|Accused Priest Served
at Ste. Marie
Bishop McCormack to Testify May 30
By Katherine McQuaid
Church directories show Concord priest Aime Boisselle was on the pastoral staff at Ste. Marie Church in Manchester during the early 1960s when three men claim they were sexually abused by the Roman Catholic priest at a Manchester parish.
Patrick McGee, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Manchester could not confirm yesterday whether an alleged abuse occurred at Ste. Marie Church.
Boisselle, 71, resigned from his position at Sacred Heart Church in Concord on Friday after the three men came forward to the diocese the previous Tuesday and accused Boisselle of sexually molesting them while they were in their early teens. Yesterday, McGee said no civil charges had been filed by Boisselle's accusers and none are anticipated. He said this is the first sexual abuse complaint the diocese ever received about Boisselle, who has served at Sacred Heart for 21 years.
"I believe that the people who brought forth their complaint, it was not their intention to pursue any civil charges," McGee said.
McGee said he could not comment on whether Boisselle had admitted to the complaints.
He said because Boisselle's accusers are adults, state statutes do not require the diocese to go to authorities with the charges. But a review board at the diocese will conduct its own investigation into the complaints.
If Boisselle hadn't opted to resign, said McGee, he would have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation was conducted.
"He has no permission to function as a priest at this time," McGee said.
According to church directories, Boisselle was ordained in 1959 and his first assignment within the diocese was in 1962 at St. John the Baptist in Suncook. That church had a co-ed school run by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
In 1963 and 1964, Boisselle is listed on the pastoral staff of Ste. Marie in Manchester and a resident at the Suncook church.
From 1965 through 1967, Boisselle was assigned to Ste. Marie in Manchester. That parish had co-ed elementary and high schools, both run by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.
In 1968 and 1969, Boisselle was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Berlin. That church also had a co-ed school.
Boisselle is listed as the director of St. Kathryn Church in Hudson in 1970 and is listed at St. Edmund parish in Manchester in 1971. The latter parish had a co-ed school run by the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary.
From 1972 through 1980, Boisselle was listed at St. Augustine parish in Manchester. That church had a co-ed school run by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.
And from 1981 until his resignation, Boisselle served at Sacred Heart Parish in Concord. The church has no school, only religious education classes.
In 1996, Boisselle told police he had a drinking problem after he had his wallet, jewelry, church keys and car stolen by a man he met in Terrill Park in Concord.
Police at the time said Boisselle met the stranger while he was drinking heavily at the park, and later brought the man back to the Sacred Heart rectory at 52 Pleasant St. The priest later passed out and discovered the robbery when he woke the next morning.
McGee said he does not know where Boisselle has gone since his resignation from Sacred Heart, but said the diocese remains responsible for his financial support.
"He's eligible for retirement anyway," McGee said. McCormack spoke to Sacred Heart parish at its Saturday evening and Sunday morning Masses this weekend, where he explained Boisselle's departure and asked parish members to pray for him and the men making the allegations.
"I am mindful that this is shocking and difficult news to bear. And he (Boisselle) asked me to thank you for all that you . . . have done to support him in ministry. He's deeply grateful for your love for him and the support you have given him," McCormack said during Sunday's Mass.
McCormack also told the congregation that Boisselle's accusers had written a letter to the parish that would be shared with them in the coming weeks. Yesterday, McGee said he did not know whether the names of the accusers would be listed on the letter.
Sacred Heart parishioner of 22 years Constance Tousignant said she was surprised to hear of the allegations against Boisselle.
"Frankly, I don't have a judgment on it and I don't think we can have a judgment on anything until we really know facts," she said.
She said it is important to remember that for every priest who doesn't fulfill his ministry, there are hundreds of others who are completely dedicated.
(Union Leader Staff Reporter Kathryn Marchocki and The Associated Press
contributed to this report.)
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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