Fr. Joseph Fertal – Diocese of San Bernardino

Father Joseph Fertal

Diocese of San Bernardino/Society of the Divine World

Joseph Fertal Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Suspended: 1995 

Assignment History:

  • 1960: Unknown
  • 1963-1967: P.O. Box 1375 Manila, Philippines
  • 1968-1970: Devine Word Seminary (Techny, IL)
  • 1971: College of Loyola University (Niles, IL)
  • 1972: Devine Word Seminary (Techny, IL)
  • 1973-1978: University of San Carlos (Cebu City, Philippines)
  • 1979-1983: Province of Christ the King (Philippines)
  • 1984-1987: Southern Province of Blessed Joseph Freinadametz
  • 1988: Provincial Headquarters in the United States
  • 1989: Society of the Divine World Foreign Missions
  • 1990: CA Divine World Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1991-1992: St. John the Evangelist, Los Angeles, CA
  • 1993: Our Lady of Loretto (Los Angeles, CA)
  • 1994: Divine World Seminary (Riverside, CA)
  • 1995-1996: St. Edward (Corona, CA)
  • 1997-2002: Divine World Seminary (Riverside, CA)
  • 2003-2018: Unknown 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Joseph Fertal:

Fr. Joseph Fertal, a member of the Society of the Divine Word, was accused in 1995 of molesting a 16-year-old boy in the Diocese of San Bernardino, California. The mother of the victim sued the Catholic Church, alleging her son was sexually molested by Fertal after she brought the boy to church for moral guidance.

According to media reports, the lawsuit alleged that Fertal of St. Edward Church in Corona, California molested the boy after his mother enrolled her son in Catechism classes. According to online accounts, the suit was settled, and a criminal investigation was dropped for lack of evidence.

According to the Society of the Divine Word, in 2002, officials forced Fertal to move out of a Riverside retirement home, due to his history of inappropriate relationships with children. Fertal was relocated to a St. Louis church treatment center for priests accused of sexual misconduct.

According to the Diocese of San Bernardino, Fertal was permanently banned from ministry in the Diocese. Fertal was included in the Diocese of San Bernardino’s and Scranton’s list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. He was believed to be residing in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, as of 2003. Fertal’s current whereabouts and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of San Bernardino now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Diocese of San Bernardino, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.