Fr. Lawrence M. / Jerome M. Spellen, O.S.M.: Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Fr. Lawrence M. / Jerome M. Spellen, O.S.M.

Ordained: 1946

Assignments within the Archdiocese/Diocese(s) in Colorado: Denver


  • 1946-1948: Assumption, Denver, CO (DEN)
  • 1949-1952: St. Joseph Seminary, Elgin, IL (RCK)
  • 1953-1954: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Denver, CO (DEN)
  • 1954-1956: St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, Midvale, UT (SLC)
  • 1957-1958: St. Patrick’s, Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
  • 1959-1968: Our Lady of Lourdes, Magna, UT (SLC)
  • 1969-1970: St. Olaf, Bountiful, UT (SLC)
  • 1971: St. Pius X, Moab, UT (Mission: Sacred Heart, La Sal) (SLC)
  • 1972: Absent on Leave (SLC)
  • 1973: St. Theresa, Oahu, Honolulu, HI (HON)
  • 1974: Our Lady of Guadalupe, Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
  • 1975: Unknown
  • 1976: Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace, Oahu, Honolulu, HI (HON)
  • 1977-1979: Palma High School, Salinas, CA (MRY)
  • 1980: St. James the Greater, Vernal, UT (SLC)
  • 1981-1982: Palma High School, Salinas, CA (MRY)
  • 1983-1987: St. Patrick’s, Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)
  • 1988-2003: Retired (SLC)
  • 2003: Died

Fr. Lawrence M. Spellen was ordained Fr. Jerome M. Spellen in the Diocese of Rockford in Illinois. Fr. Spellen was a member of the Servites until 1953 when he entered the Diocese of Salt Lake City. Fr. Spellen bounced around numerous parishes and assignments throughout his career. In 1975, it is believed Fr. Spellen began working at Damien Memorial High School in Honolulu, Hawaii where he sexually abused at least one minor boy. Fr. Spellen told Bishop Weigand in 1993 that he was being accused of sexual misconduct during the mid-1980’s. Diocesan officials in Salt Lake City investigated the matter and found merit in the accusations. Fr. Spellen was placed on leave and the matter was reported to child protective services. In 2013, Fr. Spellen was named in a civil lawsuit in Hawaii for the sexual abuse of the boy at Damien Memorial High School. From 1988 until his death, Fr. Spellen’s status as a priest, his whereabouts, and whether he had access to children are unknown.