A native of Trinidad, Father Paul Gopaul was ordained in 1952 and was assigned to St. Michael’s College in Winooksi Park, VT where he served until 1959. He subsequently spent time in Jemez Springs, New Mexico at Via Coeli, the motherhouse for the Servants of the Paraclete and treatment center for troubled priests.
From 1960-1961, Fr. Gopaul spent time at Pius XII Seminary in Albuquerque, NM as well as St. Pius X High School until 1963. In 1963 he was assigned to Blessed Sacrament Church in El Paso, TX and Fr. Gopaul was next assigned to St. Gabriel the Archangel in St. Louis in 1965.
Sometime in the late 1960s/early 1970s, Father Gopaul was sent to St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN where allegations that he drugged and raped a boy surfaced. The boy’s father reported Gopaul to the school in 1971 and shortly thereafter, the victim committed suicide.
Father Paul Gopaul was then transferred to Dominguez Seminary in Compton, CA in 1973 where he served until 1978 and was then assigned to CA State College at Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA. Fr. Gopaul also served at St. Athanasius in North Long Beach, CA from 1979-1988. Gopaul died in 1988 while serving in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
By 2008, at least 10 other victims had come forward. Gopaul’s modus operandi was to pick up hitchhiking students and then try to molest them. The complaint in 1971 was later found in the Abbey’s archives.