Julien (Julian) Rondeau, S.M.—Assignment
Summary of Case: Rondeau abused two sisters in a troubled family that was dependent on him emotionally and financially. In a 1992-93 exchange of letters 1 2 3 4, Rondeau admitted the abuse. The abuse apparently occurred in the mid-1960s, either at St. Remy's in Keegan ME, where Rondeau was pastor and sole priest 1960-64, or at Our Lady of the Assumption in Chelsea MA, where he was pastor and sole priest 1964-70. The nature of the abuse is not described in the documents we have, but the victim calls it "molestation," "torture," and a "painful sick act."
The victim states that she was 10 years old when the abuse began, and a 1996 archdiocesan letter estimates that she and her sister are "now about 40." If so, the victim would have been about 10 years old in 1966, when Rondeau was pastor in Chelsea. But Rondeau's second letter refers to Keegan, where he was pastor until 1964.
In the files, the sisters who were abused in the mid-1960s are the only victims
mentioned. But Rondeau's unsettled early history (four parishes in six years)
would be consistent with similar problems right after ordination. Immediately
after the victim contacted Rondeau, the Directory begins to state incorrectly
that Rondeau was ordained in 1971, i.e., after the abuse occurred. This error
in the Directory (see below for a detailed description) would have
confused any other victims trying to research Rondeau's history. Rondeau himself
says that "years
and years ago my life went in the right direction."
Ordained: 1945, after studies at Maryvale Seminary in Bedford MA, and Marist College and Seminary in Framingham MA
Incardinated: Rondeau was a Marist priest who worked in the Portland ME, Boston, and Providence dioceses.
Retired: Rondeau tells the victim in 1992 that he is "retired in the Parish where I live," but there is no indication in the Directory that he is retired or inactive; in 1998 he moved into a priests' residence in Boston, sharing responsibility for a shrine there.
|1945||1947||St. Bruno's||Van Buren||ME||3/3.||Portland ME diocese. Parish school had 399 boys and 411 girls; high school had 138 boys and 162 girls.|
|1947||1948||St. Anne's (French)||Lawrence||MA||6/7.||Boston archdiocese. Three parish schools: St. Anne's had 158 boys; St. Joseph's had 278 boys and 429 girls; high school had 90 girls.|
|1948||1950||Immaculate Conception||Westerly||RI||2/4.||Providence diocese. Parish school had 232 boys and 211 girls.|
|1950||1951||Our Lady of Pity (French)||Cambridge||MA||4/5.||Boston archdiocese. Parish school had 200 boys and 226 girls. High school had 35 boys and 60 girls.|
|1951||1955||Our Lady of Victories||Boston||MA||12/13, then 10/13, 12/13, 8/11.||Boston archdiocese. No school. Provincial house for the Marists' Boston province. Changes first name to Julian in 1954 Directory.|
|1955||1956||Immaculate Conception||Westerly||RI||3/3.||Providence diocese. Parish school had 254 boys and 263 girls.|
|1956||1960||St. Charles Borromeo (French)||Providence||RI||3/3, then 2/4.||Providence diocese. Parish school had 122 boys and 160 girls. Senior high school had 85 girls.|
• During this assignment or the next, Rondeau abused two sisters in a family that was dependent on him. One of the sisters wrote to him and an exchange of letters ensued 1 2 3 4. In Letter 4, Rondeau refers to his "stupidity and selfishness" and asks for forgiveness. In 1996, the victim took a dim view of this apology when she came forward to her parish priest and the archdiocese.
Portland ME diocese. No school.
Note: The exchange of letters with his victim may have been mentioned by Rondeau to his superiors. For six years after the exchange, his ordination year is incorrectly given as 1971 instead of 1945, an error that would have made it difficult for a researcher to connect Rondeau with abuse he committed before 1971.
|1964||1970||Our Lady of the Assumption (French)||Chelsea||MA||1/2. Pastor.||Boston archdiocese. Parish school had 147 boys and 132 girls. Spells name Julien.|
|1970||1972||St. Joseph's (French)||Haverhill||MA||2/6.||Boston archdiocese. Parish school had 212 boys and 212 girls. Spells name Julian.|
|1972||1977||St. Remy's||Keegan||ME||1/1. Pastor.||Portland ME diocese. No school.|
|1977||1978||St. Charles Borromeo (French)||Providence||ME||2/2.||Providence diocese. No longer had school.|
|1978||1981||Our Lady of Mount Carmel||Methuen||MA||2/3. The pastor for Rondeau's first year, Raymond A. Boulanger, S.M., has been accused of abusing girls at this parish. A document seems to date Boulanger's alleged abuse to 1978, not the late 1960s, as an article states. According to the Directory, Boulanger was not assigned to this parish in the late 1960s.||Boston archdiocese. Parish school had 206 children.|
|1981||1991||Immaculate Conception||Westerly||MA||3/3, then 2/3, 3/4. In 1987, accused priest Armand Thibault, S.M., was assigned here. See the Marist's summary of Tibault case and Boston's later restrictions on his ministry.||Providence diocese. Religious ed classes but no school.|
|1991||1998||St. Joseph's||Haverhill||MA||2/3, then 2/4, 2/3. Accused priest Raymond Boulanger, S.M., was in residence here 1992-94.||Boston archdiocese. Parish school had 279 children. In the 1993-98 Directories, Rondeau is incorrectly indexed as having been ordained in 1971. This error begins after Rondeau's victim wrote to him about abuse that occurred in the late 1960s. Before and after these years, the correct 1945 ordination year is given.|
|1998||6/28/99||Marist Fathers Lourdes Residence at 698 Beacon St.||Boston||MA||Lived here with 3 other priests.||An obituary lists Rondeau's death date as 6/28/99. The Directory gives a slightly different date, 7/4/99.|
|1998||6/28/99||Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes at 698 Beacon St.||Boston||MA||Same priests.|
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1946-2000). Selections from the Rondeau personnel file in the secret archives of the Boston archdiocese, released during the Ford et al. v. Law et al. litigation.
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 Rondeau's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations of abuse as they are described in Boston archdiocesan files. The files contain two letters by Rondeau that appear to constitute an admission of guilt. However, we make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations reported here. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.
A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.
This assignment record was last updated on 5/19/06.