Assignment Record– Rev. Ernest E. Tourigney

Summary of Case: Ernest Tourigney was ordained for the Boston archdiocese in 1961. His parish assignments were in Weymouth, Holliston, Cambridge and Revere. He was chaplain at Matignon High School in Cambridge in the late 1970s-early 1980s. Tourigney went on Sick Leave in 1992 and was given Retirement status in 2000. Accusations that Tourigney sexually abused young boys span the length of his career as a priest. The archdiocese of Boston was aware of the accusations early on yet kept him in ministry. Tourigney was also an alcoholic. His laicization by the Vatican was announced in March 2006.

Born: 1934
: 1961
Laicized: 2006


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

1970 Immaculate Conception


Accused of sexually abusing at least three boys from this parish in the 1960s and 1970s. (The Patriot Ledger November 1, 2008)

Tourigney was removed from Immaculate Conception after complaints surfaced that he was sexually abusing children (Boston Herald
June 5, 2002)

MA 4/4, 3/4, 2/5, 2/4, 2/3 Parish had a school with 202-106 boys and 225-98 girls.


Cushing was succeeded by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1977 St. Mary's


In 1974 the pastor, Fr. Haley, and parish housekeeper reported to the archdiocese that Tourigney had molested a boy from the parish. Bishop Banks confronted Tourigney, who denied the abuse. (Manchester (NH) Union Leader
July 9, 2002)

MA 2/3, 3/3


1977 1983 Matignon High School


Tourigney would reportedly take members of the football team to the field late at night to drink alcohol. (NH AG's report March 3, 2003)

At least one former Matignon student has reported being sexually abused by Tourigney. (Pattern and Practice Brief July 21, 2003)

MA Chaplain School had 317-374 boys and 378-392 girls.
1978 1983 Immaculate Conception Cambridge MA 4/5 Parish had a school with 210 students.


Medeiros was followed as archbishop by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).

1992 Immaculate Conception


Two nuns, Srs. Katherine and Winifred, along with Fr. Messina of this parish told Cardinal Law a number of times of their concerns that Tourigney would have young boys with him in his room in the rectory, and that he had problems with alcohol. (NH AG's report documents March 3, 2003)

In February 1989 a mother told the archdiocese that Tourigney had called her to say, among other things, that he had a boy in bed with him and that one of them had a "hard on." Tourigney admitted to making the call. (Pattern and Practice Brief July 21, 2003)

MA 1/3

Parish had a school with 294-261 students.

In 1988 Tourigney admitted to his "relationship" with a Holliston boy in the 1970s. The boy was now an adult, and went to Bishop Banks to discuss his having been sexually abused by Tourigney as a child. He told also of three other children Tourigney had sexually abused. Tourigney was sent to Southdown, a treatment facility in Toronto, for an assessment. (Pattern and Practice Brief July 21, 2003)

1992 1997 Absent on Sick Leave      

After an intervention for alcohol abuse by the archdiocese's Priests Recovery Program, Tourigney spent mid-May to late December 1992 at St. Michael's Community in St. Louis, MO for inpatient treatment. In 1993 he lived at Our Lady's Hall in Milton, MA, which was a facility for priests who were
"alcoholics and incurable pedophiles."

Two men went to Cardinal Law in 1992 to disclose that Tigourney sexually abused them when they were boys in Weymouth in the 1960s. They did not want to sue, but wanted to help the archdiocese to reach out to victims and encourage victims to report clergy sexual abuse to prosecutors. After a year of working with Cardinal Law on the issue, one of the men says their suggestions were ignored, and that they were used. Law decided to handle abuse complaints internally, and not to have them reported to law enforcement. The men later sued the archdiocese. (Boston Globe
January 31, 2002)

1997 2000 Permanent Disability        
2000 2002 Senior Priests Boston MA    


Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap. replaced Law

2010     MA  

Tourigney was defrocked by the Vatican in 2006. (Boston Globe
March 18, 2006)

Known in 2008 to be living in the Pocasset neighborhood of Bourne, MA. (The Patriot Ledger, November 1, 2008)

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1963-2002)

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 Tourigney'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 4, 2015.