Rev. Joseph T. Maguire

Summary of Case: Maguire is known to have sexually abused at least a dozen boys, most of them under the age of 13. He admitted to his superiors in the Manchester NH diocese in the 1970s to molesting a child. He was sent for treatment and transferred to another parish, where he continued to abuse altar boys. He later became a Stigmatine priest, living at their retreat center in Waltham MA. He is known to have abused in MA as well. He was transferred to Ireland in May 1986, after police in NH investigated accusations against him of child sexual abuse. He retired to Cape Cod, and was arrested at his home there in 2003 for the NH allegations of child sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to at least 44 years in prison. He died in prison in February 2005.

: 1973
Died: 2005


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

Feb. 1973

Manchester bishop was Ernest John Primeau (1959-1974)

June 1973 Holy Trinity


Maguire was accused in a 2002 lawsuit of having sexually abused a boy "many times" at this parish, sometimes in the rectory bathroom. (Union Leader [Manchester NH]
May 29, 2002)

NH   This assignment is per news reports.
June 1973 Sept. 1973 St. Matthew Whitefield NH   This assignment is per news reports.

Sept. 1973


June 1974 St. John the Evangelist


Maguire told church officials while at this parish that he had sexually abused an altar boy. (Union Leader (Manchester NH)
May 18, 2002)

NH 3/3

Parish had a school with 365 students.

Bishop Gendron handled Maguire's disclosure of abuse by transferring him out of the parish.

Maguire was sent for psychiatric treatment in 1975. (Manchester [NH] Union Leader
February 26, 2003)

June 1974


Primeau was replaced as bishop by Odore Joseph Gendron (1974-1990)

Jan. 1981 St. Joseph's


Maguire admitted to police in 1986 that he sexually assaulted altar boys at this parish, mostly in the church rectory. He also abused them at a hotel in Hampton NH. (Union Leader (Manchester NH)
May 18, 2002)

A former St. Joseph's altar boy accused Maguire in a 2002 lawsuit of having sexually abused him when he was ages 9 to 15 in the rectory, in hotels, and on "pilgrimages". (Associated Press
September 6, 2002)

NH 3/3, 2/3  
1974 Jan. 1981 Chapel of the Nativity Barrington NH   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Dover.
1980 1981 Absent on Leave        


Boston archbishop was Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983), succeeded by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002)

1985 Espousal Center Waltham MA  

Maguire is not indexed in the 1982 or 1983 Directories. The archdiocese acknowledged in Jan. 2010 that he was at the Espousal Center from 1981-1985. (The Pilot
January 29, 2010)

Maguire became a priest of the Stigmatine order. The Espousal Center was a Stigmatine retreat house.

1985 1986          
May 1986       Ireland  

He was transferred to Ireland in May1986, after a police investigation in New Hampshire of a complaint that Maguire was sexually abusing boys. Maguire admitted to having molested an altar boy in Hudson in the 1970s. Charges were not filed because the police believed that the statute of limitations had expired. (Union Leader (Manchester NH)
May 18, 2002)

Maguire is not indexed in the 1986-1993 Directories, but is indexed and listed in the Manchester diocesan pages for 1993-1996 as On Duty Outside the Diocese, with the address for the Stigmatine Espousal Center in Waltham MA.He is indexed in the 1998-2000 Directories as Absent on Sick Leave, with no address given.

The 1997 Directory lists him as retired and at Knock Nacarra Rd., Salthill, Galway Ireland.

  Feb. 2005     MA  

As of 2002 Maguire was listed on the Manchester diocesan website as retired and on sick leave. He was noted to be living in Hyannis MA. (Union Leader [Manchester NH]
February 16, 2002)

Maguire was arrested in Feb. 2003 at his home in Dennis, MA for having sexually assaulted two boys from 1977-1981 in Dover, NH. (Manchester [NH] Union Leader
February 26, 2003)

Prosecution could go forward because of the fact that Maguire was "continually absent" from NH after 1981, allowed for a "freezing" of the statute of limitations. (Foster's Daily Democrat [Dover NH]
April 17, 2003) He was indicted in May 2003 on two more sex charges in NH. (Boston Herald [New Hampshire]
May 21, 2003) He pleaded guilty to sexually abusing three altar boys and was sentenced to at least 44 years in prison. (Union Leader [Manchester NH]
May 4, 2004)

He is known to have sexually abused at least a dozen boys in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. (Daily News Tribune
January 27, 2010)

Maguire died in prison Feb. 22, 2005 (Manchester Union Leader
February 23, 2005)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-1985)

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 Maguire'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 July 25, 2010.