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Fr Richard Coughlin

All American Boys Chorus

Assignment History

Assignment Beginning Date Completion Date
• Ordained, St. John's Seminary, Brighton, MA 9/29/1953
• St. Patrick Catholic Church, Stoneham, MA, Associate Pastor 9/1953 2/1960
• St. Mary Catholic Church, Lynn, MA, Associate Pastor 2/1960 6/1965
• Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Santa Ana, CA, Associate Pastor 6/1965 9/1967
• St. Anthony Claret Catholic Church, Aneheim, CA, Associate Pastor 9/1967 3/1972
• St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Costa Mesa, CA 3/1972 2/1974
• St. Michael's Prep School 3/1974 8/1989
• Retires from Active Ministry 8/1989
• Removed from Ministry, Diocese of Orange, CA 2/1993
Timeline according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles*
6/13/1924 Born
9/29/1953 Ordained in Archdiocese of Boston
6/22/1965 Archdiocese of Los Angeles grants temporary faculties.  Assigned as assistant at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, Santa Ana
9/14/1967 Assistant at St. Anthony Claret Church, Anaheim
2/25/1971 Incardinated into the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
3/22/1972 Assistant at St. John the Baptist, Costa Mesa
3/15/1974 Teacher at St. Michael's Preparatory School, Orange
6/18/1976 Excardinated from Archdiocese of Los Angeles into Diocese of Orange
04/15/2002 Adult male reports to Archdiocese of Oklahoma City of inappropriate conduct by Fr. Coughlin from 1968-1971.  Oklahoma City forwards complaint to Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
*see Addendum to The Report to the People of God  
coughlin_richard
  • September 29, 1953

    1953

    Fr. Richard Coughlin is Ordained a priest in the Catholic Church in Brighton, MA.  He continues to serve his first assignment in the Archdiocese of Boston for over 10 years, during which time he also earns a Masters Degree in Education.

  • June 1965

    1965

    In June of 1965, Coughlin is abruptly moved across the country to Los Angeles to continue ministering as a Catholic Priest.  Reasoning for the switch are left unspoken, but later allegations will be made by a man in Boston that he was sexually molested by Coughlin as a young boy.

  • All-American Boys Chorus

    1970

    Fr. Coughlin founds the All American Boys Chorus.  A choir of young boys who he will coach and develop into masterful singers.  He will also be accused of molesting many of them.

  • 1st Report of Abuse

    1974

    The father of one of Fr. Coughlin's chorus boys complains to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles about possible sexual abuse suffered by his some by Fr. Coughlin.  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles takes the report but does nothing to discipline Coughlin.  The All American Boys Chorus continues.

  • 1974

    Fr. Coughlin goes on "vacation" to the Benedictine Monastery of St Charles near Oceanside, CA.  The monastery is known as a place where accused molesters are sent to "cool off" after complaints are raised.  Fr. Coughlin's status as a teacher at St. Michael's Prep remains in good standing and he continues to retain permission working with the All American Boys Chorus.

  • 2nd Report of Abuse

    1979

    A boy named Matthew Rohel complains about being sexually molested by Fr. Coughlin to the directors of the All American Boys Chorus.  The chorus takes no action.

  • 3rd Report of Abuse

    1985

    A man from Boston, MA reports to the Archdiocese of Boston about having been sexually molested by Fr. Coughlin when he was a boy in Boston.  The Archdiocese of Boston forwards the report to Los Angeles, but no actions are taken by either Diocese to discipline or investigate Coughlin.  

  • Full-Time All American Boys Chorus

    1989

    Fr. Coughlin is granted "Active Leave" from the Diocese of Orange to commit all of his time to the All American Boys Chorus.

  • 1990

    The Boston man who waged a complaint to the Archdiocese of Boston, confronts Fr. Coughlin and the directors of the All American Boys Chorus about having been sexually molested by Coughlin.  Coughlin doesn't deny the incidents.  The directors of the All American Boys Chorus take no action.

  • Internal Investigation

    1992

    Amidst several more complaints, the Diocese of Orange begins an internal investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by boys of the All American Boys Chorus.  Fr. Coughlin's ministry continues during the investigation despite his retired status.

  • 1993

    The Diocese of Orange concludes its investigation, but makes no public statements regarding its findings.  Fr. Coughlin is suspended from the Diocese and begin receiving retirement payments from them.  Meanwhile, not less than four more men come forward with allegations of sexual abuse by Coughlin.  Several lawsuits are filed but fall short of the statute of limitations.  

  • 1997

    With continued reports of sexual abuse by Fr. Coughlin from All American Boys Chorus Alumni, the Placentia Police Department opens a criminal investigation which will last for two years.  From 1997 to 1999 at least two abuse reports are made to the Placentia P.D.  Coughlin is never charged.

  • 2002

    Coughlin is reprimanded by the Diocese of Orange for saying masses, without permission, in North San Diego County.  It is reported that Coughlin is still working with boys choirs without permission as well.

  • September 15, 2006

    2006

    One of Fr. Coughlin's victims, now a grown man, commits suicide.