Father Ronald J. Luka
Diocese of St. Petersburg/Claretian
- 1966 – Unknown: SUNY Farmingdale & NY Institute of Technology
- 1970-1975: Newman Apostolate (Garden City, NY)
- 1975-1978: St. Helen’s Catholic school (Lauderdale Lakes, FL)
- 1980-1981: Our Lady of Ransom (Niles, IL)
- 1982: Nativity Catholic Church (Brandon, FL)
- 1984-1999: Claretian Provincial House (Oak Park, IL)
- 1999: Wounded Brothers Project (Robertsville, MO)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Ronald J. Luka:
In 2002, Fr. Ronald J. Luka of the Claretian Missionaries was accused of sexually abusing several boys between 1976 and 1978 while attending St. Helen Catholic School in Lauderdale Lakes, FL. The suit accuses Luka of ingratiating himself with the boys’ families and then molesting them at his Fort Lauderdale home and then during overnight religious retreats and a summertime cross-country trip in 1978.
According to the suit, the two victims were both 12 and in the sixth grade when Luka invited them separately to his house after school, which is where the initial abuse took place. The suit claims that Luka took one of the boys on an archdiocese-sponsored weekend retreat at a campground. Once there, the priest and the boy shared Luka’s pop-up camper, which had two beds. Fr. Luka climbed into the boy’s bed for both nights of the retreat and committed numerous acts of sexual battery and abuse.
Simultaneously, the other plaintiff in the suit claimed he was similarly abused at Luka’s home during after-school hours. The lawsuit states that there were back-scratching and massages, leading to genital fondling and masturbation. The abuse was reported to the school, and they promised to take appropriate action. Luka was gone the next school year.
According to the lawsuit, the Claretians received their first allegation against Luka in 1999 of abuse occurring in NY state around 1979. After learning of the allegations, the Claretian Missionaries sent the priest to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland, a church-sponsored treatment center for priests. After a 30-day treatment, it was determined that Luka be permanently removed from public ministry. Luka was then sent to live at the Wounded Brothers Project in Robertsville, MO, a halfway house for troubled priests. He’s under 24-hour supervision.
Fr. Luka is also listed on the Diocese of Rockville Centre’s 2021 List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor. The list states that the alleged sexual abuse occurred while Luka worked at SUNY Farmingdale in Nassau County, NY, sometime between 1966-1975. The list also says that Luka abused his victim(s) at a rectory in Long Island, a Boy Scout Camp in upstate New York, a farm in upstate New York, and at his private house in upstate NY. The details of the sexual abuse allegations, including the victim’s age/gender, are unknown.
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