Fr. Sean L. Rooney

Diocese:  Archdiocese of New York, Archdiocese of Boston, Archdiocese of Birmingham, Archdiocese of Newark, Archdiocese of New Orleans, Diocese of Gary, Diocese of Paterson

Religious Order:  Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB)

Summary of Assignments:

  • 1959: Ordained
  • 1959-1968:  St. Dominic Savio High School; Boston, MA
  • 1968-1971:  Salesian Day High School for Boys, Salesian Resident Junior Seminary, Camp Salesian for Boys, Salesian Retreat House for Boys, Salesian Boys Club; Cedar Lake, IN
  • 1971-1975:  Don Bosco Technical High School; Paterson, NJ
  • 1975-1979:  Archbishop Shaw High School; Marrero, LA
  • 1979-1981:  Salesian Junior Seminary; Goshen, NY
  • 1981-1983:  Don Bosco High School for Boys; Ramsey, NJ
  • 1983-2003:  St. John Bosco Church; Birmingham, AL
  • 1983-2003:  Holy Rosary, Birmingham; AL
  • 2003-2008:  Salesian Provincial House; New Rochelle, NY


In a December 16, 2013 lawsuit, Rooney was accused of the repeated sexual abuse of a 14-year-old junior seminary student at the Salesian minor seminary in Goshen, New York. At the time, Rooney taught theology and physics and was the financial administrator at the seminary. He befriended the boy and encouraged his interest in photography.

Rooney was accused of fondling and masturbating the boy on a school bus trip to Sacred Heart Retreat House in Ipswich, Massachusetts. At the seminary, Rooney was accused of removing the boy’s clothing, touching and fondling the boy’s naked buttocks and genitals skin-on-skin, and masturbating on the boy.

The lawsuit also alleged abuse of the boy by Fr. Joseph Maffei, SDB and Fr. Sean Rooney, SDB at the same seminary.

The lawsuit was settled in 2014 and the Salesians confirmed that a monetary settlement had been reached. He was was laicized in 2008.

Sources:  John Doe v Fr Sean Rooney SDB et al 12.16.13; AP 10.31.14; BA Information Page 10.31.14; Garabedian Law 10.31.14 BA Assignment Record

Note: Years listed indicate editions of the Official Catholic Directory. Because of the publication schedule of the Directory, a priest listed at a parish in a given year was also likely at that parish for part of the previous year.