Sexual Abuse Cases In Deep River Spur Diocese To File Bankruptcy


July 21, 2021

By Karena Garrity

Nearly 60 lawsuits have been filed relating to abuse alleged to have occurred at the Mount Saint John Academy in Deep River.

DEEP RIVER, CT — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich announced last week that it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Nearly 60 lawsuits have been filed against the diocese relating to abuse claimed to have occurred between 1986 and 2000 at the Mount Saint John School, a former ministry of the diocese and residential school in Deep River.

Bishop Michael R. Cote wrote in a news release on the diocese website that, “The decision to file for bankruptcy relief was difficult and only taken after two years of careful deliberation ….”

The release added, “Our advisors tell me that more than 30 diocesan, archdiocesan, and religious institutions, both large and small have had to take this action in order to fairly compensate victims of abuse ….”

The lawsuits allege the abuse at the Academy at Mount Saint John was by Brother Paul McGlade and Brother Pascal Alford. McGlade was accused of sexually assaulting young boys in Australia prior to his transfer to Connecticut, where he was appointed executive director at the Academy at Mount Saint John and was also a music teacher; Alford was the head of the school’s Boy Scout troop. Both men are now deceased. The Catholic order of Christian Brothers reached settlements with sex­ual abuse victims of Brother Pascal Alford at St Augustine’s boys’ home in Geelong, Victoria.

The Academy, which was a residential school to serve at-risk children, was operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich. It closed in 2013 and now sits vacant atop a hill at 135 Kirtland Street in Deep River.

All public information relating to the Chapter 11 filing can be found on a dedicated Chapter 11 website on the diocesan website at