Assignment Record – Rev. Ross S. Frey, b.s.

Summary of Case: Frey was a Melkite-Greek Catholic priest, accused in the 1990s of having sexually abused at least eleven teen boys during weekend retreats in Methuen, MA. He targeted boys who were going through crises, such as the death of a close family member. Frey was sent to Lebanon after a police officer warned the order of impending "bad publicity", and later placed on leave. In 2012 another man accused Frey of sexually abusing him as a teen, between 1986-1991, in Lawrence, MA. Ross died in June 2014.

: 1974
Died: June 20, 2014


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


Eparchy of Newton bishop was Joseph Elias Tawil (1969-1989), followed by Ignatius Ghattas, B.S. (1989-1992)

1990 St. Basil's Salvatorian Center


Accused in the 1990s of sexually abusing at least 11 adolescent boys in the 1970s and 1980s during weekend retreats at the Salvatorian Center. His accusers said Ross would abuse them during times of stress. The mother of one boy is said to have asked Frey to break the news of the boy's stepbrother's accidental death in 1973. The boy was on retreat with Frey the day his stepbrother died. It was after he told the boy of the death that Frey is said to have sexually abused him.

MA Assistant to the Rector and Director of Encounters and Retreats 1975-1982; Director of Youth Activities 1982-1983; Supr. 1983-1986; Vocations Director 1985-1986 One of Frey's accusers said he told another priest at St. Basil's, Fr. Martin Hyatt, that Frey sexualy abused him; Hyatt's response was said to have been, "That will teach you not to take your pants down for anybody."


John Adel Elya, B.S. replaced Ghattas (1993-2004)

1995 St. Joseph Plains Community Center


Frey was accused in 2012 of sexually abusing a teenage boy at St. Joseph's between 1986-1991.

1990 1995 St. Joseph's



MA 1/1  
1995 1996 Basilian Salvatorian Order Methuen MA Local Supr.  
1996 2014 On Duty Outside the Eparchy       Not indexed beyond the 1997 Directory. Per news reports, Frey was transferred to Lebanon in January 1996 after a police officer warned church officials that there was going to be some "bad publicity". Frey was later placed on leave.
1997 2014     Lebanon   Frey died June 20, 2014, per his order's website.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1975-1997)

Sixth Man Claims Molestation As Teen by Methuen Priest, By David Weber, Boston Herald, July 4, 1996
More Accuse Priest of Sex Abuse in Methuen, By Paul Langner, Boston Globe, July 6, 1996
Sordid Tales Emerge As More Priest Files Opened, By Robin Washington, Franci Richardson, Marie Szaniszlo and Jules Crittenden, Boston Herald, December 12, 2002
Cardinal Law Settled Unsubstantiated Lawsuit for $200,000, Union Leader, December 12, 2002
Documents Detail Law's Steps on Pastor, Transferred Priest, By Michael Rezendes and Matt Carroll, Boston Globe, December 12, 2002
Cardinal Apologizes for Clergy Sex Abuse, By Russ Olivo, Woonsocket Call, June 3, 2006
Many Alleged Abusers Left Off Church List, Boston Globe, Nov. 20, 2011
Man Tells of Alleged Abuse by Priest, By Yadira Betances, The Eagle-Tribune, October 24, 2012, Aug. 2014

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 and 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 Frey'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 Sept. 1, 2014.