Assignment Record– Rev. Ronald H. Paquin
Summary of Case: Paquin is said to have sexually abused scores of boys over the course of his career as a priest. His modus operandi was to ply his victims with gifts and alcohol. He would also take them on overnight trips to such places as Cape Cod, Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, and Canada. In 1981 Paquin was driving drunk on a road trip with four boys. The car crashed. One of the boys died, and another was badly injured. As of 2003 Paquin was known to have sexually abused more than forty boys. In December 2002 he pleaded guilty to child rape in a case that was still within the statute of limitations, and he was sentenced to 12-15 years in prison. His laicization was announced in 2004. On October 2, 2015 it was announced that "qualified experts" determined that Paquin was not sexually dangerous; prosecutors had tried to have him civily committed to a treatment center for sexual predators. He was released the same day to an undisclosed location.
Paquin stated that, beginning when he was 14 years old, he was sexually abused by Rev. Bernard St. Hilaire. Paquin disclosed that the two shared a bed for 30 years. St. Hilaire died in 1977.
Paquin admitted in 2002 to abusing minors in Haverhill and Methuen, MA during his career as a priest, saying the cycle of abuse started with Hilaire. (Boston Herald
Boston archbishop was Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).
• In 1978 a 17 year old boy told St. Monica's pastor, Rev. Allen Roche, that Paquin had just molested him and that he was doing the same thing to two other boys in Paquin's rectory bedroom. The boy who approached the pastor is said to have been molested over a six year period in the 1970s by Paquin.
• Rev. James M. Carroll, associate pastor, said that in the mid-1980s he told Roche of a report from a parishioner that Paquin was molesting youths while at St. Monica's. (Boston Globe
3/4, 2/3. 2/4
Paquin was in charge of altar boys, Boy Scouts and the Catholic Youth Organization.
Parish had a school with 544-514 students.
Rev. Roche told the the boy who reported Paquin two years later that he had "taken care of it".
It turns out Roche did not follow through on informing the archdiocese about the complaints regarding Paquin. (Boston Globe
Medeiros was succeeded by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).
|1990||St. John the Baptist||
• Paquin was accused in a 2002 wrongful death lawsuit of providing four boys with alcohol on a 1981 New Hampshire road trip and molesting at least on of them. One of the boys witnessed that Paquin fell asleep at the wheel, and the car crashed. Another boy, Jimmy Francis, died in the crash, and another was badly hurt. Per Jimmy's mother, one of the other boys told her that Paquin had molested Jimmy. (Boston (MA) Globe
• Rev. Frederick E. Sweeney became pastor of St. John's in 1989, and soon was hearing complaints about Paquin's sexually abusive behavior. (Boston Globe
• Paquin dmitted in 2002 to sexual abuse of a St. John's altar boy. Paquin began grooming the boy when he was 11 years old and the abuse continued until the boy was at least 17 years old. The incidents took place in Massachusetts, Canada, Maine New Hampshire, Florida and Virginia. (Documents in Manchester archives)
Paquin presided over Jimmy Francis' funeral mass.
Rev. Sweeney is said to have gone to Bishop Alfred Hughes with the complaints; Hughes told Sweeney he needed someone to make a formal complaint. Rev. Sweeney persisted, found a victim of Paquin who was willing to speak, and per Hughes' direction, the two of them met with Rev. John B. McCormack, head of archdiocesan ministerial services. McCormack merely said, "How much are you looking for?" The victim was stunned, and said he'd go to the news media if Paquin wasn't removed and/or kept away from children. Paquin was soon sent to a Canadian treatment center for an assessment, then to St. Luke's in Maryland for treatment. (Manchester (NH) Union Leader
|1990||1991||Awaiting Assignment||Paquin was sent to St. Luke Institute in Maryland for four months in 1990. St. Luke's was a treatment center for sexually abusive priests. (Boston Globe
March 20, 2002)
|1991||1992||Bon Secours/Holy Family Hospital||
• A man filed a complaint with the archdiocese in 1992 that he was sexually abused by Paquin while a patient in this hospital. (Boston Herald
• A young seminarian disclosed to McCormack in 1992 that he had been sexually abused by Paquin beginning when he was a preteen (at St. Monica's) and that abuse continued to the time he entered St. John's Seminary. He also told McCormack that Paquin had "taken up with" a Haverhill youth while studying to be a hospital chaplain. This was the youth Paquin was later charged with raping from 1989-1992. (Boston Globe
|After his time at St. Luke's Paquin was placed here , where he was trained to be a hospital chaplain. (Boston Globe
May 30, 2002)
Per news reports, Paquin lived here after his time at St. Luke's.
When Rev. Sweeney discovered that Paquin was living at St. Joseph's and working at the hospital, he complained. Paquin was then put on sick leave and sent to live at Our Lady's Hall, a facility for troubled priests in Milton. (Boston Globe
|1992||Our Lady of the Assumption||Chelsea||MA||
The 1993 Directory has a phone number for Paquin in the index. A 2010 google search shows the number to be for the rectory of Our Lady of the Assumption in Chelsea, MA. Paquin is not listed in the Boston archdiocesan pages as there, however.
The parish had a school with 151 students
|1992||1998||Absent on Sick Leave/Our Lady's Hall||
• Paquin continued to sexually abuse a Haverhill boy during his time at Our Lady's Hall, including in Paquin's room at Our Lady's. (Boston Globe
• In 1996 a Brockton man notified the archdiocese that Paquin had molested his son, as well as a nephew who had AIDS. (Boston Globe
Our Lady's was an archdiocesan home for troubled priests.
The archdiocesan review board reviewed Paquin's case three times between March 1993-1997. In 1997 they urged laicization for Paquin, but changed their minds by May 1997, agreeing he could work at Youville Hospital. (Boston Herald
While living at Our Lady's Hall, Paquin was working at a CVS pharmacy in Milton.
Rev. Brian Flatley, who was Cardinal Law's deputy in charge of handling clergy abuse allegations, told Law's top deputy, Bishop William C. Murphy, who is said to have insisted it was time for Paquin to "move away" from the priesthood. After yet another March 1996 complaint, Flatley wrote in a memo, "it is irresponsible for the Archdiocese to allow him to be working where there are young people [at CVS], given his history."
In response to Paquin's appeals in 1997 to him to be allowed to stay in ministry, Murphy supported him in his desire to work with Rev. C. Melvin Surette, the research assistant in the office that handled clergy abuse. Surrette was also accused of child sexual abuse. (Boston Herald
|July 1998||November 2000||Youville Lifecare, Inc; Youville Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, Inc.||Cambridge||MA||Spiritual Care Services||Murphy recommended Paquin for the Youville position in June 1998, writing that he was "well suited" for work there. (Boston Herald
May 31, 2002) Murphy went on to become bishop of Rockville Centre NY.
Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. replaced Law
Paquin was removed from his chaplaincy at Youville in November 2000 when there were complaints by people who discovered he was working there and, in particular, when a man threatenend to go to the media with his complaint. (Boston Globe
Paquin was indicted in May 2002 (Boston Globe
Paquin's laicization was announced in 2004. (Associated Press, carried in Centre Daily [Pittsburgh PA]
On October 2, 2015, Paquin was be released from state custody. Despite prosectors' efforts to have him civilly committed to a treatment facility for sexual predators, "qualified experts" determined that Paquin was not sexually dangerous. (Boston Globe, October 2, 2015).
Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-2006)
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 Paquin'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 October 3, 2015.