Assignment Record Rev. Barry M. Meehan

Summary of Case: A priest of the Providence RI diocese, ordained in 1978, Barry Meehan worked in parishes in West Warwick, Cranston, and Providence. In December 2012 a man reported to the diocese that Meehan had sexually assaulted him between 1986 and 1991, when the man was a teenage boy. State Police were notified; during their investigation a second accuser was discovered who said Meehan sexually abused him when he was a teenager in 1991 and 1992. Meehan was placed on leave in January 2013. He denied the allegations. In November 2014 he was arrested and charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault; he pleaded not guilty. Meehan was laicized May 7, 2015.

Ordained: June 10, 1978
Laicized: May 7, 2015



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Providence bishop was Louis Edward Gelineau (Dec 1971-June 1997).

1980 SS Peter and Paul

West Warwick

RI 2/3


1980 1990 St. Mary's (Italian)


A man reported to the diocese in December 2012 that when he was a teenager (over age 14), between April 17, 1986 and January 25, 1991 Meehan sexually assaulted him. The diocese deemed the allegations "credible."

RI 2/5, 2/4, 2/3

St. Mary's had a school with 100-153 boys and 110-156 girls.

The diocese reported the allegations to the Rhode Island State Police.


1996 St. Augustine's


Rhode Island police investigating the report in December 2012 of past sexual abuse of a boy by Meehan discovered a second alleged Meehan victim, also a boy. This person was said to have been sexually assaulted by the priest as a minor over age 14, around Jan. 25, 1991 and Aug. 31, 1992.

RI 3/4, 3/3 St. Augustine's had a school with 243-355 students. The 1996 Directory shows a CCD program with 365 students.


Gelineau was succeeded by Robert Edward Mulvee (1997-2005).

2002 St. John's West Warwick RI 2/2, 1/2, 1/3 St. John's had a school with 212-140 students, and a CCD program with 125-272. (The CCD program merged with St. James', per the 2002 Directory.)
2000 2002 St. James' West Warwick RI    


Thomas Joseph Tobin replaced Mulvee as Providence bishop (2005-).

2013 St. Timothy's Warwick RI 1/2, 1/1 St. Timothy's had a CCD program with 300-144 students.
2013 2015 Absent on Leave      

Meehan was removed from active ministry in January 2013 after a credible accusations of past sexual abuse of two minors emerged. Meehan denied the allegations.

In November 2014 Meehan was arrested and charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty.

Meehan was laicized May 7, 2015.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1979-2014)

Catholic Priest Resigns in Light of Sexual Misconduct Allegations, By Chris Sheppard, ABC 6, January 13, 2013
Breaking: RI's Catholic Diocese Removes Priest, The Golocalprov, January 13, 2013
Warwick Priest Resigns over Allegation of Sexual Abuse, By Karen Lee Ziner, Providence Journal, January 13, 2013
Diocese Places Warwick Priest on Administrative Leave, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, January 13, 2013
Catholic Priest Resigns in Warwick, By Neil Remiesiewicz, The Wpri, January 13, 2013
Statement of the Diocese of Providence Relative to the Arrest of Rev. Barry Meehan, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, November 21, 2014
Former Warwick Priest Charged with First-degree Sexual Assault, By W. Zachary Malinowski, Providence Journal
November 21, 2014
RI Priest Arraigned on Sex Assault Charges, By Nancy Krause, WPRI, November 21, 2014
Priest Barry Meehan Charged with Sexual Assault in Cranston and Providence in the 1980s and ’90s, By W. Zachary Malinowski, Providence Journal, November 22, 2014
Statement from the Diocese, Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, May 8, 2015


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 Meehan'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 June 3, 2015.