Louis Brouillard Dies at 97
By Dana M. Williams and Haidee V. Eugenio
Pacific Daily News
October 12, 2018
|Father Louis Brouillard is shown in an undated photo from the Pacific Daily News archives.|
Louis Brouillard, the retired priest accused in more than 130 sexual abuse lawsuits who admitted to molesting children on Guam, died in Minnesota Oct. 10, according to the Archdiocese of Agana.
He was 97.
Brouillard, a native of Minnesota, was ordained on Guam in 1948. He served here until 1981 as a parish priest in Mangilao, Chalan Pago, Barrigada, Malojloj and Tumon, and as a teacher at Father Duenas Memorial School.
He also served as a longtime Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster on the island.
More than 130 civil cases, filed in local and federal courts since 2016, accused Brouillard of rape, sexual abuse and sexual molestation. The most recent lawsuit filed against him was Oct. 4.
In a statement released Friday, the archdiocese said Brouillard's health had been declining in recent months.
"The archdiocese continues to pray for all victims and survivors of child abuse in our Church. We continue to work diligently to bring resolution and reparation to each person," the statement said. "The archdiocese has extended prayers and condolences to the late priest’s family in the U.S. mainland. We pray for the soul of Father Brouillard."
|Brouillard (Photo: Contributed by USATODAY Network)|
Brouillard admitted to sexual abuse
In a 2016 interview with a Pacific Daily News reporter, Brouillard stated "it's possible" he sexually abused boys while serving on Guam. He later signed an affidavit admitting to abusing 20 or more boys on the island.
In 1981, he was sent to Minnesota for "help with his personal problems," and was later barred from serving as a priest after questions arose about a house guest from the island, according to a statement last year from the Diocese of Duluth.
Lawsuits naming Brouillard as an abuser describe similar details spanning several decades. As a parish priest, he was accused of walking naked in front of altar boys and photographing them in the nude.
As a scoutmaster, he was accused of requiring boys to swim naked during swimming lessons at the Lonfit River. He was also accused of molesting boys at overnight campouts.
Superiors were aware of abuse
Brouillard’s sexual activities involving children had been known to church officials for at least a decade before he left the island, according to the 2016 affidavit.
“My actions were discussed and confessed to area priests as well as Bishop Apollinaris Baumgartner, who had approached me to talk about the situation. I was told to try to do better and say prayers as a penance,” he said in the affidavit.
Baumgartner died in 1970.
David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, said Brouillard shouldn't have been allowed to continue serving as a priest and Boy Scout leader after he discussed the abuse with his superiors.
“That’s the greater crime — the church knowing about it and didn’t do anything to protect children,” Sablan said. “I pray that Brouillard was able to reconcile with God before he died, and that justice will be served for the victims of sexual abuse and their families through the mediation process and the court lawsuits."
Abuses allegedly continued after Brouillard left
In several lawsuits, Brouillard was accused of paying to bring boys from Guam to Minnesota to abuse them after he left the island.
One of the lawsuits alleges he moved a boy into a two-bedroom retirement home apartment where he lived with his elderly parents. He would have been about 60 at the time.
"Father Bouillard was sent to the Diocese of Duluth in 1981 in the hope that he would receive help with personal problems," Kyle Eller, communications director for the Diocese of Duluth, said last year. "In 1985, Father Bouillard’s faculties to serve as a priest in the Duluth Diocese were revoked after questions were raised about a guest from Guam staying with him."
Brouillard's name appears on 2013 list
In 2013, Brouillard's name appeared on a list of priests released by the Diocese of Duluth with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them.
Brouillard continued to receive a monthly stipend of $550 from the Archdiocese, even after allegations against him began to surface in 2016.
In August 2016, former altar boy Leo Tudela testified before the Legislature on a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil suits involving child sexual abuse. Tudela said he was 13 in 1956 when Brouillard abused him at Santa Teresita Church rectory in Mangilao.
More accusers come forward
After Tudela's testimony, more former altar boys and Scouts came forward, saying they also were abused by Brouillard.
"I apologize to you, Leo, and to the rest of the boys I may have harmed," Brouillard wrote in his affidavit. "I regret with all my heart the wrong I did to them. I pray for all the boys I may have harmed and ask for their forgiveness and forgiveness from God."
In an interview at his home in Pine City, Minnesota, in March, Brouillard told a reporter from the USA TODAY Network that he was full of regret. He admitted touching the boys, but said he didn't know at the time it would be harmful to both the boys and the church.
“I’m sorry for all that happened. I regarded them as my friends. In fact, I still do,” Brouillard said. “As youths, they were appreciative of what I could do for them.
“There’s so much I could have done better," he said. "I’m afraid I was thinking more of what I wanted to do, rather than what God called me to do.”