Assignment Record– Rev. Msgr. Robert C. Fichtner

Summary of Case: Fichtner was suspended from public ministry in 2003 due to an accusation that he had sexually abused a 9-year-old boy in the late 1980s. His suspension was lifted by the archdiocese in 2005 when the archdiocesan review board deemed the accusation "unsubstantiated". Fichtner had retired in 2002. He died June 7, 2013.

Born: February 8, 1929
Ordained: February 2, 1955
Retired: 2002
Died: June 7, 2013

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

1957 St. Peter's Plymouth MA 3/3  
1957 1958 Catholic University Washington DC    
1958 1959

St. Michael's


Lowell MA 5/6 Parish had a school with 590 boys and 571 girls.
1959 1967 SS. Peter and Paul (South) Boston MA 3/8, 2/7, 2/5  


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

1981 Our Lady Help of Christians Newton MA 3/5,3/4,2/4 Our Lady's had a grade school with 553-378 students and a high school with 198-291 students.
1967 1981 St. Sebastian's School Needham MA part-time faculty member  
    Blessed John XXIII Seminary Weston MA spiritual director  


Bernard Francis Law replaced Medeiros (1984-2002).

1990 St. Joseph's


• In 2003 a 27 year old man accused Fichtner of having sexually abused him during confession when the man was a 9-year-old fourth grader at St. Joseph's parish school. The man said that he was violently forced to perform oral sex on Fichtner.

MA 1/3,1/2

St. Joseph's had a school with 236-365 students.


1990 2002 St. Patrick's Watertown MA 1/2,1/3 Referred to as "Very Rev."


Sean Patrick O'Malley, o.f.m. Cap. succeeded Law

2013 Retired Waltham    

Retired in 2002.

Placed on administrative leave in 2003 due to allegation from his post at St. Joseph's.

Allowed in 2005 by the archdiocese to return to ministry after church review board determined the allegation was "unsubstantiated".

Fichtner died June 7, 2013.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1956-2007).

Some Priest Abuse Claims Remain Open, By Sue Reinert, Patriot Ledger (Quincy, MA), March 8, 2005
New England in Brief, Restrictions Are Lifted on Accused Priest, [Boston MA], June 8, 2005
Priest Cleared of Child Sex Abuse, Holbrook Sun [Holbrook MA], June 10, 2005
Boston Archdiocese Posts Sex-Abuse Database Online, By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, August 25, 2011
Obituary: Msgr. Robert C. Fichter, 84, The Pilot, June 14, 2013

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 Fichtner'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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