Father Joseph Kelleher
Diocese of Raleigh
Assigned as Follows:
- March 1966: St. Gabriel (Greenville, NC)
- Sept. 1966-April 1968: St. Patrick’s Cathedral (Charlotte, NC)
- 1968-1969: Immaculate Heart of Mary (High Point, NC)
- 1969-1970: Our Lady of Lourdes (Raleigh, NC)
- 1970-1971: Bishop McGuinnes Memorial High School (Kernersville, NC)
- 1971-1972: St. Joseph’s (Asheboro, NC)
- 1972-1973: St. John the Evangelist (Waynesville, NC)
- 1972-1973: Immaculate Conception (Canton, NC)
- 1972-1973: St. Margaret’s ( Maggie Valley, NC)
- April 1973-August 1977: Our Lady of the Annunciation (Albermarle, NC)
- August 1977-July 1986: Our Lady of the Assumption (Charlotte, NC)
- 1986-1991: Immaculate Conception (Hendersonville, NC)
- 1991-1998: Our Lady of the Rosary (Lexington, NC)
- 1993-1998: Bishop McGuinness High School (Kernersville, NC)
- 1998-1999: St. Dorothy’s (Lincolnton, NC)
- 1975-1978: Senate of Priests (Charlotte, NC)
- 1982-1983: Senate of Priests (Charlotte, NC)
- 1976-1977: Salsbury Vicar (NC)
- 1983-1993: Diocesan Consultor (Charlotte, NC)
- 1996-1998: Diocesan Consultor (Charlotte, NC)
- 1983-1988: Presbyteral Council (Charlotte, NC)
- 1994-1995: Presbyteral Council (Charlotte, NC)
- 1996-2000: Presbyteral Council (Charlotte, NC)
- 1988-1991: Asheville Vicar (NC)
- 1993-1998: Winston-Salem Vica (NC)
- July 1999-2010: Retired (Winston-Salem, NC)
- 1999-2010: Bishop McGuinness High School (Kernersville, NC)
- 2010-2014: Administrative Leave (NC)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Joseph Kelleher:
Fr. Joseph Kelleher, a native of Ireland, was a Trappist monk in Ireland and New Zealand for many years before arriving to North Carolina in 1966 to serve as a parish priest of the Diocese of Raleigh, and then the Diocese of Charlotte when it was established in 1971.
According to media reports, in September 2009 a man reported to police that he was molested by Kelleher as a 14-year-old altar boy in 1977. The priest was put on administrative leave in July 2010 and, a few days later, turned himself in to police. He was charged with “indecent liberties with a child.” He admitted to the abuse.
A week later another man reported to police that Kelleher sexually abused him when he was a 13-year-old boy. No charges were filed in that case. In July 2014, a judge determined that Kelleher was unable to stand trial, due to dementia. Kelleher died in August 2014.
In April 2020, Fr. Kelleher was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in the 1970s when the boy sought help from the priest, to deal with a family move.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Raleigh in North Carolina. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in North Carolina, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Raleigh now have legal options, 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 North Carolina and nationwide. We can help.