A longtime official with the Diocese of Sacramento resigned Monday after an internal audit revealed that he redirected up to $500,000 intended for specific church charities to other church expenses he deemed more pressing, a church spokesman said.
The funds, redirected over a number of years, were intended for St. Patrick’s Home for Children and Catholic Charities of Sacramento. The Rev. Michael Kiernan resigned from his role as director of those charities. Last year, Kiernan celebrated the 40th anniversary of his ordination. He also served as pastor of Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Carmichael.
“It doesn’t appear that any of the money spent was for personal gain,” said Kevin Eckery, a spokesman for the diocese. “This had gone on for some time. It was breaking faith with the people who had given money for certain purposes.”
In his June 2 letter of resignation, Kiernan said serving the parish was a privilege he violated.
“Instead of respecting the intended purposes of certain donations and bequeaths, I deposited them in accounts for other charitable and pastoral purposes without the knowledge of the donors or any proper authorization,” Kiernan said.
Kiernan said he is “for the time being” stepping down from all church assignments while “taking time for prayer and penance.”
The names of the charities receiving the funds were not released. No charges are expected to be filed.
Call The Bee’s Ed Fletcher, (916) 321-1269. Follow him on Twitter @NewsFletch.