Assignment Record – Rev. Maurice T. Lebel, s.j.

Summary of Case: Maurice T. Lebel was ordained a Jesuit priest of the New England Province in 1967. As a Jesuit, he worked in schools in the Springfield and Fall River dioceses, and was a counselor for Catholic Social Services in the Fall River diocese. He was transferred to Bangor, Maine in 1986. In 1991 Lebel left the Jesuits to become a Portland, Maine diocesan priest, and went on to pastor a number of parishes. He was suspended from ministry in June 2007 after an allegation emerged that he had assaulted and sexually abused a 15 to 17 year-old youth in Massachusetts in the early 1980s. Lebel was reinstated in February 2011 after a church tribunal determined that the allegation was "unfounded."

Ordained
: 1967



   

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

1967

Boston archbishop was Richard James Cushing (1944-1970).

1968 Weston College Weston MA  

1968

Springfield bishop was Christopher Joseph Weldon (1950-1977).

1971 Cranwell Preparatory School Lenox MA teacher This was a Jesuit high school with 240-247 students, all male.
1971 1972         The 1972 Directory indexes Lebel as at Cranwell School in Lenox MA, but he is not listed as there in the Springfield diocesan pages.

1972

Detroit archbishop was John Francis Dearden (1958-1980).

1973 University of Detroit Detroit MI    

1973

Fall River bishop was Daniel Anthony Cronin (1970-1991).

1976 Bishop Connolly High School Fall River MA rector Bishop Connolly High had 551-459 students, all male.
1976 1977 Social and Special Apostolate       This assignment is per news accounts.
1976 1986 Catholic Social Services

Fall River/Attleboro

• Lebel was accused in 2007 of having sexually abused and assaulted a 15 to 17-year-old in the early 1980s in Massachusetts.

MA counselor This assignment is per news accounts.
1976 1979 St. Joseph's Fall River MA 3/3, 2/2
In residence.
 
1979 1981 St. Mary's Mansfield MA 4/4
In residence.
 

1981

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

1983 Campbell House

Boston

 

MA   This was a Jesuit residence.
1983 1986 St. Mary's Mansfield MA 4/4, 3/3  

1986

Portland bishop was Edward Cornelius O'Leary (1974-1988), followed by Joseph John Gerry, o.s.b. (1988-2004).

1993 St. John's Bangor ME 1/4, 1/3

St. John's had a school with 110-260 students. The 1993 Directory shows the parish to have had a CCD program with 344 students.

Lebel left the Jesuits in 1991 to become a priest of the Portland ME diocese.

1991 1992 Mission Church Kenduskeag ME   This was a mission of St. John's in Bangor.
1993 1995 St. Joseph's Mars Hill ME 1/2, 1/1  
1993 1995 Nativity of the BVM Presque Isle ME 1/2  
1995 2000 Sacred Heart Auburn ME 1/1 Sacred Heart had a CCD program with 249-135 students.
2000 2003 St. Catherine of Siena Norway ME 1/1 St. Catherine's had a CCD program with 107-85 students.
2000 2003 Our Lady of the Snows Bethel ME   This was a mission of St. Catherine of Siena in Norway.

2003

Gerry was succeeded as Portland bishop by Richard Joseph Malone (2004-2012).

June 2007 Retired/St. Martha's Kennebunk ME temporary administrator  
2003 June 2007 Retired/St. Mary's Wells ME fill-in priest  
2003 June 2007 Retired/All Saints Ogunquit ME fill-in priest  
June 2007 Feb. 2011 Suspended from Ministry       Lebel was suspended from ministry in June 2007 after an allegation emerged that he had sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s in Massachusetts.
Feb. 2011 2012 Retired Wells ME   Lebel was reinstated to public ministry in February 2011 after a church tribunal determined that the allegation was unproven.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1968-2012)

Portland Priest Investigated for Alleged Sex Abuse, By Beth Quimby, Portland Press Herald, December 8, 2007
Two Maine Priests Accused of Sex AbuseBy Beth Quimby, Maine Sunday Telegram, December 9, 2007
Retired Priest Restricted, Sun Journal, December 9, 2007
Abuse Inquiry Names Retired Priest Associated Press, carried in Bangor Daily News, December 10, 2007
Clergy Sex Abuse Complaint Aired, Associated Press, carried in Boston Globe, December 10, 2007
Maine Priest Accused of Abuse While in Massachusetts in 1980s, Journal Gazette, December 10, 2007
Maine Diocese Investigates Sex-Abuse Charges against Former Fall River Priest, Associated Press, carried in Standard-Times, December 11, 2007
Claims against Retired Priest, By Michael Gelbwasser, Sun Chronicle, December 11, 2007
Group Blasts Diocese for Handling of Sex Abuse Complaints, By Steve Urbon, Standard-Times, February 21, 2008
Abuse Advocacy Group Wants a Stronger Response from the Church, By Grant Welker, Wicked Local, February 22, 2008
Retired Priest Who Served in Bangor Reinstated after Suspension, By Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, March 9, 2011
Retired Priest Reinstated, By Carolyn Callahan, WABI, March 10, 2011
Catholic Bishop Sets Day of Prayer and Penance for Abuse Victims, By Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, March 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 Lebel'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 March 29, 2014.


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