A Conception Bay South priest and his wife pleaded guilty to defrauding his former parish during an appearance at a St. John's courtroom on Tuesday.

John Dinn and his wife Catherine Dinn stole $9,600 from St. John the Evangelist Church between July and November 2012.

Dinn also admitted to stealing $1,625 from the parish that was intended to cover the cost of five weddings.

Dinn's wife took cheques meant for charities and used white-out to remove the names and replace them with his.

In a statement, she said she altered the cheques from the parish to pay for her two sons to continue at St. Bonaventure's College at a cost of $7,000 each.

St. John the Evangelist Church Conception Bay South

Victim impact statements from members of the parish at St. John the Evangelist Church in Conception Bay South say they felt deceived by their priest. (CBC)

She said her life started to unravel after a car accident that she said left her unable to continue work, and she ended up using painkillers and eventually lost most of her income, and said she "became useless."

She pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud.

'Deceived by their priest'

In a victim impact statement, the secretary for the parish said she was left worrying that people might question whether she was involved and she became stressed to the point she had to be treated for anxiety.

Another victim impact statement from a warden with the church said they felt they were deceived by their priest, and even thought some people left the church because of the frauds.

The Dinns have already paid back more than $8,000 of the money they stole from the church.

The Crown said John Dinn should get three months house arrest and one year of probation, as well as be forced to pay back the rest of the money.

According to the Crown, Catherine Dinn should get a suspended sentence, which means a criminal record, as well as probation.

The defense asked that they get probation, but a conditional discharge, so their criminal records would eventually disappear.

When the judge asked John Dinn if he had anything to say, Dinn turned to people present in the courtroom who were from the parish and said he was very sorry, and that he hoped in time they could forgive him. 

The Dinns will be sentenced August 26.