José Maria Bettencourt e Ávila
Summary of Case:
Birthplace: Rosais, São Jorge, Azores; attended high school on Terceira in the Azores
Seminary: St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore MD
Incardinated: Fall River MA
|10/33||9/27/37||Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception||New Bedford||MA||Assistant|
|9/27/37||1938||Catholic University||Washington||DC||Advanced studies||MA degree|
|1938||1943||Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception||New Bedford||MA||Assistant|
|1943||12/43||Our Lady of Health||Fall River||MA||Ávila is listed continuously at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception in CDs 1938-44, but his 12/43 transfer is reported in Standard-Times 12/7/43, and his presence at Our Lady of Health is reported in an obit Standard-Times 11/5/88.|
|12/43||9/44||Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception||New Bedford||MA||Assistant|
|9/44||5/64||St. Anthony's||East Falmouth||MA||Administrator||Ávila is accused of raping at least one boy and abusing others while at St. Anthony's. Gilbert Simões is accused of being involved in these activities, even before he was ordained.|
|5/64||1/74||Our Lady of Mount Carmel||New Bedford||MA||Pastor||Fr. Gilbert Simões served under Ávila here 1965-71; they are accused of abusing boys together during this period. The diocese has settled at least one such case.|
|1974||1976||Retired||Listed in CD as residing in the Azores.|
|1976||11/3/88||Retired||Listed in the CD with the address P.O. Box 706, Falmouth 03541. Ávila died at the Rose Hawthorne Lathrop Home and is buried in the so-called Clergy Burial Grounds in the diocesan cemetery behind St. Anthony's in East Falmouth. The stone describes Avila as "Third Pastor of St. Anthony's Church," though he was always listed as "administrator" in the CDs.|
Source: Catholic Directories, supplemented from articles
in the Standard-Times. Ávila's tenure at Our Lady of Health in New Bedford
is unclear. No CD lists him as being there, but an article in the Standard-Times
12/7/43 describes him as being transferred by Bishop Cassidy from Our Lady of
Health to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. But another article in the
Standard-Times 5/8/63 describes Ávila as having been "an assistant
at Immaculate Conception Church from 1933 to 1937 and again in 1943-44."
BishopAccountability.org Status: CDs, newspaper stories, and Ávila's gravestone have been cross-checked by BA.org staff. We are working to clarify the situation at Our Lady of Health.
Notes: An obituary in the Standard-Times 11/5/88 states that Ávila studied at Harvard University but does not say when.