Retired Diocesan priest determined unsuitable for ministry

Father Stephen J. Halabura, 87, who has been retired for 11 years, has been found unsuitable for ministry after an investigation of an incident that Father Halabura self-reported to the Diocese of Allentown.

In May 2019, Father Halabura admitted sexually abusing a minor in the early 1980s. After Father Halabura self-reported the incident, Bishop Alfred Schlert removed Father Halabura from ministry, and law enforcement was notified.

 As the result of the Diocese’s investigation, conducted by an independent investigator, the allegation was determined to be credible. The Independent Review Board, a panel of experts that advises the Bishop on clergy abuse matters, recently recommended that Father Halabura was unsuitable for ministry. Bishop Schlert accepted the recommendation. Father Halabura remains barred from ministry.

Father Halabura’s name has been added to the list of credibly accused priests on the diocesan web page,

The incident occurred at the former St. Anthony of Padua parish, Millmont, which was later closed and merged into St. John Baptist de la Salle, Shillington.    

Father Halabura was ordained in May 1961. Since his retirement, he had been serving as a substitute priest when needed.

Assignment History of Father Halabura:

St. Canicus, Mahanoy City  1961 – 1963  Annunciation, Shenandoah         1987-1988
St. Stephen, Port Carbon    1963 – 1964  St. Ann, Lansford                         1988-2002
St. Paul, Allentown              1964 – 1971 Ss. Peter and Paul, Lansford       1988-2002   
St. Anthony, Millmont           1971 – 1984 St. Richard, Barnesville                2002-2008
St. Stanislaus, Minersville    1984 – 1987  

Anyone who knows of incidents of abuse, in the Church or elsewhere, should report it to the State Child Line at 1-800-932-0313 or to local law enforcement. To speak directly to the Diocese of Allentown’s Victim Assistance Coordinator, please call her direct line: 1-800-791-9209.