Assignment Record – Rev. Eugene F. Orteneau, s.j.

Summary of Case: Eugene F. Orteneau was ordained a Jesuit of the New England Province in 1982, going on to minister in New York City and Storrs, CT. He left active ministry in 1994 after his Jesuit superiors asked him to leave his Storrs parish. The Jesuits at the time did not state a reason for Orteneau's removal. An attorney for the order revealed in 2007 that a Boston Jesuit inteviewed children in 1994 at the parish, concerned about possible improper sexual contact. Orteneau was at the time providing a place for troubled teens to sleep in his office. In a 2005 lawsuit Orteneau was accused of sexually abusing a boy during his time in Storrs, beginning when the boy was16-years-old. The boy's sister had reported to the diocese in 2003 that Orteneau had sexually abused two other Storrs boys. Orteneau is said to have followed and moved in with the accuser who sued in 2005 to South Florida, when the boy was an 18-year-old college student. Orteneau was arrested on a Florida street after attempting suicide and sent to the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT for psychiatric treatment. At some point he moved to North Carolina. The Jesuits dismissed him from the order in 2003. Orteneau died in April 2009.


Ordained
: 1982
Died: April 8, 2009

     

Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1982 1985       Orteneau is not indexed in the 1983-1985 Directories.

1985

New York archbishop was John Joseph O'Connor (1984-2000).

1989 Xavier Jesuit Community New York NY    
1989 1990       Orteneau is not indexed in the 1990 Directory. He told a reporter in 1994 that he took a year off and moved to Vermont.

1990

Norwich bishop was Daniel Patrick Reilly (1975-1994).

1994 Eastern Connecticut State University Storrs CT chaplain  
1990 1994 St. Thomas Aquinas

Storrs

Orteneau provided a place for teens who were "having trouble at home" to sleep in his office. He was accused in a 2005 lawsuit of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy from 1991-1993. The boy was a member of the parish youth group. According to this accuser's attorney in 2007, a Jesuit from Boston asked several children from St. Thomas Aquinas while Orteneau was assigned there about improper sexual contact.

In 2003 the sister of the man who filed suit in 2005 filed a complaint with the diocese that Orteneau had sexually abused two other boys.

CT 3/3 Orteneau was asked to leave the parish in 1994 by his Jesuit superior. Per news reports, Orteneau was to leave St. Thomas Aquinas in July 1994, and the Jesuit order soon thereafter. The Jesuits did state a reason publicly.

1994

Boston archbishop was Bernard Francis Law (1984-2002).

1997 Society of Jesus New England Provincial Office Boston MA  

Orteneau is listed in the 1996 and 1997 Directories under the New England Province, but an assignment is not specified.

Orteneau is said to have moved to South Florida to live with the boy he was accused in a 2005 lawsuit of sexually abusing beginning when the boy was 16. The boy was an 18-year-old college student when Orteneau moved in. Further, Orteneau later attempted suicide and was arrested on a South Florida street. He was sent to the Institute of Learning in Hartford, CT for psychiatric treatment.

1997 1998         Orteneau is not indexed in the 1998 Directory.

1998

Law was replaced by Sean Patrick O'Malley, o.f.m. Cap. (2003-).

2003 Society of Jesus New England Provincial Office Boston MA  

Orteneau is listed in the 1999-2000 Directories under the New England Province, but an assignment is not specified. He is not listed beyond the 2003 Directory.

An attorney for the Jesuits said in 2007 that Orteneau left active ministry in 1994, and that he was dismissed from the Jesuit order in 2003.

Orteneau died April 8, 2009. His obituary notes that he had been living in Huntersville, NC.

 

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1986-2003)

He Hears a Different Drummer, Nonconformist Priest Removed by Jesuit Leadership, By Laura Ungar, Hartford Courant [Connecticut], June 13, 1994
Molestation Lawsuit Will Cost Diocese, Norwich Church Officials Agree to Pay Coventry Man $300,000, By Joe Wojtas, The Day [Norwich CT], May 3, 2007
Diocese Defense Criticized as too Aggressive; Vernon Man's Integrity Impugned, His Lawyer Says, By Alex Wood, Journal Inquirer [Norwich], May 11, 2007
A Bishop in Denial Left a Legacy of Pain, Diocese and Victims Still Pay Heavy Price for Reilly's Sheltering of Abusive Priests, The Day, May 13, 2007
Eugene F. Orteneau, tributes.com, Dec. 14, 2013



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 Orteneau'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 Dec. 14, 2013


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