James "Jim" Tully, Rome Case Study #1, Dallas Morning News, September 12, 2004
Victim Advocacy Group Pushes Religious Orders to Return Accused Priests to United States, Associated Press, April 15, 2005
Ashfield Man Calls on Church to Defrock Priest He Says Abused Him, By Stephanie Barry, The Republican, June 24, 2008
Ashfield Man Pushes for Laicization of Xavarian Priest, By Father Bill Pomerleau, iobserve, June 25, 2008
Alleged Abuse Victim Calls for Priest to Be Defrocked, By Stephanie Barry, The Republican, June 25, 2008
Man to Ask Dolan to Help Defrock Priest, By Sharif Durhams, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 14, 2008
Former Milwaukee Priest Accused of Child Abuse, By Hannah Schtein, Wisconsin Public Radio, July 15, 2008
He Tracks His Perp Priest to a Residence in Italy and Italian Media Run with the Story. One Survivor Weilding So Much Power from His New England Home, By Kay Ebeling, City of Angels, September 15, 2008
Pedophile Priests at Large in New Jersey. James Tully in Wayne and Robert Petrella in North Arlington. Survivors Alert Neighborhoods, By Kay Ebeling, City of Angels, November 14, 2008
Residents of Wayne, N.J. Protest Arrival of Priest, By Steve Sandberg, 1010 WINS, November 20, 2008
Victims SNAP into Action When the Church Won't, By Jeff Diamant, The Star-Ledger, December 14, 2008

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 Tully'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. 16, 2010.