Rev. Czeslaw K. Szymanski—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Szymanski was alleged on 12/9/10 to have sexually abused 13 altar boys in the Boston archdiocese in the 1980s, where he was listed in the Directory as an archdiocesan priest. He worked previously in a parish in the Providence diocese as a priest of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit. Szymanski was apparently transferred in April 1987 from the Boston archdiocese to the Peterborough diocese in Canada, where the chancellor, Rev. Martin A. Wain, would later be convicted of sexual abuse. On 12/11/10, Monsignor Stanislaw Kempa, pastor of Szymanski's old parish in the Boston archdiocese, speaking from the pulpit, reportedly denounced the survivors of Szymanski as cowards, a characterization that was repudiated on the following Sunday by Auxiliary Bishop Peter Ugglieto, who read a letter from Cardinal O'Malley.

Born: Poland in about 1942
: Providence RI 1979-1980; Boston MA 1982-1987
Died: 9/24/87


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes
    Whereabouts unknown        
Bishop was Louis E. Gelineau (1971-1997) 1980

Our Lady of Czenstochowa (Polish)

Coventry RI 2/3. Priests were Revs. Peter Narewski; Czeslaw Szymanski, O.S.P. [Order of St. Paul the First Hermit]; Stephan Kaczmarek, S.Ch. [Society of Christ] Diocese of Providence. Parish school had 235 pupils.
1980 1981 Whereabouts unknown       Not indexed in the 1981 Directory.


Archbishops were Cardinal Humberto S. Medeiros (1970-1983) and Bernard F. Law (1984-2002), who was made a cardinal in 1985.


Holy Trinity parish


Accused on 12/9/10 by 3 men of sexually abusing them at age 6 to 13; men allege they saw Szymanski abuse at least 10 other boys. Current pastor called the men cowards; Cardinal O'Malley apologized (see article).

• Archdiocese revealed on 12/9/10 that it had received an allegation in 2009 (see article).


2/2. Priests were Revs. John A. Abucewicz; Czeslaw K. Szymanski.

Szymanski is not identified in the Directory as a religious order priest at this assignment (see below).


Archdiocese of Boston.

Szymanski is called Tadeusz K. in the 1982 Directory, but Czeslaw K. in following years.


1982 4/87 St. Stanislaus elementary school Lowell MA 2/2. Priests were Revs. John A. Abucewicz; Czeslaw K. Szymanski. Archdiocese of Boston. Parish school had 231 pupils in 1981-1982.


Bishop was James L. Doyle (1976-2002)

9/24/87   Peterborough Canada Obituaries 1 2 state that Szymanski was transferred from Lowell to Ontario, Canada. Rev. Martin A. Wain, Episcopal Vicar and Chancellor in the Diocese of Peterborough in Ontario, concelebrated Szymanski's funeral Mass in Lowell. We conclude that Szymanski was assigned in the Peterborough diocese at the time of his death. For articles on Wain, who is a convicted child abuser, see Sylvia's Site. Diocese of Peterborough.
9/24/87   Died in an auto accident near East Chatham NY        


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1980-1987). See below for images of the Directory entries. See also:

Ex-Lowell Priest Dies in Crash, Lowell Sun (10/8/86)

Obituary: Czeslaw Szymanski, Lowell Sun (10/10/87)

Funeral Services for Rev. Czeslaw Szymanski, Lowell Sun (10/14/87)

Former Lowell Priest Accused of Abuse, by Lana Jones, WBZ (12/9/10)

Statement Regarding the Late Fr. Czeslaw Szymanski, O.S.P., by Kelly Lynch, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (12/9/10)

Three Accuse Priest of Sexual Abuse, by Lisa Redmond, Lowell Sun (12/10/10)

Former Altar Boys Accuse Dead Lowell Priest of Sex Abuse, by Marie Szaniszlo, Boston Herald (12/10/10)

Letter to the Parishioners of Holy Trinity Church in Lowell MA, by Cardinal Sean O'Malley (12/19/10)

Archdiocese Apologizes for Lowell Pastor's Criticism of Abuse Allegations, by Lisa Redmond and Robert Mills, Lowell Sun (12/19/10)

Mass. cardinal sorry for priest's 'cowards' remark, Associated Press (12/20/10)

Sex Abuse Victims to O’Malley: "Discipline pastor", by David Clohessy, SNAP (12/20/10)

O’Malley Apology Elicits a Rebuke: Alleged Victim Says Comments ‘Disingenuous’, by Brian MacQuarrie, Boston Globe (12/21/10)

Official Catholic Directory Entries:

1980 Coventry RI

Not indexed in the Official Catholic Directory in this year.


1982 Lowell MA
1983 Lowell MA
1984 Lowell MA
1985 Lowell MA
1986 Lowell MA
1987 Lowell MA


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 Szymanski's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations of sexual abuse 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 12/21/10.