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Assignment Record– Rev. Wilson F. Smart

Summary of Case: The Helena diocese knew of Smart's attraction to boys as early as1959. He was sent to treatment in 1959, 1969, in the late 1970s, and in 1989. Smart admitted that he molested more than 30 boys from 1957 to 1978. A 1990 civil suit alleged Smart abused the plaintiff in 1967 when he was 12 and that abuse continued until 1975. The suit was settled in 1993, possibly for $1.7M. Smart was named in at least three other suits which later settled. In 1993 Bishop Curtiss admitted removing two letters from file which documented abuse. Smart was laicized in 2003 and died in 2006.

Born: July 1, 1931
Ordained: 1957
Laicized: July 9, 2003
Died: November 10, 2006

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1957

Helena bishop was Joseph Michael Gilmore (1935-1962)

1959 St. Peter's

Anaconda

The diocese knew of Smart's attraction to boys as early as 1959, as admitted by Bishop Curtiss in 1993 in a letter to the people of the diocese. Curtiss wrote that he had read Smart's file only after an accuser came forward in 1989, and that Smart was sent away for counseling in 1959, then returned to ministry. Smart admitted in the 1990s that he had molested more than 30 boys from 1957-1978. (Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)
August 30, 1998)

MT

3/3

St. Peter's had a school with 228-240 boys and 227-224 girls.
1959 1960 St. Ann's Butte MT 3/3

St. Ann's had a school with 321 boys and 279 girls.

1960

Raymond Gerhardt Hunthausen replaced Gilmore as bishop (1962-1975)

1963 St. Anthony's

Missoula

A Missoula man sued Smart and the diocese in 1993, claiming Smart raped him for three years in the 1960s, beginning when he was a 13 year old altar boy. Smart took the boy to movies and on camping trips. (Seattle Times
April 1, 1993)

MT 3/3, 3/4 St. Anthony's had a school with 330-297 boys and 315-328 girls.
1963 1965 Cathedral of St. Helena Helena MT 3/4

The Cathedral had a grade school with 294-270 boys a nd 261-280 girls.

1965 1966 St. Mary's Butte MT 3/3 St. Mary's ahd a school with 72 boys and 90 girls.
1966 1969 St. Ann's

Butte

A 1990 lawsuit named Smart as perpetrator of sexual abuse against an altar boy, beginning in 1967 when the boy was 12 years old, and continuing for 8 years. Smart took the boy camping, showed him pornography involving other boys, took pornographic pictures of the boy, gave him alcohol, and let him drive his car when he was under licensing age. (Seattle Times
April 1, 1993)

Smart was sent away in 1969 for treatment of alcoholism. (Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)
August 30, 1998)

MT 3/3 St. Ann's had a school with 704-491 students.
1969 1974 St. Richard's Columbia Falls MT 3//3, 2/2  
1969 1974   West Glacier MT   This was a mission of St. Richard's in Columbia Falls.
1969 1974   Coram MT   This was a station of St. Richard's in Columbia Falls.
1969 1974   Essex MT   This was a station of St. Richard's in Columbia Falls.
1969 1974   Martin City MT   This was a station of St. Richard's in Columbia Falls.
1969 1974   Hungry Horse MT   This was a station of St. Richard's in Columbia Falls.

1974

Elden Francis Curtiss replaced Hunthausen as Helena bishop (1976-1993)

1980 Our Lady of Mercy

Eureka

Smart was again sent away by the bishop, in the late 70s, for treatment on alcoholism. (Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)
August 30, 1998)

MT 1/1  
1974 1980 St. Ann's Fortune MT   This was a mission of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1974 1980 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Rexford     This was a mission of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1974 1979   Stryker MT   This was a station of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1974 1979   Tobacco MT   This was a station of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1974 1979   Trego MT   This was a station of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1974 1979   Ural MT   This was a station of Our Lady of Mercy in Eurkea.
1980 1990 St. Joseph's

Harlowtown

In 1989 Smart was sent to a treatment center for priests with problems such as alcoholism and pedophilia in Jemez Springs, NM when Curtiss received a letter from one of Smart's victims. Smart was then returned to ministry. He resigned in 1990 when he was sued. (Seattle Times
April 1, 1993)

MT 1/1  
1980 1982 St. Bartholomew White Sulpher Springs MT   This assignment is per the diocese.
1980 1990 Immaculate Conception Judith Gap MT   This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Harlowtown.
1980 1990 Blessed Sacrament Shawmut MT  

This was a mission of St. Joseph's in Harlowtown.

Smart is no longer indexed in the Directories after 1990.

Bishop Curtiss admitted in 1993 that he had removed two letters from Smart's personnel file that documented previous "problems" with boys. (Omaha World Herald (Nebraska)
August 30, 1998) The diocese settled out of court with four victims. (Omaha World-Herald [Nebraska]
April 29, 2002)

Smart was last known, in Nov. 1991, to have been working as a laborer at a Catholic cemetery and doing office work for the Helena diocese. (Seattle Times
April 1, 1993)

He was laicized July 9, 2003 and died November 10, 2006.


Source
: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1958-1990).

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 & 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.

 
 

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