Assignment Record– Rev. John A. Dunn

Summary of Case: John A. Dunn was ordained for the Boston archdiocese in 1960. He assisted in parishes in East Weymouth, Medford, Chelsea, Newton, Hull, Waveland and Pemberton MA. He was laicized on October 1973 and married in January 1974. In 1993 the archdiocese received a complaint that Dunn sexually abused a boy in the 1960s at St. Mary's in Hull, along with the parish pastor and another priest of the parish. The allegation wasn't made public until records were released in 2002. Dunn was also named as a perpetrator in a 2003 lawsuit, possibly by a different person.

Born: 1932
Ordained: 1960
Laicized: 1973

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

4/10/62 Immaculate Conception East Weymouth MA 4/4, 3/4

One of the four was accused priest John P. Lyons; Lyons worked with Dunn his entire stay at this parish.

Parish had a school with 202-210 boys and 225-215 girls.

4/11/62 2/11/63 St. Joseph's Medford MA assistant  
2/12/63 1/14/64 St. Rose's Chelsea MA 4/5, 5/6

Also at St. Rose's during this time was Rev. Anthony Laurano; Laurano was defrocked in 2007 due to multiple sexual abuse allegations.

Parish had a grade school with 316-331 boys and 323-345 girls, and a high school with 241-251 girls.

Dunn is indexed but not listed at St. Rose's in the 1965 Directory.

1/15/64 11/15/65 Unassigned        
11/16/65 5/4/67 St. Philip Neri's Newton MA 2/3  


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


St. Mary of the Assumption



• Archdiocesan records released in 2002 showed that in 1993 a complaint was received that Dunn sexually abused a boy in the 1960s at St. Mary's, along with pastor Rev. Leo Dwyer and another priest of the parish, Rev. Robert E. Barrett. Per Dunn's accuser, Dunn would hold the boy down while Dwyer would pull his pants off and grope him.

MA 3/3,2/3 Records indicate this was not the first allegation against Dunn, Dwyer and Barrett.
5/5/67 1/9/73 St. Ann's Waveland MA 3/3,2/3 St. Ann's was a mission of St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull.
5/5/67 11/9/73 St. Mary of the Bay Pemberton MA 3/3,2/3 St. Mary of the Bay was a mission of St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull.
1/10/73   Leave of absence - No faculties      

Per archdiocesan records, Dunn was laicized in October 1973 and married in January 1974.

In 2003 Dunn was again accused in a lawsuit, possibly by a different person.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1960-1974).

Archdiocesan File Summary
Archdiocesan Notes on Complaint, January 11, 1993
Demand Letter, June 23, 1993
Survivor's Statement, June 23, 1993
Attorneys Release Records on 10 More Priests, Brothers, By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, December 17, 2002
Records Show Abuse Claim against Three Hull Priests, By Patriot Ledger, Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA), December 17, 2002Crisis in the Church / New Accusations
Two Men File Suit Alleging Abuse by Priest in 1970s and '80s, By Michael Rezendes, Boston Globe, May 29, 2002
16 Priests Named for First Time in Sexual Abuse Lawsuits, At least three still active; total of accused at 130, By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, January 30, 2003
Records Show Claims against Local Priests, 5 With South Shore Ties Among 9 Whose Files Made Public, By Sue Reinert, Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA), February 11, 2003
John Doe Nos. 30 - 68 and Mary RoeNos. 6 - 8, v. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston, C.A. 05-0006
Defrocked Priest Accused of Abuse Dies before Trial, By Christopher Haraden, Hull Times, May 31, 2007
Many Suspended Priests Live - and Work - Quietly Near Their Former South Shore Parishes, By Elizabeth Crowley and Lane Lambert, The Patriot Ledger, October 20, 2008
Boston Archdiocese Posts Sex-Abuse Database Online, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, August 25, 2011

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 Dunn'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 September 29, 2015.


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