Assignment Record – Rev. Steven F. Dawber, S.J.
Summary of Case: Ordained a Jesuit priest in 1969, Dawber spent his career as a high school educator in Boston MA, Portland ME, and in Fall River MA. He was suspended from ministry in March 2002 after accusations surfaced that he had sexually abused boys at Boston College High School in the 1970s. Dawber died in April 2010.
Died: April 29, 2010
Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970), followed by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).
||Boston College High School
• Dawber was accused in 2002 of having molested a s B.C. High student in the 1970s. His accuser said that Dawber established a "mentoring" relationship with him, which lead to sexual advances. Dawber is said to have given the his accuser and other students alcohol while discussing ideas and theories with them in his Jesuit residence room.
||Academic Vice-President 1973-1976, Social Studies Dept. Chair, French, Political Science, and History teacher.
||B.C. High had 1260-1109 students, all male.
Portland bishop was Edwin Cornelius O'Leary (1974-1988).
||Cheverus High School
||French teacher, History Department Chair, Director of Admissions; Principal 1979-1984
Cheverus had 310-404 students, all male.
Dawber was principal of Cheverus in 1980 when he recommended that B.C. High teacher and fellow Jesuit, Rev. James Talbot, for a teaching position at Cheverus. Talbot was later convicted of sexually abusing teen boys. There are documented indications that Dawber was aware of Talbot's abusive behavior at the time.
Oakland bishop was John Stephen Cummins (1977-2003).
||The Jesuit Community
Fall River bishop was Daniel Anthony Cronin (1970-1991).
||Bishop Connolly High School
||In residence 1985-1986; Social Studies and Latin teacher; Associate Principal 1986-1987; Principal 1987-1990.
||Connolly High had 720-525 students, male and female.
Boston archbishop was Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).
||Boston College High School and Jesuit Community
||History, Social Studies, French teacher; Treasurer and Minister for Jesuit Community.
B.C. High had 1028-1294 students, all male.
Dawber was suspended from ministry in March 2002 due to the surfacing of allegations that he had sexually abused high school students in the 1970s. There were known in March 2002 to be three alleged Dawber victims.
Law was succeeded by Sean Patrick O'Malley, o.f.m.Cap. (2003- ).
||Jesuit Urban Center and Immaculate Conception Community
||Campion Health Center, Inc.
Dawber died April 29, 2010.
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York:
Kenedy & Sons, 1970-2007).
• BC High Suspends Priest Accused of Student Molestation, By Sacha Pfeiffer, Thomas Farragher and Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, March 6, 2002
• Another Cheverus Ex-Staffer Accused, Allegations against the Rev. Stephen Dawber, a Former Principal, Are Made at a Boston School, By John Richardson and Tess Nacelewicz, Portland Press Herald, March 7, 2002
• School 'Help Line' to Aid Abuse Victims, By Walter V. Robinson, Boston Globe, March 14, 2002
• Jesuits Turn Over Priests' Names, Initial Statement Was Misleading, By Walter V. Robinson and Sacha Pfeiffer, Boston Globe, March 8, 2002
• Probe Eyes 5 Jesuits Tied to BC High, By Eric Convey, Boston Herald, March 8, 2002
• BC High Ex-Coach to Face Charges, By Sacha Pfeiffer, Boston Globe, September 18, 2002
• Rev. Stephen F. Dawber, Boston Herald, May 2, 2010
• Dawber, Stephen F., Jesuit.org, May 11, 2010
• The Missing Names from Cardinal O’Malley’s List of Accused Clerics, The Boston Globe, Nov. 20, 2011
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
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This assignment record collates Dawber'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
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This assignment record was last updated on Sept. 18, 2013.