The chaplain at the Catholic Center located on campus was removed. | Photo by Anna Meassick.

by Andy Main, Julia Moro and Mary Lind

The Catholic Center chaplain at the University of Rhode Island has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Providence.

Rev. Joseph R. Upton was placed on administrative leave on Jan. 30, 2019. Upton has been removed from his duties as chaplain and is not allowed to publicly minister while on leave. The Diocese declined to disclose why he was placed on leave.

Joe Upton

Upton began working at the Catholic Center in 2015 and also worked as the chaplain at The Prout School in South Kingstown, Rhode Island.

The Diocese of Providence put out a statement that said, “The Diocese of Providence has placed the Reverend Joseph R. Upton on administrative leave and he has been relieved of his assignment as Catholic chaplain at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, and as chaplain at The Prout School in Wakefield, effective Jan. 30, 2019. During this administrative leave, Father Upton is not permitted to minister publicly.”

The Diocese of Providence declined to provide additional information as to why Upton was placed on leave. They said it is policy to not comment on such matters.

“We will not comment further since it is a personnel matter and they are always confidential in nature,” said Carolyn E. Cronin, the director of communications of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.

The URI Catholic Center declined to comment on the issue and referred The Good Five Cent Cigar to the Diocese of Providence. The principa of the Prout School also referred The Good Five Cent Cigar to the Diocese of Providence.

The replacement chaplain at the Catholic Center did not return The Good Five Cent Cigar’s phone calls.

Upton’s phone number with the Catholic Center is no longer connected and his staff page on the Catholic Center website is no longer available. A personal phone number or email could not be found and confirmed as Upton’s. Christ the King, a Roman Catholic Church at the top of URI’s campus, removed Father Upton’s name from their staff list for their weekly parish bulletin for their issue on Feb.10, 2019 and his name has not appeared since.   

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Andrew Main
I am passionate about writing for the Cigar because I enjoy informing others about what is going on in the URI community. It is often said that education is one of the most powerful tools an individual can have. Through writing for the Cigar, I aim to help educate the community about what is going on and why it is important so that people can be as educated as possible about newsworthy events on campus. I ran for the news editor position because I want to help make the Cigar as successful as possible by not just writing articles but by helping other reporters capitalize on their strengths as well.