Father Joseph Davis, 65, pleaded guilty to one count of theft from the St. Therese Catholic Church in Succasunna, the Daily Record reports.
Defense lawyer Jeff Garrigan said the cleric takes medication for depression and has been living the past year at a mental health facility in Pennsylvania that is operated by theCatholic church.
The Morris County Prosecutorâ€™s Office has recommended that Davis be sentenced on July 1 to five years in state prison, with no minimum period of time to be served before parole consideration.
Assistant Prosecutor Peter Foy said that although Davis has agreed to pay $200,000 in restitution to the church, repayment in all likelihood will not happen.
â€œFrankly, thereâ€™s no anticipation of restitution,â€™â€™ Foy told the judge.
Father Davis also admitted that he routinely kept some money that parishioners paid for votive candles. He said he did not keep a running tally of how much money he converted to his own use but wonâ€™t dispute the $200,000 restitution figure.
Former Roxbury pastor admits stealing $200,000 (Daily Record)