Assignment Record– Rev. Nicholas J. Spagnolo, C.S.S.

Summary of Case: A Stigmatine priest ordained in 1953, Spagnolo admitted in 1993 to molesting teen girls during counseling sessions in the 1960s. Despite this, he continued to be active in a Massachusetts parish trying to arrange retreats for women through 1996, and in October 2002 he arranged a forum there on the clergy sex abuse crisis. He died in December 2013.

: 1953
Died: December 25, 2013


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

1954 Elm Bank Wellesley MA 2/7 This was a Stigmatine Fathers' Juniorate, with 18 college students, 15 high school students, and 2 professed students.


Agana archbishop was Apollinaris William Baumgartner, O.F.M. Cap. (1945-1970).

1957 Fr. Duenas Memorial School Agana

Guam M.I.



Springfield bishop was Christopher Joseph Weldon (1950-1977).

1959? St. Ann's West Springfield MA 2/2

This was a mission of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Springfield.

Spagnolo is indexed but is not listed as at St. Ann's in the Springfield diocesan pages of the 1959 Directory.


Succeeding Cushing was Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1978 Sacred Heart Retreat House/Espousal Retreat House/Espousal Center


A woman accused Spagnolo in 1992 of touching her inappropriately and making sexual remarks to her during counseling sessions, begining in 1960, when she was age 15. She had gone to Spagnolo for help after being molested by a relative. (Boston Globe
February 7, 2003)


Spagnolo admitted in 1993 to molesting teen girls during counseling sessions in the 1960s. (Boston Herald
February 7, 2003)

MA Retreat Director 1962-1968 and 1970-1975 Run by the Stigmatine Fathers, this Center held week-end retreats and Days of Recollection for men or women and engaged couples, as well as for youth groups and high school seniors.
1978 1981         Spagnolo is not indexed in the 1979, 1980, or 1981 Directories.


Bernard Francis Law replaced Medeiros (1984-2002), followed by Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.

2009 Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers Provincial House Waltham/Newton MA  

The word "Lexington" follows Spagnolo's name in the 1982-1995 Directories.

Spagnolo admitted in 1993 to having molested teen girls in the 1960s. Per news reports, despite ministry restrictions, Spagnolo was active at Sacred Heart Church in Lexington MA, trying to arrange retreats for women through 1996. In October 2002 he arranged for a forum at this parish on the clergy sex abuse crisis. (Boston Herald
February 7, 2003)

Spagnola died December 25, 2013.(, Published in The Boston Globe from Dec. 26 to Dec. 29, 2013)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1965-2009)

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 Spagnolos'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 November 11, 2015.