Assignment Record– Rev. John Francis Keane

Summary of Case: Keane pleaded guilty in 2008 to indecent assault and battery of a girl under the age of 14. The abuse occurred between 1981-1983. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, and probation. He was also ordered to register as a sex offender. He is last known to have been living in Merrit Island, Florida, and is registered sex offender. Keane was defrocked by the Vatican in 2009.

Born: 1939
Ordained: 1969
Laicized: 2009


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970), followed by Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

6/04/73 Sacred Heart Middleboro MA 2/3 Keane was one of two Boston priests of the era with the same name. The other John F. Keane was ordained in 1965.
6/05/73 6/20/83 St. Elizabeth's


Pleaded guilty in 2008 to indecent assault and battery of a girl under the age of 14. The abuse occurred between 1981-1983.

MA 3/3, 4/4, 2/2, 2/3 Keane was sentenced to 30 days in jail and probation.


Bernard Francis Law succeeded Medeiros (1984-2002).

6/29/87 Our Lady of the Rosary Stoughton MA

2/2, 3/3

In residence.

6/30/87 6/01/89 St. Joseph's

Holbrook MA 2/3 Parish had a school with 320 students.


Law was replaced by Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap.

9/18/03 Leave of Absence/Without Permission      

Keane left Massachusetts in 1990. Per the archdiocese in 2011, he had been absent without permission since 1989.

In June 2011 the Boston archdiocesan announced that Keane was removed from the clerical state by the Vatican in 2009. He was, at the time, a registered sex offender and living in Merritt Island, Florida.

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1965-2009)

Former Priest Pleads Guilty to Indecent Assault; Da: He Served in Milton, Stoughton Parishes, By Don Conkey, Patriot Ledger, February 19, 2008
Archdiocese of Boston Announces Robert F. Daly, John Keane, Robert Knapp and Benjamin Mcmahon Are No Longer in the Clerical State, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
June 13, 2011
Two with Local Ties Among 4 Defrocked Priests, MetroWest Daily News, June 13, 2011
Vatican Defrocks 4 Priests; 3 Served at South Shore Churches, By Lane Lambert, Brockton Enterprise, June 14, 2011
Greater Taunton Clerics Included in List of Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse, By Gerry Tuoti, Taunton Daily Gazette, August 26, 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 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 Keane'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 October 3, 2015.