Assignment Record – Rev. Jules M. Convert, s.j.

Summary of Case: A native of France, Convert was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1940. After a year of studies at Alma College in CA, followed by two years in Port Townsend WA, Convert spent the better part of four decades living and working in small Alaskan villages along the Yukon River. According to Fairbanks diocesan officials in 2003, ill health prompted Convert in 1980 to return to France, where he worked in a small parish in the French Alps. He died in 1995. In 2003 accusations began to emerge that Convert sexually abused altar boys throughout his time in Alaska. Their stories were very similar. Convert's modus operandi was reportedly to invite a boy to sleep over with him at his residence, as a special privilege. Most said he would sexually abuse them after they fell asleep. At least one said Convert molested him while they were watching a movie. The boys' ages ranged from 6 to 15. Per the Fairbanks diocesan website in July 2013, there have been 37 reports of abuse by Convert.

Ordained
: 1940
Died: July 28,1995


   

Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes

1940

San Francisco archbishop was John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961).

1941 Alma College Alma CA    

1941

Seattle archbishop was Gerald Shaughnessy, s.m. (1933-1950).

1943 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA    

1943

Vicariate-Apostolic of Alaska bishop was Joseph Raphael John Crimont, s.j. (1904-1945).

1945 St. Francis Xavier Mission Kotzebue AK 2/2 Missionary Convert is indexed in the 1944 and 19545 Directories as at St. Francis Xavier Mission, but he is listed in the Alaska pages as at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Hooper Bay.

1943

Crimont was succeeded by Francis Doyle Gleeson, s.j. (1948-1968).

1947 St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (Napareyaramiut) Hooper Bay AK 2/2 Missionary  
1947 1949 Sacred Heart

Chevak AK 1/1 Missionary  
1947 1949   Kashunak AK   This was a station of Sacred Heart in Chevak.
1947 1949   Keyaluvik AK   This was a station of Sacred Heart in Chevak.
1949 1954 St. Michael's St. Michael AK 1/1  
1949 1954   Stebbins AK   This was a station of St. Michael's in St. Michael.
1953 1954   Hamilton AK   This was a station of St. Michael's in St. Michael.
1953 1954   Cahneliak AK   This was a station of St. Michael's in St. Michael.
1953 1954   Kotlik AK   This was a station of St. Michael's in St. Michael.
1954 1956 Holy Cross Mission

Holy Cross

At least one of the men to accuse Convert of having sexually abused them as boys was from a Holy Cross orphanage overseen by the priest.

AK 1/2; Superior Holy Cross Mission had a school 1954-1955 with 175 students. The 1956 Directory shows it to have had a grade school with 93 students and a high school with 17 students.
1954 1956   Pimute AK   This was a station of Holy Cross Mission in Holy Cross.
1954 1956   Flat AK   This was a station of Holy Cross Mission in Holy Cross.
1954 1956   Shageluk AK   This was a station of Holy Cross Mission in Holy Cross.
1954 1956   Railroad City AK   This was a station of Holy Cross Mission in Holy Cross.
1954 1956   Holikachuk AK   This was a station of Holy Cross Mission in Holy Cross.

1956

The Vicariate Apostolic of Alaska was elevated to diocesan status in 1962.

1967 Little Flower of Jesus

Kaltag

A man came forward in 2003 accusing Convert of sexually abusing him as a boy in an Alaska village, from 1955-1960.

AK 1/1 The 1965-1967 Directories refer to Convert as "Very Rev."  
1956 1967  

Unalakleet

Some of the men who came forward beginning in 2003 alleging sexual abuse as altar boys by Convert were from Unalakleet.

AK   This was a station of Little Flower of Jesus in Kaltag.

1962

Robert Louis Whelan, s.j. followed Gleeson as Fairbanks bishop ( 1968-1985).

1975 Social Action Fairbanks AK Director This was a chancery position.
1964 1968 Superior Regular Fairbanks AK   This was a chancery position.
1964 1979 Apostleship of Prayer Fairbanks AK Director This was a chancery position.
1967 1968         The 1968 Directory indexes Convert as at Jesuit Immaculate Conception Parish, but he is not listed there in the Fairbanks diocesan pages.
1968 1969 St. Ann's Teller AK 1/1 Convert's title is now "Rev.".  
1969 1970 Little Flower of Jesus Kaltag AK 1/1  
1970 1973 St. Mary's St. Mary AK 2/2, 3/3; Pastor. St. Mary's had a grade school with 97 day students, and a high school with 46-54 day students and 136-140 boarders.
1973 1979 Church of the Nativity

St. Mary

Convert was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of having sexually abused four altar boys, who were 6 to 15 years-old, between 1972 and 1977. Each of them said the abuse occurred during overnight stays at the priest's St. Mary's residence.

By Nov. 2004 16 men had come forward with accusations that Convert sexually abused them as children in villages along the Yukon River. All of them said Convert would invite them to spend the night as a special privilege, then molest them while they slept.

In November 2004 accusations emerged from two more men in that Converse sexually abused them as children in Alaska, bringing the total of accusers to 18. By November 2011 there were 19 legal claims of abuse by Convert. In April 2012 the Fairbanks diocese's website listed Convert as having 37 reports of abuse against him.

AK

1/1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Convert is not indexed beyond the 1979 Directory.

Per diocesan officials in 2003, Convert returned to France in 1980 due to ill health.

1979 1980          
1980 1995     France   Fairbanks diocesan officials stated in 2003 that Convert returned to France in 1980 because of ill health, worked in a small parish in the French Alps and died in Francheville, Lyons, July 28, 1995.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1941-1979)

Church Officials Respond to 1970s Abuse Allegations, St. Marys: Catholic Organization Says It Had No Reports about Priest, by Cathy Brown, The Associated Press, carried in Anchorage Daily News [Juneau AK], June 25, 2003
New Abuse Claims Filed on Convert, By Mary Beth Smetzer, News-Miner [Fairbanks AK], Downloaded July 15, 2003
Suing the Church
Lawyers Include Man Who Successfully Sued As Clergy Sex Abuse Victim, By Nicole Tsong, Anchorage Daily News [New York]
Oct. 26, 2003
Bethel Judge Tells Church It Must Respond to Suit, Abuse: Complaint Won't Be Dismissed, By Nicole Tsong, Anchorage Daily News [Bethel AK], October 29, 2003
Three Fairbanks Diocese Priests Accused, Gone: Two Are Dead and the Other Is Not Ministering but under Investigation, By Nicole Tsong, Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), December 5, 2003
Former Jesuit Supervisor Claims Cultural Differences in Molestation Lawsuit, By Dan Joling, Anchorage [Alaska], Downloaded March 16, 2004
TCC Gets Apology from Priest, By Diana Campbell, News-Miner [Alaska], Downloaded March 17, 2004
Retired Jesuit Superior Apologizes for Comments, Abuse: Rev. William Loyens Sends Message to Tanana Chiefs Conference, Associated Press, carried in Anchorage Daily News [Fairbanks AK], Downloaded March 19, 2004
Alaska Native Panel Addresses Sex Abuse Issues, By Diana Campbell, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner [Fairbanks AK], Downloaded March 23, 2004
Diocese Sued in Sex Abuse Cases, By Mary Beth Smetzer, News-Miner [Fairbanks AK], November 6, 2004
Former Monk Named in Fairbanks Diocese Sex Abuse Suit, The Associated Press, carried in OregonLive.com [Fairbanks AK], November 11, 2004
Suit Involving Claims of Sex Abuse against Priest Allowed to Go Forward, Anchorage Daily News [Fairbanks AK], August 19, 2006
Jesuit Abuse Settlement Aims to Heal, $50 Million: Religious Order's Head Says Church Failed Victims in Alaska, By Lisa Demer, Anchorage Daily News, November 20, 2007
Suffer the Little Children, In One of the Darkest Chapters of Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, a Generation of Children in Western Alaska Breaks the Silence, By Tony Hopfinger, Anchorage Press, March 19, 2008
The Jesuit Stories behind the Bankruptcy of the Oregon Province, Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit, November 12, 2009
Excerpt from Bankruptcy Reorganization Documents for Fairbanks Diocese Jan. 25, 2010, p. 1
Northwest Jesuits Agree to Landmark Settlement for Hundreds of Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims, March 25, 2011
List of Perpetrators, Diocese of Fairbanks, April 4, 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 Convert'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 July 15 , 2013


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