Abbass: Father Paul Abbass

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Paul J. Abbass

Priest, currently with Diocese of Antigonish, Nova Scotia.  Ordained 1979.  Placed on leave February 2012 after a complaint of some nature was filed against him with the Nova Scotia Department of Community Services.  Abbass had been at Talbot House -  an addictions treatment centre for which he served as Executive Director for the past 17 years – when the compliant was filed.  According to a board member Abbass  over-saw the day-to-day operations of the Talbot House including finances and he did some counselling. Known to some as “the TV priest” because of his work as producer for Mass For Shut-ins.

Media reports 06 March 2012 that all residents of Talbot House are to be discharged and the facility, which was founded in 1959,  will be closing its doors.

On 13 April 2012 police announced that there are no grounds to pursue cahrges against Father Abbass.

15 April 2013:  Talbot House to re-open with Father Paul Abbass as Executive Director

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03 April 2013: Talbot House set to reopen April 15

06 September 2012: Talbot House reinstates priest as director

16 April 2012: Response of the Board of Directors of the Talbot House

April 2012:  Talbot House Organizational Review April 2012 (Nova Scotia Community Services:  Family & Youth Services, Family and Community Supports Division)

April 2012:  Talbot House Organizational Review Suggestions (Appendix to Talbot House Organizational Review April 2012)

13 April 2012: Police announce that there are no grounds to pursue criminal charges (Police drop probe into complaint against C.B. priest)

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Bishops of Antigonish Diocese from time of Father Paul Abbass’ ordination:  William Edward Power (12 May 1960 – 12 December 1986 ); Colin Campbell (12 December 1986 –  26 October 2002); Raymond John Lahey (05 April 2003 – - 26 September 2009); Brian Joseph Dunn (21 Nov 2009 Appointed – )

Bishop of Victoria, BC while Abbass was serving in that diocese:  Remi Joseph De Roo (29 October 1962 – 18 Mar 1999 Retired)

Archbishops of Toronto in time frame Abbass was in Toronto:  Gerald Emmett Carter  (29 April 1978 – 17 March 1990) ; Aloysius Matthew Ambrozic  (17 March 1990 – - 16 December 2006 )

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Father Paul Abbass involvement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

Talbot House (several website pages from 07 March 2012)

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Media coverage and blogs

28 August 2012: “A fair shot” and related articles

24 August 2012: “Talbot House will not apply to reopen” & “Worth saving”

23 August 2012: ‘It’s been just extremely difficult’

12 June 2012: Chair confident Talbot House will reopen

12 June 2012: Talbot House could reopen

12 June 2012:  Cape Breton priest to return to work after complaint

06 June 2012: “More recovery facility reviews planned” & “Department not responsible for Talbot House closure: bureaucrat”

07 March 2012:  BLOG A bit strange

18 February 2012:  BLOG Questions

17 February 2012: LETTER TO THE DIOCESE RE: FATHER PAUL ABBASS

16 February 2012:  BLOG Antigonish Vicar General placed on leave

16 February 2012: Antigonish Diocese Press release regarding Father Paul Abbass

06 March 2010: Community Helps Men Struggling With Addictions

14-16 November 2003:  Father Paul Abbass – annual retreat for the Atlantic Region of the Canadian Catholic Students Association

Undated:  Courses and Staff for Antigonish Diocese workshop on Christian Community Building and Leadership

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Media

18 April 2012: “Priest ‘relieved’ allegations resolved” & other similar articles

? April 2012: Abbass ‘pleased and relieved’ matter resolved

17 April 2012:  Talbot House board fires back

16 April 2012:  BLOG Royal Mess

16 April 2012: Talbot House report released

16 April 2012: N.S. review finds many deficiencies at Talbot House

16 April 2012: Talbot House funding pulled by province

16 April 2012:  “Talbot House board rejects review” & “Talbot House board opposes report”

14 April 2012: “Abbass will not face charges” and other similar articles

13 April 2012:  Cape Breton police drop investigation into complaint against Rev. Paul Abbass

13 April 2012: Police drop probe into complaint against C.B. priest

13 April 2012: No charges in Cape Breton priest’s case

07 March 2012:  Talbot House closure due to director’s departure

07 March 2012:  C.B. addiction centre closing

07 March 2012:  Talbot House closure due to director’s departure

07 March 2012:  Report says Talbot House to shut down

07 March 2012: C.B. addiction centre to close, report says

06 March 2012:  Talbot House closing its doors

06 March 2012:  Talbot House residents to be removed by board

23 February 2012: Talbot House review expected to be complete in a few weeks

23 February 2012: Investigation targets Antigonish priest Fr. Paul Abbass

18 February 2012: Police probe Talbot House complaint

18 February 2012: Ex-resident defends priest as caring, professional

17 February 2012: N.S. Catholics face more turmoil as top priest leaves under cloud

17 February 2012: Former resident made complaint against N.S. priest

17 February 2012: Police probe priest who led rehab centre in Cape Breton

16 February 2012: N.S. priest takes leave after sex, drugs complaint

16 February 2012: Talbot House executive director takes leave of absence after complaint

16 February 2012: Antigonish Diocese Press release regarding Father Paul Abbass

16 February 2012: N.S. priest takes leave after sex, drugs complaint

16 February 2012: Complaint filed against Nova Scotia priest

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, media (M)  CV in online document (CV)

07 March 2012:  News that Talbot House is closing because, according to Board chair John Gainer,  the interim Executive Director replacing Father Paul Abbass, resigned (M)

16 February 2012: Diocesan press release re Father Paul Abbas

03 February 2012:  Father Abbass left the Talbot House property (M)

02 February 2012:  Talbot House board received information from Community Services and met with Abbass that evening (M)

December 2012:  Community Services conducted an organizational review of Talbot Hose.  In the process of the review allegations of some nature regarding Father Abbass were brought to their attention.  (M)

2012: Vicar General of and spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish

The following is posted on the Antigonish website February 2012:

Rev. Paul J. Abbass VG
St. Mary Parish

1769 Frenchvale Road

Frenchvale NS B2A 4E2

Phone: 902 794 2741

Fax: 902 794 2049

Email: pabbass@ca.inter.net

Web Address: www.talbot-house.com

Affiliated Ministries:

- Vicar General
- Director for Pastoral Services
- Diocesan Spokesperson

- Talbot House

- St. Andrew’s, Boisdale

- St. Columba, Iona

- Sacred Heart, MacKinnon’s Harbour

- Holy Rosary, Washabuck

- St. Barra, Christmas Island

- St. Michae1 Parish, Baddeck

Executive Director of Talbot House, an addiction treatment centre for men in Sydney Nova Scotia (served as Executive Director for 17 years) (M)

2011 (?) Board of Directors Prison Fellowship Canada: Serving Life.  Board Member, Chair of Governance and Vice-Chair of the Board (online)

04 May 2011: from Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth website

Statement from Fr. Paul J. Abbass (Antigonish) – May 4, 2011

Diocese of Antigonish

 Alert To Media

The court case of the former bishop of Antigonish, Raymond Lahey is scheduled to commence May 4th, 2011 in Ottawa. Consistent with our policy the Diocese of Antigonish will not be making any comment while this matter is before the courts.

However, at the conclusion of this matter in the courts, Bishop Brian Dunn; Bishop of the Diocese of Antigonish will release a statement and a press conference will be held.

Due to the Bishop’s schedule there will not be other opportunities for further interviews with individual media. Diocesan Spokesperson, Fr. Paul J. Abbass will continue to be available to the media.

Since the Diocese has no knowledge of the length of court matter, the press conference will only be scheduled at the conclusion of the matter before the courts and another alert will follow at that time.

All arrangements for the press conference will be made by the Diocesan Spokesperson, Fr. Paul J. Abbass

His contact information is included in this alert.

Fr. Paul J. Abbass

pabbass@ca.inter.net

(902) 794 – 2741

2010:  Pastor, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Nova Scotia.  Address listed as 1769 Frenchvale Rd., Frenchvale, Nova Scotia (CCCD) – address for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.  Phone 902-784-2741 (St. Mary’s) (CCCD)

Listed as the diocesan contact person for Talbot House.  Contact phone number 902-784-2741 (St. Mary’s) (CCCD)

in charge of Pastoral Services for the diocese (CCCD)

Episcopal Vicar: Pastoral Services – contact address and phone number that of St. Mary’s  in Frenchvale (CCCD)

2009:   In the wake of child pornography charges  against Bishop Raymond Lahey Archbishop Anthony Mancini appointed Father Paul Abbass to serve as spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish (M)

2009:  member of the Association for Safer Cape Breton Communities (online)

25 November 2008: Cape Breton University website lists the following under North Side the Lakes Community Health Board Directory:

Talbot House 1777 Frenchvale Road, Frenchvale B2A 4E2   794-2852    794-2049 (f)    pabbass@ca.inter.net  http://www.talbot-house.com  Rev. Paul Abbass A long term residential recovery house for men with addictions. They have a 17 bed capacity. A minimum commitment of 3 months is required from residents. The average stay is 5-7 months. Per diem (online)

[Talbot House, according to its website, is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish " as a social outreach primarily to addicted men from across Nova Scotia, but serving beyond this area when asked. The only requirement for application to our program is a sincere desire to enter into a healthy recovery from addiction." (online)

14-16 November 2003:  gave a series of presentations at the annual retreat for the Atlantic Region of the Canadian Catholic Students Association.  The retreat, with the theme “Becoming Fully Alive” was hosted by St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish and held at the Bethany Renewal Centre (Antigonish) (online)

2003:  Appointed as course instructor for MNST 140 course “God and the Christian Tradition.”  This is part of the Diploma in Ministry Program offered by St. Francis Xavier University (online)

2002:  address listed as 1769 Frenchvale Rd., Frenchvale, Nova Scotia (CCCD) – address for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.  Phone 902-784-2741 (St. Mary’s)

Listed as the diocesan contact person for Talbot House (CCCD) Contact phone number 902-794-2852  (Talbot House)

2000, 1999:  Pastor at St. Mary’s in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.  Fr. Abbas’ address is listed as RR #2, North Sydney, Nova Scotia = St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Frenchvale, N.S.  His phone number is listed as 902-784-2741. (CCCD) The phone number is that of St. Mary’s.

Listed as the diocesan contact person for Talbot House (CCCD) Contact phone number 902-784-2741 (St. Mary’s)

1998, 1997, 1996, 1995:  Listed as pastor at St. Mary’s in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.  Fr. Abbas’ address is listed as 69 Kings Rd, Sydney, Nova Scotia (CCCD) which is the address for the Office of Religious Education and for Family Service eastern Nova Scotia.  His phone number is listed as 902-539-9596 – phone number for St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia.

1997, 1996:  Listed as contact for Religious Education in the Antigonish Diocese.  (CCCD) Phone number 902-564-5311, that of the Office of Religious Eduction in Sydney, N.S.

was apparently Executive Director of Talbot House during this time frame.  Father Bernard R. MacDonald listed as the contact person in Antigonish Diocese for Talbot House with address in Frenchvale, Nova Scotia) (CCCD)

served as chaplain at UCCCB (CV)

served as director of the diocesan Faith Formation and Education Office (CV)

1994, 1993, 1992:  P.O. Box 5300, Sydney, Nova Scotia.  Ph: 902-539-5300 (CCCD) (Is there a parish which fits that address? I can’t find one.  The phone number is that of the University College of Cape Breton)

1991:  80 Sheppard Ave. East, Willowdale, Ontario (Toronto Catholic District School Board) Ph: 416-222-8282 (phone number of Toronto Catholic District School Board) (CCCD) (this is in the Archdiocese of Toronto, Ontario)

served as staff development officer for the Metropolitan Catholic School Board of Toronto (CV)

prior to heading for Toronto served in Lourdes, Bras d’Or and St. Francis Xavier University Extension Department (CV)

1985-1986:   Our Lady of Lourdes, 112 Foord St., New Glasgow, Nova Scotia (CCCD)

1979 - ?:  served in Victoria, British Columbia (CV)  (What was he doing in Victoria?  Was he perhaps ordained for the Diocese of Victoria?)

1979: ORDAINED (CCCD)

attended St. Paul’s University in Ottawa for seminary formation (CV)

BA from King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia (CV)

Born in Sydney, Nova Scotia (CV)

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N.S. Catholic priest takes leave after complaint

Herald News

February 16, 2012 – 3:03pm

By MARY ELLEN MacINTYRE Cape Breton Bureau

Father Paul Abbass is on leave from his duties with the Diocese of Antigonish after a complaint was filed against him. (LAURA FRASER / Staff / File)Father Paul Abbass is on leave from his duties with the Diocese of Antigonish after a complaint was filed against him. (LAURA FRASER / Staff / File)

A high-ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church and executive director of an addictions centre in Cape Breton has been relieved of his duties while an inquiry is underway.

Father Paul Abbass, who has headed up Talbot House in Frenchvale for 17 years, is the subject of a review after a complaint was made to the Department of Community Services.

The nature of the complaint against Abbass was not made public and it is unknown at this point if police are investigating.

Abbass is parish priest of St Mary’s parish, which is on the grounds of Talbot House, a Sydney-area addictions treatment centre for adult men. He has also taken a leave from his diocese and parish duties, as episcopal vicar and as director of pastoral services for the diocese.

Abbass was appointed by Archbishop Anthony Mancini in 2009 to serve as spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish in the wake of child pornography charges  against former bishop Raymond Lahey.

Contacted by email Thursday afternoon, Abbass declined an interview.

“This is a workplace complaint, the nature of which we do not know,” said Father Donald MacGillivray, speaking on behalf of the diocese during a telephone interview Thursday.

“Everyone needs to be treated fairly, the complainant needs to be treated fairly and so does Father Abbass.”

(mmacintyre@herald.ca)

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Nova Scotia priest steps down from rehabilitation centre job after complaint

The Canadian Press – ONLINE EDITION

Winnipeg Free Press

By: The Canadian Press

Posted: 02/16/2012 1:38 PM

HALIFAX – A priest who heads a rehabilitation centre for recovering addicts in Cape Breton has stepped down after a complaint was filed against him.

Officials with Talbot House said today that Rev. Paul Abbass has taken a leave of absence from his position as executive director of the facility, but offered no details on the nature of the complaint.

The board of directors says in a statement it is investigating the complaint, which they became aware of through the province’s Department of Community Services.

Abbass has also given up his duties as the spokesman for the Diocese of Antigonish, which was led by Bishop Raymond Lahey until he stepped down after being charged with importing child pornography.

Lahey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 months in prison, but was released on probation after getting credit for time served.

Community Services spokeswoman Kristen Tynes says the department and police are looking into the allegation, but wouldn’t elaborate on the complaint.

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Cape Breton priest Paul Abbass put on leave following complaint

Global Maritimes

Thursday, February 16, 2012 3:38 PM

The executive director of Talbot House has been placed on leave following a complaint about his conduct, the Diocese of Antigonish announced Thursday.

Father Paul Abbass served as executive director of the addictions treatment centre for adult men, in the Sydney-area, for the 17 years.

The removal of Abbass from his position at Talbot House, and his diocesan and parish responsibilities, comes after a complaint about workplace-related conduct.

The head of the diocese said the complaint was made to the N.S. Department of Community Services, but did not specify when it was received or any allegations.

Bishop Brian Dunn said the diocese will “co-operate fully” with the department to review and investigate the matter.

“In doing so, we will act with the welfare of everyone involved in mind,” Dunn said. “for the complainant, that means being listened to and having their allegation investigated thoroughly. For parishioners, that means keeping them informed and providing avenues for discussion and dialogue.”

Dunn also said Abbass could expect a “fair, timely and thorough investigation.”

In the meantime, Dunn has appointed Fr. Angus MacDougall as Vicar General and Fr. Agit Kerkeetta to oversee pastoral care for the parishes of Frenchvale (where Talbot House is located), Christmas Island, Iona, Boisdale and Baddeck.

He says the dioceses takes seriously any complaints against a priest.

“It’s always difficult to hear about complaints against priest, but we must encourage that complaints be investigated thoroughly and that the truth be determined.

Read it on Global News: Cape Breton priest Paul Abbass put on leave following complaint

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Former bishop of Antigonish dies after long illness at the age of 80

Cape Breton Post

Published on January 18, 2012

ANTIGONISH, N.S. (CP) — Most. Rev. Colin Campbell, a former bishop of the diocese of Antigonish, has died after a long illness.

He was 80.

Rev. Paul Abbass, a spokesman for the diocese, says Campbell had serious health problems for the past few years and died on Tuesday in Halifax.

Campbell was ordained as a priest in the archdiocese of Halifax in 1956 and was appointed bishop of the diocese of Antigonish in 1986.

He stepped down as bishop of the diocese in 2002.

Abbass says funeral details have not been finalized, but the service will be held at St. Ninian Cathedral in Antigonish.

9 Responses to Abbass: Father Paul Abbass

  1. Sylvia says:

    I’ve added quite a bit of information on Father Abbass. Please take a look and see if you can fill in any of the gaps or explain his whereabouts. For example: why was Abbass in Victoria, BC after ordination? Was he ordained for the Diocese of Victoria? Does anyone know?

    Also, what took Father Abbass off to work with the school board in Toronto? I have no when he headed off to Toronto and how long he remained. I know only that he was was listed as being there in the 1991 church Directory and reference is made to his time there in a short cv.

    Also, how much money was flowing to Talbot House annually? I haven’t had a chance to look for those records which should be available online – if anyone has the time to do so and relay the word it would be much appreciated.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Yes, according to the Cape Breton Post it’s in the range of $42,000 annually. Then there are also donations. And there is the monies paid by residents/’clients’ themselves. And the facility is ‘sponsored’ by the Antigonish Diocese so there may well have been monies flowing from there.

    I got thinking about finances because of this para in the 06 March 2010 Atlantic Catholic article “Community Helps Men Struggling With Addictions“:

    “Even though many of the clients are assisted in paying for the $1,000-a month-program through the Department of Community Services, Workers’ Compensation or their work’s insurance company, there is often a budget deficit at Talbot House that can be overcome through personal donations.”

    • 1 abandoned sheep says:

      Sylvia, I noticed they did not have as many employees as they say on their web-page. I think they claimed a much higher number.

  3. Sylvia, this just out, http://snapnb.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/talbot-house-residents-to-be-removed-by-board/ they are kicking out the 14 clients still at the talbot house. This is just another example of the victims getting the shaft.

  4. Bridget says:

    I think it is very unfair for you to have father abbass’s name associated with this page. Just because someone said something about him doesn’t mean it is true. It was investigated and proved that there was no value to any compaint.

  5. 1yellowknife says:

    Briget: Provide Sylvia with any print information which confirms your claim. If from valid source, she will likely add. I know nothing about this story, but have seen developments in other instances which lead me to suggest that any new information would be welcomed.

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