Bishop Louis Edward Gelineau

Summary of Case: Ordained in 1954, Louis E. Gelineau was a priest of the Burlington diocese for 27 years. He was named Bishop of Providence in December 1971, serving in that role until his 1997 retirement. Gelineau was accused in a 1997 lawsuit of having attempted to fondle and then drown a boy in the early 1950s at a Burlington orphanage. Gelineau was a seminarian at the time and worked at the orphanage during the summers. He denied the accusation in a 1997 deposition. In the same deposition Gelineau denied having had sexual contact with an altar boy in 1993.

Ordained: June 5, 1954
Ordained Bishop: Jan. 26, 1972
Retired: 1997


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

summers of 1950

Burlington bishop was Edward Francis Ryan (1944-1956)

1953 St. Joseph's Orphanage


Gelineau was accused in 1997 of having attempted to fondle an 11 or 12 year old boy at St. Joseph's in 1951 or 1952, and then of trying to drown the boy. Gelineau denied the accusations.

VT seminarian/ in charge of boys' recreation

Gelineau was referred to as "Brother".




1956 All Saints Richford VT 2/2  
1954 1956 Our Lady of Lourdes East Berkshire VT   This was a mission of All Saints in Richford.


Francis was succeeded by Robert Francis Joyce (1956-1971)

1957 St. Stephen's Winooski VT 2/2  
1957 1959 Catholic University Washington DC graduate student  
1957 1961 Assistant Chancellor Burlington VT   Address given is 52 Williams St. (the bishop's residence).
1957 1971 Diocesan Tribunal Burlington VT Notary 1957-1961; Defensores Vinculi 1959-1961; Vice-Officialis 1961-1971  
1959 1961 De Goesbriand Memorial Hospital Burlington VT Chaplain  
1959 1966 Propagation of the Faith Burlington VT Director  
1959 1966 Holy Childhood Association Burlington VT Director  
1963 1971 Administrative Council Burlington VT   Gelineau is first referred to as "Monsignor" in the 1964 Directory.
1961 1967 Chancellor and Secretary Burlington VT    
1967 1971 Vicar General and Chancellor Burlington VT   Gelineau was appointed Bishop of Providence, RI Dec. 6, 1971.
Providence bishop was Louis Edward Gelineau (1971-1997    


In an April 1997 deposition, Gelineau denied having had sexual contact with an altar boy in 1993.

RI Bishop Gelineau was named Providence bishop in Dec. 1971, and installed Jan. 26, 1972.

He retired in June 1997.
1997 2004 Retired Providence RI Bishop Emeritus  
2004   Retired/ St. Antoine Residence Smithfield RI Chaplain  


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955-2011)

Gelineau Deposition, April 2, 1997
Cadorette Deposition, May 15, 1997 list of U.S. Bishops Accused of Abuse, April 14, 2008

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 Gelineau'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 2, 2012