Priest convicted of theft given new parish

A Catholic priest who had been convicted of theft was pardoned by the New York Archdiocese and reassigned to a local parish. The priest, Monsignor John Woolsey, recently served a year in prison for stealing

News 12 Staff

Aug 13, 2008, 8:25 PM

Updated 5,758 days ago

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Priest convicted of theft given new parish
A Catholic priest who had been convicted of theft was pardoned by the New York Archdiocese and reassigned to a local parish.
The priest, Monsignor John Woolsey, recently served a year in prison for stealing $50,000 from a parishioner at his former church in Manhattan. After being released, the man of the cloth found a new spiritual home at the Holy Family parish in New Rochelle.
Monsignor Ferdinando Bernandi, who also works at the Holy Family church, says Woolsey is a changed man and he is ready to serve the community as an associate pastor.
In his new role, Woolsey?s duties will include celebrating Mass and counseling parishioners. The priest requested, however, not to be assigned with any tasks that are related to church finances.
The New York Archdiocese spokesperson, John Zwilling, says in a statement that throughout the ordeal, Woolsey never ceased to be a priest, and the archdiocese always regarded him as such.
"He went through the legal process and paid the penalty," Zwilling says. ?He will now continue as a priest."
On Tuesday, Woolsey celebrated his 71st birthday with friends, who say that his wish is that his new congregants in New Rochelle will forgive him and accept his new post.


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