Another Basilian charged

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Another Basilian has been charged.  The allegations against Father Kenneth O’Keefe csb relate to incidents which are alleged to have transpired in the early 70s in Ottawa, Ontario.

As you can see, I have started and will now get O’Keefe’s page up date.

These are proving to be a busy legal times for the Basilians.

Also note that Father Charles Picot, a priest from the Diocese of Bathurst New Brunswick, is heading to trial.  His trial date will be set  13 September 2010.

06 August 2010:  Retired priest headed to trial 

Enough for now,


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This entry was posted in Accused or charged, Canada, Clerical sexual predators, Scandal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Another Basilian charged

  1. Sylvia says:

    The allegations against O’Keefe relate to his time teaching at St. Pius X in Ottawa, Ontario. O’Keefe also taught at St. Joseph’s High School in Ottawa.

    O’Keefe would have been teaching at Pius X at the same time as the recently charged Father William Allen

  2. Sylvia says:

    I am told that Father O’Keefe taught Latin at St. Pius X from approximately 1978 to 1983. He also served as a guidance counsellor and assisted Sister Noonan (Sister was known to be very good friend of Father Len Lunney.)

  3. Curious says:

    I read the poem but it seems like the bishop wrote it about when the queen came to canada in 1938. I think he was saying that’s when he saw her and all the people were at the train station. Wasn’t it many years later when he was at st. pius? It would be strange if the victim was from cornwall. Although nothing would surprise me anymore.
    It’s not surprising to learn that the two priests charged in the last little while were at the same school at the same time. It’s always been my belief that those who abuse children sometimes travel in packs. Safety in numbers, I guess. Like wolves sometimes.

  4. Curious says:

    Sorry. I wrote in my earlier note he was a bishop. My mistake.

  5. Sylvia says:

    I wasn’t too clear on that Curious. Apologies. I meant Father O’Keefe. Is he a Cornwall boy? In the poem he talks of being a 7-year-old boy on his father’s shoulders to see the Queen Mother in 1939 – at the railroad station in Cornwall. I think age wise it works out, so, was he at the Cornwall station with his father because they were living in Cornwall?

  6. Curious says:

    Ah. That would make sense. I should have read what you wrote more closely. Yes. If he was 7 when the Queen came to Cornwall he is likely from there or a community nearby. O’Keefe is not a common family name in Cornwall. At least not these days.
    Back when the Queen would have come through Cornwall I can’t imagine people had the means to travel great distances so you would think the people who saw her at the train station in Cornwall lived somewhat close by.

  7. Aardvark says:

    Sylvia Says:
    August 11th, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    The allegations against O’Keefe relate to his time teaching at St. Pius X in Ottawa, Ontario. O’Keefe also taught at St. Joseph’s High School in Ottawa.

    O’Keefe would have been teaching at Pius X at the same time as the recently charged Father William Allen

    It seems like only yesterday I was asking if there were any other misbehaving Priests besides Fathers Keeler and Allen working under the watchful eye of Father Lunney!

    Wait, it was just yesterday!

    With one convicted (Keeler) and two now recently charged (Allen and O’Keefe) the red flags must be popping up at Police HQ and at the office of the Archdiocese as to what other assaults took place during Father Lunney’s tenure as Principle.

    When you add the murder/suicide rampage of Robert Poulin to the equation, the prevailing culture of his administration has to be questioned.

    I suspect it will not… though I do think Father (Msgr.) Lunney will be retired and removed within two years albeit quietly and portrayed as a private, spiritual matter.


  8. Victim says:

    As part of his duties at St. Joes, Father O’Keefe was also a guidance counsellor. The Basilian Fathers maintained a cottage on Lac McGregor just north of Ottawa. Victims were sometimes taken to the cottage.

  9. Sylvia says:

    Ah, yes, the clerical cottages in and around Ottawa, and throughout Ontario, and across Canada. If they could only talk.

    A question: Does anyone from St. Joe’s or Pius X know of any connection between Father O’Keefe and the Basilian administered Columbus Boys’ Camp in Orillia?

    Re Cornwall. I hear there were a number of O’Keefe’s in the St. Andrew’s area. Someone thinks there was a priest in one of those O’Keefe families. Can anyone confirm?

  10. Curious says:

    Bingo, Sylvia. O’Keefe was born in Cornwall.

    This is an excerpt from a book written in 1999 by Dale Jacobs called Ice: New Writing on Hockey.

    “Ken O’Keefe is Canadian, born in 1930, in Cornwall, Ontario. His roots are in the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Valleys where he grew in close contact with nature. A typical Canadian lad, he spent his youthful winters on outdoor hockey rinks, imitating Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, dreaming about Maple Leaf Gardens. Ken is a Basilian priest who devoted 25 years teaching high school English and Latin; since 1980 he has been engaged in campus ministry at the University of Western Ontario in London and at the University of Toronto. Gerald Manly Hopkins, Robert Frost and Walt Whitman are some poets who have influenced his writing.”

  11. Sylvia says:

    Way to go Curious. Way to go! I haven’t even read the links yet 🙂

  12. Sylvia says:

    I’ll post this excerpt here for the record, from The Basilian Annals 2006: Vol 11 Number 1:


    Members: Thomas Mohan (Rector), Brian Higgins, Doug Hilmer, Ken O’Keefe

    We have been busy this last year. We gave forty eight retreats. Thirty five of them were school groups, the annual Basilian Associate Retreat and twelve parish retreats. Often we are called to hear confessions in parishes and in schools. The local parish requested that each of us assume care of a school. We visit “our” school frequently and celebrate Mass with them once a month.

    KEN O’KEEFE came to live at the farm last September. KEN is retired from Brescia College, university of Western Ontario. He spends his days writing poetry, reading and praying his Office. KEN still has his beloved dog “Tony” with him.

  13. Sylvia says:

    Here’s the September 2009 reunion:

    Fathers Hod Marshall, Ken O’Keefe and Bill Irwin all there toegther. There’s pictures as well but I don’t know who’s who.

  14. Sylvia says:

    And here it is. Father O’Keefe is indeed from St. Andrew’s West:

    “Nature has been an intimate and
    constant friend all my life.
    Throughout my youth in St.
    Andrews West, a village in Eastern
    Ontario, throughout the fifty years
    whose seasonal faces I have
    experienced in the Gatineau Hills
    north of Ottawa, throughout these
    years Nature has been for me a vital
    bridge to God.
    To hold cluster of newly foliaged
    leaves in Spring spirits my being
    with divine immanence.”
    ~Rev. Ken O’Keefe, CSB

    Ken O’Keefe is a chaplain at
    Brescia University College in
    London, Ontario.

    The above plus “poem” on page 27:

    Father O’Keefe also taught at St. Michael’s Catholic High School in Ottawa:

    One of his former students at St. Michael’s was the current Archbishop of Vancouver, J. Michael Miller csb. Miller had this to say about his former teacher:

    I drew a lot of inspiration from my Basilian teachers. In particular, Father Bob Madden and my Grade 9 teacher, Father Ken O’Keefe, seemed happy. I also remember this one poster they had up, it said, ‘Long hours, hard work, no pay: challenge.’”

  15. PiusGrad says:

    Aardvark’s attempt to blame Father Lunney, or any individual at St Pius at the time, for the deranged actions of Rob Poulin is quite revealing. It is one thing, and the right thing, to deal openly and honestly with the issue of abuse by clergy. It is quite another to attack the character of people who have not been accused of, or proven to have done, anything, by trying to make that person ‘responsible’ for actions not his own.

    I was in the next classroom when Rob Poulin snapped, and nobody, students, teachers and his parents alike, knew what was going on in his mind. There is a nasty vengefulness in Aardvark’s attempts to smear Father Lunney by throwing Poulin’s name into this discussion. It isn’t relevant to the issues on this site, and yet Aardvark wants to throw as much mud as he can at Father Lunney in an attempt to make something stick.

    As well, to blame him for not knowing that Father Keeler was assaulting boys at St Brigid’s is another bit of mud-slinging. I was at St Brigid’s when some of the assaults were occurring and we didn’t know until years later that it had happened. I found out when one of the victims came to me to ask for advice about what to do, as the group of young men had decided they had to do something to prevent Keeler from ever doing it again. Father Lunney was never a part of the ‘group’ that were Keeler’s confreres (such as Bishop Beahen), and it does a disservice to the search for truth to assume malice or knowledge on the part of anyone who happened to cross paths with these predators.

    Unless Aardvark has some evidence showing Father Lunney knew about any of these crimes, he or she should stop defaming him.

  16. PiusGrad says:

    Victim, you are certainly correct about the Basilian retreat house. The bizarre abuse that went on there was something I became aware of at a young age, without really knowing what it all meant. I was 11 and listening in on a conversation between my father and the father of a 15 year old neighbour who had been at a ‘spiritual’ retreat at the Basilian cottage and who had fled a “naked spiritual session” there. I understood, at a gut level, that what I was hearing described was wrong. As events have unfolded and the truth has emerged about some of these priests, what I had heard was confirmed.

    I remember my father being outraged and asking the father of the young man what he planned to do about it, and I remember the awkward silence when the other father didn’t know what to say.

  17. mark billesberger says:

    I am a 52 year old living in Penticton BC. I attended St. Joseph’s High School from 1972-1974 when Father O’keefe was a teacher there. I was invited to one of these “cottages” once by Father Denis April. The invitation came by phone to my home in Ottawa. Thank God my parents said “No”

  18. Sylvia says:

    I wonder if your parents had heard stories? No matter, thankfully they said”No.”

  19. Brunelle Brenda says:

    Where does the Order of St. Basil retire all of their sexual deviants that are residing in Ontario?

    One common location I read over and over again is the Anglin House located in Toronto Ontario on St. Joseph street?

    I am just curious if they moved these guys from their summer cottage to a residence in Toronto.

    This is sickening – and to think this Order was publicly and positively recognized with their policy on dealing with sexual abuse!


  20. mark billesberger says:

    it scares the crap out of me when I stop to think how close I came to becoming a victim

  21. mark billesberger says:

    Interestingly enough, I found Father Denis April on Facebook and was able to establish communication with him. I got up the gumption to send him a message today asking him point blank what would have happened at “the cottage” had I accepted his invitation. Needless to say, I am not holding my breath for a response.

  22. Eve says:

    Has  Msgr Lunney ever been accused of any misconduct?

  23. Catherine Shalen says:

    *Msgr. Lunney probably has not been accused/charged.  Unfortunately when he tried to inappropriately touch me many, many years ago, I was so frightened I didn’t tell anyone.  Afterall, he was our parish priest.

  24. Sylvia says:

    It’s never too late Catherine.  If you feel you have the strength now to do it, get in touch with the Ottawa police.

  25. PJ says:

    Catherine: Sylvia is right, it’s never too late. It took me over 23 years to find the courage to commence the process of laying charges. It won’t be easy but there are many on this website who are supportive.

  26. Catherine Shalen says:

    *Thanks PJ and Sylvia.  This happened 45 years ago and I don’t have the strength to do anything.  I actually thought he was dead.  He still haunts me all these years later.

  27. PJ says:


    It was in 1968 that I was abused and the bastard still haunts me today…don’t let anyone pressure you to step forward or to prevent you from stepping forward. You need to preserve yourself first and take things one day at a time. Just blogging here was a huge step for you I’m sure…and that is something you can be proud of!

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