Msgr. Pearse P. Donovan – Diocese of Oakland

| Dec 7, 2020 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Monsignor Pearse P. Donovan

Diocese of Oakland

Ordained: 1943

Removed: 1983

Died: 1986

Assigned as follows:

  • 1944: St. Augustine’s (Oakland, CA)
  • 1945: St. Ambrose’s (Berkeley, CA)
  • 1946: St. Gregory’s (San Mateo, CA)
  • 1947-1952: Serra High School for Boys (San Mateo, CA)
  • 1953-1955: Marin Catholic High School (San Rafael, CA)
  • 1956-1964: Bishop O’Dowd High School (Oakland, CA)
  • 1963-1965: School Board; Schools (Oakland, CA)
  • 1963-1972: Catholic High Schools Federation; Catholic Parent Teacher Groups (Oakland, CA)
  • 1965-1978: Corpus Christi (Piedmont, CA)
  • 1966-1972: Building Committee; Education (Oakland, CA)
  • 1974-1976: Diocesan-Senate Consultors (Oakland, CA)
  • 1977-1978: Unknown
  • 1979- 1980: St. Clement (Hayward, CA)
  • 1981-1982: St. Albert (Alameda, CA)
  • 1983-1985: Sick Leave

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Pearse P Donovan:

Msgr. Pearse P Donovan was ordained for the Diocese of San Francisco in 1943. He served as the diocese’s superintendent of schools from 1963 to 1972. Donovan was a friend of Bishop Emeritus John Cummins. The two first met as high school seminarians in 1943 and later served together at Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland and at Corpus Christi parish in Piedmont, California. From 1963 to 1972, he was the superintendent of the schools in the Diocese of Oakland.

According to media reports, in a 2003 child sex abuse lawsuit, Bp. Cummins testified in a deposition that in 1978, Donovan was sent to two treatment centers for alcoholism. That same year, he allegedly began repeatedly molesting a boy at St. Clement and later “passed him on” to an abusive Holy Cross brother, Lawrence O’Brien, at Hayward’s Moreau High School and the abuse continued until 1981.

In 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Oaklands’ list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.

Donovan was removed from ministry/retired in 1983 and died in 1986.

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