Assignment Record– Rev. Donald J. Keenan, c.p.

Summary of Case: A Passionate Missionaries priest ordained in Baltimore MD in 1943, Keenan's career was focused on parish missions and renewals. From Baltimore Keenan went on to assignments in Scranton PA, Dunkirk NY, Toronto Canada, Union City NJ, North Palm Beach FL, Farmington CT, back to Baltimore and, finally, to his native Boston MA area, where he retired. He died in 1995. In 1998 Keenan was accused of having sexually abused a 13-year- old boy in 1977, along with another boy who was mentally challenged. The abuse is said to have occurred at Keenan's family home in Malden MA.

Died: Aug. 23, 1995


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Baltimore archbishop was Michael Joseph Curley (1921-1947).

1944 St. Joseph's Passionist Monastery Baltimore MD  


Scranton bishop was William Joseph Hafey (1938-1954).

1947 St. Ann's Scranton PA

Parish had a grade school with 294-282 students and a high school with 100-111 students.

Keenan is indexed but not listed in the Scranton diocesan pages of the Directories as at St. Ann's.


Buffalo bishop was John Francis O'Hara (1945-1951).

1951 St. Mary's / St. Mary's Passionist Monastery Dunkirk NY  

Parish had a grade school with 352-400 students, and a high school with 137-150 students.

Keenan is indexed but not listed in the Buffalo diocesan pages of the Directories as at this parish.

1951 1953 Passionist Fathers Sacred Heart Retreat Toronto Canada Director of Passionist Purgatorial Society  
1953 1961   Toronto Canada   Keenan's address is listed in the 1954-1961 Directories as Sta K Box 53, Toronto Canada


Newark archbishop was Thomas Aloysius Boland (1952-1974).

1966 St. Michael's Passionist Monastery Union City NJ Seminary Faculty; Mission Band  


Miami archbishop was Coleman Francis Carroll (1958-1977).

1967 Our Lady of Florida Monastery North Palm Beach FL    


Hartford bishop was Henry Joseph O'Brien (1945-1968), followed by John Francis Whealon (1968- 1991).

1974? Holy Family Monastery Farmington CT Mission Band The 1970-1974 Directories index Keenan as at this Monastery, but he is not listed as there in the Hartford diocesan pages.


Baltimore archbishop was Lawrence Joseph Shehan (1961-1974), followed by William Donald Borders (1974-1989).

1975 St. Joseph's Passionist Monastery Baltimore MD   The 1970-1972 Directories index Keenan as at this Monastery, but do not list him in the Baltimore diocesan pages as there.


Boston archbishop was Humberto Sousa Medeiros (1970-1983).

1978 St. Gabriel's Passionist Monastery and Retreat House Boston (Brighton) MA   Indexed in the 1976-1987 Directories as here, but listed in the Boston diocesan pages at 5 Russell Park, Malden MA.
    St. Anthony's Revere MA   Keenan worked at this parish sometime after 1977.


Madeiros was succeeded by Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).

1995 Retired


Keenan was accused in 1998 of having sexually abused a 13-year-old boy in 1977, along with another boy who was mentally challenged. The abuse is said to have occurred at Keenan's family home in Malden. The 13-year-old reportedly was one of 12 children whose parents thought the priest was trying to help their son. His accuser said Keenan would ply him with alcohol and give him money.


Keenan is listed in the Boston diocesan pages of the Directories as Passionist in residence in the archdiocese, 5 Russell Park, Malden MA. This was the Keenan family home, where his sister lived.

Died Aug. 23, 1995

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1944-1995)

Boston Archdiocese Memo, March 23, 1998
Father Donald Keenan, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1915-1995), Passionist Historical Archives 1995, August 23, 1995
The Missing Names from Cardinal O'Malley's List of Accused Clerics, Boston Globe, November 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 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 Keenan'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 Sept. 16, 2014.

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