Assignment Record– Rev. Frank E. Fairbairn

Summary of Case: Frank E. Fairbairn was ordained for the Boston archdiocese in 1969. For ten years he assisted in area parishes, followed by three years of study at the University of Notre Dame in IN. He returned to Boston in 1981, working at a university parish as an assistant priest and campus minister, then pastor. Fairbairn served shortly at two more parishes, then went to Peru via the Boston-based St. James Society. He returned to MA in around 1999 and died in 2000. Fairbairn was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of having sexually abused a 14-year-old boy in 1970, while assigned to Sacred Heart parish in Quincy.


Born: 1942
: 1969
Died: September 13, 2000

Start 991Stop Assignment Town/Accusations Stat/Country Position Notes


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

6/14/71 Sacred Heart


• Fairbairn was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1970.

MA 2/4, 3/3

Parish had a school with 431-402 boys and 446-393 girls.


6/15/71 6/04/73 Our Lady of the Assumption (East) Boston MA 3/3, 2/4 Parish school had 88 boys and 75 girls.
6/05/73 8/31/79 St. Elizabeth of Hungary Acton MA 3/3  
9/01/79 6/01/81 University of Notre Dame South Bend IN   Per Official Catholic Directories Fairbairn was "on special assignments", "self assignments", and "on duty outside of the diocese". His 9-15-2000 Boston Globe obituary states he spent two years in a graduate studies program at Notre Dame, after leaving his post at St. Elizabeth of Hungary.


Medeiros was replaced as Boston archbishop by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).

8/30/93 St. Ann's University Parish Boston MA

2/4,1/2, 1/3,1/4,1/5,1/1

parochial vicar and campus minister; pastor beginning 7/18/83

St. Ann's served area university students.

Fairbairn is not indexed in the Directories after 1993.

9/01/93 12/31/93 Sacred Heart Middleboro MA    
1993 1994 Our Lady Help of Christians Concord MA In residence According to his obituary, Fairbairn was in residence at this parish just prior to his stint in Peru.
1994 1999   Lima Peru Missionary of the Society of St. James the Apostle.  
1999 2000   Dennis MA   Per Fairbairn's obituary, he was a resident of West Roxbury and Dennis at the time of his death.
1999 2000   Boston (West Roxbury) MA  

Died Sept. 13, 2000.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1970-1994).

Rev. F. Fairbairn, Priest for 31 Years, Boston Globe, September 15, 2000
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
Bishop Hart Named in New Lawsuits, Norwich Prelate Seen As Negligent Supervisor in Sex Abuse Legal Claims, By Kenton Robinson, The Day [New London CT], January 30, 2003
Boston Archdiocese Posts Sex-Abuse Database Online, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, August 25, 2011
Greater Taunton Clerics Included in List of Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse, By Gerry Tuoti, Taunton Daily Gazette, August 26, 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 Fairbairn'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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