Statement regarding Fr. Sijo Chirayath, CMI

On April 26, the Bishop’s Office received a credible allegation of inappropriate conduct by Fr. Sijo Chirayath, CMI, Chaplain of St. Patrick-St. Vincent High School in Vallejo. This allegation involved inappropriate conduct with an adult man.

We take every allegation of this nature very seriously and act promptly to ensure the safety of parishioners and others with whom an accused priest may have been in contact. Accordingly, Fr. Sijo was removed from ministry as of April 28, 2023, pending the outcome of an investigation into this matter.

The investigation has concluded. Fr. Sijo was found to have violated diocesan policy regarding clergy conduct. He no longer has an assignment at the high school, nor does he have faculties in the Diocese of Sacramento.

Fr. Sijo has been asked to return to his order, the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate (CMI) in India, effective today.

The laws of the Catholic Church and our Diocese are clear on this topic. We do not tolerate any conduct that abuses the sanctity of the relationship between a priest and the Faithful, and we will not allow anything to compromise the dignity or safety of parishioners, students or others who place their trust in our parishes, schools, and programs.

Let us pray for everyone involved in this sad and troubling matter.

Anyone who has been a victim of misconduct by clergy, or who knows someone who has been, is strongly encouraged to report such misconduct to the appropriate authorities. Such reports can be made to law enforcement, to the diocese, or to both. The diocese’s Pastoral Care Coordinator may be reached, toll free, by calling 866-777-9133.