Assignment Record– Bro. Fidelis (Francis) DeBerardinis, O.F.M.

Summary of Case: A Brother of the Franciscan's Province of the Immaculate Conception DeBerardinis was convicted in 2003 of sexually abusing eight altar boys during his time at an East Boston parish, 1968-1973. The Franciscan order moved DeBerardinis around the globe from 1973 on. He is accused of molesting a minor at some point in Ireland. One victim recieved a settlement from the order in 1992. DeBerardinis was sentenced in May 2004 to eight years in prison, followed by 10 years' probation, and was ordered to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Born: July 10, 1927
Franciscan Friar: 1948

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes
1948     Troy NY   Franciscan Mission
  1953   Brooklyn NY   Franciscan Mission
1953 1964     Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Trinidad missionary  
1964 1968   Bronx NY   served at a church


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970), followed by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1973 Our Lady of Mount Carmel

East Boston

• DeBerardinis was charged in 2002 with rape and assault of altar boys, one as young as eight years old, in the sacristy and rectory of this parish from 1968-1973.


Listed in the 1969 and 1970 Directories only.

1974     Jerusalem Israel    
1974       NY   upstate
• DeBerardinis was accused of molesting a minor in Ireland, after having been accused of abuse in Boston.
Ireland   time frame unclear
1974 1988 St. Francis Toronto Ontario, Canada retired  
1988   St. Anthony's Monastery Catskill NY    
1990   St. Francis Toronto Ontario, Canada    
1991 1992 Southdown Institute Toronto Ontario, Canada   DeBerardinis was sent to Southdown for 6 months of evaluation and treatment after a Novice at St. Francis accused him of making inappropriate sexual advances.
1992 1994 St. Bonaventure Toronto Ontario, Canada  

This was a friary.

One of DeBerardinis' victims received a settlement from the Franciscans in 1992.

1994 2002   Clearwater Beach FL retired DeBerardinis lived in a retirement home for Franciscans.
2002 2004 St. Anthony's Monastery Catskill NY  

DeBerardinis was arrested in August 2002 at his sister's home in Lowell, MA.

In February 2003 the charges that he molested 7 children between 1968-1973 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel were dropped because the laws at the time applied to sexual assault of girls, not boys. New charges were filed. DeBerardinis pled guilty in May 2004 to sexually abusing eight altar boys, and was sentenced to eight years in prison, followed by 10 years' probation. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender after his release from prison.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1969-1970).

Crisis in the Church / Abuse Arrest, By John Ellement, Boston Globe, August 15, 2002
Catholic Brother Arrested in Lowell; Charges Include Rape of Hub Altar Boys, By Robin Washington, Boston Herald, August 15, 2002
Franciscan Brother Is Charged with Molesting 4 Boston Boys, New York Times, August 15, 2002
Charges Set Aside against 2 Clerics, By Kathleen Burge, Boston Globe, February 5, 2003
Charges Dropped, New Ones Added in Cleric Abuse Cases, By Tom Mashberg and David Weber, Boston Herald, February 5, 2003
Franciscan Brother Charged with Child Abuse, a Day after Dropped Charges, Associated Press State & Local Wire. February 6, 2003
12-180-04 – COMMONWEALTH v. DEBERARDINIS, Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, May 4, 2004
Deberardinis, Franciscan Brother Charged with Sex Assaults on Eight Children, Pleads Guilty, Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, May 26, 2004
Friar Guilty of Molesting Altar Boys 30 Years Ago, By Robin Washington, Boston Herald
May 27, 2004
Archdiocese Admits Tie to 3 in Irish Scandal, By Milton J. Valencia, Boston Globe, January 28, 2010

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 DeBerardinis' 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 October 25, 2015.


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