Assignment Record– Rev. Edmund P. Charest

Summary of Case: Charest was accused in a lawsuit filed in January 2003 of molesting and raping a 15-year-old boy while assigned to a Chelsea MA parish around 30 years previously. Charest denied the accusations and was allowed to remain in ministry by interim Boston bishop Richard Lennon. Archbishop Sean O'Malley removed Charest in August 2003. At some point two more men filed suit alleging sexual abuse, including rape, as boys by Charest. All three cases were settled by the archdiocese. In September 2015 Charest remains on leave and his canonical case has not yet been resolved.

Born: 1931
Ordained: 1960

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

2/13/61 St. Catherine's Westford MA 3/3  
2/14/61 4/27/64 Blessed Sacrament Cambridge MA 3/4 Parish had a school with 294-250 boys and 255-243 girls.
4/28/64 6/19/67 Our Lady of Grace


Charest was accused in a January 2003 lawsuit of repeatedly molesting a 15-year-old boy while assigned to Our Lady of Grace. The abuse is said to have included rape.

By 2008 it was known that two more men had filed suit, accusing Charest of raping and molesting them as boys. Place and time of the alleged abuse not made public.

MA 2/4

Parish had a school with 294-280 boys and 334-320 girls.

Fourth priest listed is Michael Carew, accused of sexual abuse of girls.



6/02/67 9/19/67 Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Waltham MA assistant  
9/20/67 6/08/68 St. Ann's Boston (Dorchester) MA assistant  


Cushing was succeeded by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

11/01/80 Cushing General Hospital Framingham MA Chaplain Charest is indexed but not listed in the Boston archdiocesan pages of Directories for 1969,1971, 1972.

Cushing was a facility for military veterans.
6/09/68 11/01/80 Sons of Mary Missionary Society Framingham MA in residence  
10/16/80 5/31/81 Sacred Heart

(East Boston)

MA 2/3 Parish had a school with 88 students.


Bernard Francis Law replaced Medeiros (1984-2002).

8/22/94 St. James the Greater Boston (Chinatown) MA 3/3,3/4,3/5,3/6  
1989 1994 New England Medical Center Boston MA 3/3  
8/23/94 4/30/96 Unassigned      

Charest is not indexed in the Directories for these years.

In 1995 a judge ordered Charest to leave his Back Bay condo and stay 100 feet away from a 33- year-old woman who was his neighbor. She had accused Charest of harassing and spying on her; he reportedly called her a liar.

5/01/96 7/31/96 Emergency Response Group Boston MA   Emergency Response Group was team of priests who filled in for others as needed.
8/1/96 8/31/96 Unassigned        
9/01/96 3/03/02 Emergency Response Group Boston MA    


Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. succeeded Law (2003-).

8/22/03 Blessed Sacrament Cambridge MA 2/2 Administrator

Despite the January 2003 lawsuit accusing Charest of past abuse, interim bishop Lennon kept Charest in ministry. The archdiocese settled with Charest's three accusers and Archbishop O'Malley placed Charest on on indefinite leave August 23, 2003.

8/23/04 9/205 On Leave Boston MA   In September 2015 Charest's name remains included on the archdiocese's list of "Cases Involving Living Archdiocesan Clergy That Already Have Been Publicized, But Where The Canonical Proceedings Against Those Clergy Have Not Yet Been Resolved."

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1959-2003).

16 Priests Named for First Time in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, January 30, 2003
70 Abuse Cases Filed vs. Church, By Robin Washington and Tom Mashberg, Boston Herald, January 30, 2003
Boston Hit with New Lawsuits, Providence Journal-Bulletin [Rhode Island], January 30, 2003
3 Area Priests Accused in Recent Suit Are Still in Parishes, By Sacha Pfeiffer, Boston Globe, March 5, 2003
O'Malley Places 4 Priests on Leave, Archdiocese Reviewing Sex Abuse Allegations, By Jenna Russell, Boston Globe, August 24, 2003
I-Team: Priests Accused of Abuse Living Among US, By Joe Bergantino, WBZ, May 12, 2008
Boston Archdiocese Posts Sex-Abuse Database Online, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, August 25, 2011
Publication With Respect to Archdiocesan Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Child, Archdiocese of Boston website, accessed September 17, 2015

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy & Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Charest's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on September 17, 2015.


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