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Former Liberty and Cleveland priests included in list of those suspected

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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2019 6:46 pm

List of priests alleged to have sexually abused children include at least five who served in Liberty and two in Cleveland.

As has been widely reported elsewhere, on Jan. 31 the Roman Catholic dioceses in Texas released the names of some 286 priests in against whom allegations of sexual abuse have been made since 1950. In most cases the allegations have not been proved, but the Church has deemed them to be credible allegations.

Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of the Beaumont Diocese explained in an open letter to the diocese that  a credible allegation “is one that, after review of reasonably available, relevant information in consultation with the Diocesan Review Board or other professionals, there is reason to believe is true.”

That part of the list released by the Diocese of Beaumont does not include information about where each priest served, but KSHN has reported that five of the priests listed served some part of their careers in Liberty. They were:

  • James Engle, ordained in 1963, died in 1999.
  • Albert Geoffroy, ordained in 1965, died in 2010.
  • Earl Mudd, ordained in 1960, faculties revoked in 1996, died Jan. 1, 2019.
  • Frank Paduch, ordained in 1989, faculties revoke in 2001, granted dispensation from the clerical state by the Pope in 2005.
  • August Pucar, ordained in 1963, faculties revoked in 2006, died in 2012.

Others included on the Diocese of Beaumont list are Ronald Bollich, John Byrne, Dale Calhoun, Henry Drouihet, Jude Sivcoski, Roger Thibodeaux, Joseph Tully and Herman Vincent.

The list released by the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston does include information about where each of its accused priests served. However, neither Beaumont nor Galveston’s list includes information on the specific nature of the allegations against each priest. 

Priests found on the list released through the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston include two who were each assigned for some time to St. Mary in Cleveland:

  • Anthony G. Stredny, ordained in 1957, removed from the ministry in 1993, died in 2018. Once assigned to St. Mary in Cleveland, Sacred Heart in Crosby, St. Joseph in New Waverly and St. Matthias the Apostle in Magnolia, among other locations.
  • Alphonse Rodrigue Hemond, ordained in 1949, retired and died in 1990. Assignments included St. Mary in Cleveland. 

According to The Vindicator archives, Earl Mudd became assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Liberty on June 23, 1962, under Father A.J. Nicholson. Jude Sivcoski was assistant diocesan director of vocations of Beaumont in 1974, when he spoke in Liberty at a meeting of the Altar Society. Dale Calhoun was appointed assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Nacogdoches in 1972.

Relying on archives available online from newspapers across the country, and with the caveat that any of the following might be a different priest with the same name as one listed by the Beaumont Diocese as having allegations against him, below are some of the places where listed priests either served or were mentioned in newspapers as having officiated at a service and the years of they appeared in those newspapers:

Ronald Bollich, a priest from 1964 to 1994, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • St. Katherine in Port Arthur, 1966
  • St. Anthony Cathedral in Beaumont, 1968
  • Winnie, 1969
  • St. James in Port Arthur, 1972, 1973
  • Sacred Heart, Nacogdoches, 1975, 1977
  • St. Michael in Silsbee, 1981, 1982
  • St. James in Port Arthur, 1985
  • Immaculate Conception in Groves, 1985
  • St. Pius X in Vincennes, Indiana, 1988
  • St. Henry’s in Jackson, Tennessee, 1989

Dale Calhoun, a priest from 1968 to 1986, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Sacred Heart in Nacogdoches, 1972, 1973
  • Chaplain at San Diego Navy Base, 1976

Henry Drouihet, a priest from 1928 to 1988, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Rector of St. Mary in Galveston, 1984

James Engle, a priest from 1963 to 1999, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church in Port Arthur, 1973
  • Sacred Heart in Nacogdoches, 1975
  • St. Joseph Catholic Church in Port Arthur, 1991

Albert Geoffroy, a priest from 1965 to 2010, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Queen of Peace in La Marque, 1965
  • St. Mary in Port Arthur, 1966
  • Lumberton, 1976
  • St. Elizabeth in Port Neches, 1977

Earl Mudd, a priest from 1960 to 1996, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Holy Cross in East Bernard, 1960, 1961
  • Immaculate Conception in Liberty, 1962
  • Assumption in Beaumont, 1973
  • Our Lady of the Pines in Woodville, 1977
  • St. Elizabeth in Port Neches, 1977

Mudd was also moderator of a television program called “Catholic Church Today” broadcast in the mid-1970s by Channel 4 in Beaumont. He was diocesan director of the Cahtolic Youth Organization until July 1977, when Jude Sivcoski became director, according to The Port Arthur News, May 28, 1977.

Frank Paduch, a priest from 1989 to 2001, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Our Lady of Victory in Sour Lake, 1995
  • Immaculate Conception in Liberty, 1999
  • Emmaus in Austin, 2001

August Pucar, a priest from 1963 to 2006, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, 1962
  • St. Mary in Orange, 1967
  • Immaculate Conception in Nederland 1973, 1978
  • All Souls in Silsbee, 1974
  • St. Charles in Nederland, 1976, 1977
  • St. Patrick in Galveston, 1983, 1986
  • St. Peter in Galveston, 1986
  • Our Lady of Lourdes in Hitchcock, 1989
  • St. Joseph in Yoakum, 1989, 1990
  • Immaculate Conception in Liberty, 1998

Jude Sivcoski, a priest from 1975 to 1996, arrested in 1978, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Assumption in Beaumont, 1978, where he was indicted in December 1978 on charges of sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy in Port Arthur.
  • Immaculate Conception in Groves, 1982
  • St. Anne in Beaumont, 1983

Roger Thibodeaux, a priest from 1979 to 2002, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, 1982
  • St. Joseph in Livinston, 1998
  • St. Martin de Porres in Corrigan, 2001

Joseph Tully, a priest from 1925 to 1982, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • St. Mary’s Cathedral in Galveston, 1954, 1956, 1958, 1959

Herman Vincent, a priest from 1933 to 1985, is mentioned in newspapers of the time as having served or officiated at services in the following places:

  • Brookshire, 1962 (referencing Vincent’s assignment there in the 1940s)
  • Buna, 1971

Again, the above was drawn from newspaper archives with no assurances made here of their accuracies, nor is it a complete list of where each priest served. Different people can have the same name and different churches can also have the same name. Mentions in newspapers might be references to visiting priests who did not serve at the church named for any significant length of time.

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