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Rev. Laurence F.X. Brett

Ordained: 1962

 

A 1993 lawsuit claims Brett abused a teenage altar boy from 1961-1963. Diocese received complaint in 1964 about abuse of a 19 yr old that Brett admitted to. Insurance company paid $250,000 settlement in 1994 to two victims Brett molested after he transferred to Sacramento, CA. Accused also of sexually abusing boys also in New Mexico, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington D.C. He fled to Caribbean in 1993; located in 2002 but fled again. Named in 2008 civil suit. Brett died Dec. 25, 2010 on the Caribbean Island of Martinique.

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1962

Bridgeport bishop was Walter William Curtis (1961-1988)

1964 St. Cecilia's

Springdale

The diocese was sued in 1997 by a man who claimed Brett sexually abused him in 1962 and 1963, while he was a student at Stamford Catholic High School. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 12, 1997)

CT

3/3

Pastor was Rev. Joseph A. Heffernan. Second priest was Pierre Botton.

St. Cecilia's had a school with 770-800 students.
  1964 Sacred Heart University

Fairfield

Diocesan officials learned that Brett had a "sexual encounter" with a student. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 13, 1997) Brett had admitted to biting the penis of the student during nonconsensual oral sex. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 29, 2002)

CT Chaplain  

1964

Santa Fe bishop was James Peter Davis (1964-1974)

1965 Absent on Sick Leave

Jemez Springs

Diocesan officials knew Brett was molesting boys, and sent him in Dec.1964 to Servants of the Paraclete. The diocese directed its officials to say that Brett had a "recurrance of hepatitis", if anyone should ask. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 12, 1997)

NM  

Servants of the Paraclete was a treatment center for clergy sex offenders. Hundreds of children in New Mexico were sexually abused by priests who had been treated here and released. (Palm Beach Post
June 28, 1998)

Brett worked at a couple of parishes in New Mexico, after his release from treatment.

1965

Sacramento bishop was Alden Jon Bell (1962-1979)

   

Sacramento

Allegations of sexual misconduct in Sacramento against Brett surfaced in 1992. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 12, 1997)

CA   Assigned to the Sacramento diocese, as recommended by the Bridgeport diocese. Reportedly was in Sacramento "on occasion".
1965 1972 Absent on Sick Leave        

1967

Baltimore archbishop was Lawrence Joseph Shehan (1961-1974)

1973 St. Jane Frances de Chantal Pasadena MD   This assignment is per news reports. (Baltimore Sun
September 26, 2002)
1967 1973 St. Patrick's Cumberland MD   This assignment is per news reports. (Baltimore Sun
September 26, 2002)
1967 1973 St. Pius X Baltimore MD   This assignment is per news reports. (Baltimore Sun
September 26, 2002)
1972 1974 Calvert Hall College High School

Baltimore

Two former students from Calvert Hall reported in the late 1990s that Brett had sexually abused them, leading to warrants for Brett's arrest in Feb. 1999. The FBI searched for him, but the charges were withdrawn before they could find him, due to statutes of limitation. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 29, 2002) Per news reports, at least 14 Calvert Hall alumni have disclosed having been sexually abused by Brett. (Baltimore Sun [Maryland]
March 2, 2007)

MD Chaplain

Calvert Hall was a high school run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. It had 1,210-1,215 students at this time, all male.

The 1974 Directory indexes Brett as "On Duty Outside the Diocese", and lists him at Calvert Hall.

1976

William Donald Borders replaced Shehan as Baltimore archbishop (1974-1989)

  School Sisters of Notre Dame Mother House Baltimore MD   This assignment is per news reports. (Baltimore Sun
September 26, 2002)

1974

William Henry Keeler became Baltimore archbishop after Borders retired (1989-2007)

Brett continued to officially be a priest of the Bridgeport diocese. After Shehan, Edward Michael Egan was Bridgeport bishop (1988-2000).

1993 Share the Word

Baltimore

Accusation in Dec. 2008 lawsuit against the Bridgeport diocese by a man claiming Brett sexually abused him in 1977 in Baltimore, New Jersey, and Washington, when the man was 13 yrs. old. (Connecticut Post
December 16, 2008)

MD contract writer

The 1975, 1976 and 1980-1993 Directories index Brett as living at 651 N. Paca St. The 1977-1979 Directories index him as living at 2621 E. Preston St. The E. Preston St. address is .1 miles from St. Katherine's.

Share the Word was a Paulist order bible study magazine. Brett continued to write for the publication-its sole writer-after he went into hiding.

1993 1995 Leave of Absence

St. Maarten

Bishop Egan suspended Brett from ministry in 1993 when he learned of a lawsuit against the Bridgeport diocese. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 13, 1997) Egan had met Brett in 1990 and, although aware of his history of molesting children, invited him to return to the Bridgeport diocese because "he made a good impression". (Hartford Courant
March 17, 2002)

Former neighbors of Brett on St. Maarten said in 2002 that "teenagers and young men were frequent visitors" (Hartford Courant September 19, 2002)

Lesser Antilles  

Brett is not indexed in the Directories after 1995.

Brett disappeared from Baltimore in 1993. Bridgeport and Baltimore diocesan officials claimed to not know where he was until The Hartford Courant informed them in 2002 that they had found him on the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten. The Paulists claimed to have terminated Brett's contract in 1997, after learning Brett had been accused in a federal lawsuit of having molested children in CT, NM, CA and MD. (The Hartford Courant
August 30, 2002) Interviews and documents show that there were priests and others loyal to Brett who knew of his whereabouts. (Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
August 29, 2002) Brett slipped away again, (Baltimore Sun
June 17, 2005) and has continued to elude authorities. (Hartford Courant, Sept. 19, 2002) Another lawsuit filed in Dec. 2008 alleging abuse of a 13 yr. old boy in 1977.

Brett died Dec. 25, 2010 on the Caribbean Island of Martinique. (ctpost.com, Jan. 5, 2011)


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1963-1995).

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 & 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.

 
 

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