Assignment Record– Rev. Leonard Thomas Walsh, O.F.M.

Summary of Case: Leonard Thomas Walsh was ordained a priest of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans) in 1926. He ministered in dioceses and archdioceses including Buffalo NY, Newark NJ, Baltimore MD, New York NY, Hartford CT, Paterson NJ and Boston MA. He died in 1954. Walsh was accused in a lawsuit settled in 2012 of having sexually abused a nine-year-old boy at St. Francis Friary in Brookline MA over a four-month period in 1953. The Franciscans settled with Walsh's accuser.

: 1926
Died: October 15, 1954


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Buffalo bishop was William Turner (1919-1936).

1927 St. Bonaventure's Monastery and Ecclesiastical Seminary Allegany NY  


Newark bishop was John Joseph O'Connor (1901-1927), followed by Thomas Joseph Walsh (1928-1952).

1934 St. Bonaventure's Franciscan Monastery, Novitiate Paterson NJ Manager of "Franciscan" 1928-1934  
1934 1935 St. Joseph's East Rutherford NJ 2/7 Rector and Guardian St. Joseph's had a school with 217 boys and 183 girls.
1934 1935   Wood Ridge NJ   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in East Rutherford.


Baltimore archbishop was Michael Joseph Curley (1921-1947).

1944 Commissariat of the Holy Land, Franciscan Monastery, Mt. St. Sepulchre Washington DC

1/9, 1/10, 1/13, 1/27, 1/37, 1/31, 1/29

"Very Rev."; Commissary; Superior

1944 1945         In the 1945 Directory Walsh is indexed as at the Commissariat of the Holy Land, Franciscan Monastery, Mt. St. Sepulchre in Washington DC, but he is not listed as there in the Baltimore and Washington archdiocesan pages. Further, he is not listed at his next assignment.


New York archbishop was Francis Joseph Spellman (1939-1967).

1947 St. Francis of Assisi New York NY    


Hartford bishop was Henry Joseph O'Brien (1945-1968).

1947 St. Basil's Seminary Stamford CT Professor  


Buffalo bishop was Francis O'Hara, C.S.C. (1945-1951).

1948 St. Bonaventure College and Seminary Allegany NY    


Paterson bishop was Thomas Aloysius Boland (1947-1952).

1950 St. Anthony's Monastery Butler NJ Valetudinarian  


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

1954 St. Francis Friary


Walsh was accused in a lawsuit settled in 2012 of sexually abusing a nine-year-old boy over a four-month period in 1953. The boy is said to have been abused by Walsh when he went to the Friary for confession on Saturdays.

MA   Walsh died Oct. 15, 1954


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1927-1956)

Saint Bonaventure Faculty List, St. Bonaventure's Faculty, NoDate
Rev. Leonard Thomas Walsh, New York Journal-American, October 17, 1954
New Garabedian List,, April 11, 2012
Settlements Reached in Clergy Sex Abuse Cases, By Lisa Wangsness, Boston Globe, April 11, 2012
Mass. Attorney Releases 6 Accused Clerics' Names, By Jay Lindsay, Coshocton Tribune, April 11, 2012
Late Brookline Friar Accused of Sex Abuse, By Teddy Applebaum, Wicked Local Brookline, April 18, 2012


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 Walsh'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 5, 2015.