Buckley: Father Mark Buckley

Share Button

Father Mark Buckley, St. Mary’s Parish Directory 1995









Mark Buckley

Mark Patrick Buckley

Priest, Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario.  Ordained  05 August 1988

Frequented gay bars and clubs.  Well known in the gay and lesbian community in the Peterborough area.

Borrowed over $200,000 from a widow.  It was the widow’s nest egg.  The money was never repaid.  After suing the diocese she was given – from the diocese, not Father Buckley – a  small portion of the sum owed her by Father Buckley.

Charges laid in relation to funds missing from St. Mary’s Church in Grafton, Ontario.  When things got nasty in the diocese he was sent off to OISE to get qualifications to teach.  After his time at OISE – and despite a warrant out for his arrest – headed off to and was received into the Diocese of Calgary Alberta by Bishop Fred Henry  to teach in Catholic schools and serve in parishes as a priest.  A few years later, after word got out publicly that Father Buckley was a wanted man, the charges  were withdrawn, and that after Bishop Doyle told authorities he had given Buckley permission to use parish funds.

In Vancouver December 1982 was found guilty on  theft charges and given six months probation and a fine.  A charge of stolen property was stayed

Breeds Chinchillas


November 2000:  Friends in High Places.


 24 November 2017 – released 21 September 2018:   decision of Professional Conduct Committee of the Alberta Teachers Association to cancel Buckley’s teaching certificate and declare that he is “permanently ineligible” for membership in Alberta Teachers’ Association

  The Alberta Teachers Association Report of the Hearing Committee of the Professional Conduct Committee in the Matter of Charges of Unprofessional Conduct against Mark Patrick Buckley Sept 2018  (APA)


October 2018:  Principal loses teaching certificate after keeping school like a ‘petting zoo,’ having sexual encounter in a classroom

May 2018:  After years teaching young people in Alberta,  back to Peterborough, Ontario where he has opened a restaurant

30 August 2018:  Restaurant patio a Chipmunk 401


November 2017:  News that Buckley has been  charged with four counts of unprofessional conduct under the Teaching Profession Act (M)   Included are allegations that Mark Patrick Buckley had  a sexual encounter in the music room of West Dover Elementary School (Alberta) on a weekend, and that he housed  animals for three years in an unsafe “zoo-like environment” throughout the school.


19 May 2000:  Okotoks priest faces fraud charge:  warrant issued in Ontario for  Fr. Mark Buckley (scroll down page for text version)

02 November 1998:  Barb MacKerrow letter to Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic

June 1997:  The Audit – Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  Grafton Ontario ( also known as St. Mary’s) 

26 October 1995:  Minutes of St Marys Parish Council meeting 26 October 1995

1993:  Father Buckley in undated newspaper article – probably late summer or early Fall 1993, just after he moved to Grafton, Ontario


01 December 2016:  BLOG A little more information

11 October 2011:  BLOG  Any ideas?

16 June 2011:  BLOG  Quite interesting

13 May 2011:  BLOG May she rest in peace

19 March 2010:  BLOG  You tell me

17 March 2010:  BLOG The Bishop did “due diligence”?


Unless otherwise indicated the following information is drawn from copies of the Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, media (M)  Friends in High Places (F) and personal knowledge (P)

May 2018:  Opened “Simply Delicious,” a restaurant in Peterborough Ontario (M)

24 November 2017:  Professional Conduct Committee of the Alberta Teachers’ Association found Father Mark Patrick Buckley guilty of four charges of unprofessional conduct ( (APA)

“during the 2010/2011 and/or the 2011/2012 school year(s), inaccurately coded students for special needs funding, thus failing to maintain the honour and dignity of the profession, contrary to article 18 of the Code of Professional Conduct.”

“in the 2010/2011 and/or the 2011/2012 school year(s), inaccurately coded students for special needs funding with no assessments to document the students’ needs, thus failing to treat pupils with dignity and respect and to be considerate of their circumstances, contrary to article 4 of the Code of Professional Conduct.” (one witness at the hearing said that she believed that Buckley committed fraud, and that this was the first time she had received ‘a fraudulent claim for coded students.”

“during the period of school years 2008/09 through 2011/12, failed to provide due consideration to the health impacts that housing animals in West Dover School would have on students and staff, thus failing to treat students and staff with dignity and respect, contrary to section 23(1) of the Teaching Profession Act.”

“during the period of school years 2008/09 through 2011/12, brought another adult into West Dover School’s music room for the purpose of a sexual encounter, thus failing to maintain the honor and dignity of the profession, contrary to article 18 of the Code of Professional Conduct.”

06 November 2018:  Professional Conduct Committee of the Alberta Teachers’ Association hearings into charges of unprofessional conduct against Mark Patrick Buckley   (APA)

November 2017:  Email to Diocese of Peterborough asking if Father Buckley has been

laicized, and, if yes, when?

November 2017:  News that Buckley has been  charged with four counts of unprofessional conduct under the Teaching Profession Act (M)   Included are allegations that Mark Patrick Buckley had  a sexual encounter in the music room of West Dover Elementary School on a weekend, and that he housed  animals for three years in an unsafe “zoo-like environment” throughout the school.

11 June 2017:  Judge at Rabbit Show, Millbrook Fair , Ontario (Millbrook is close to Peterborough, Ontario)




2015, 2012:  Not listed in index of CCCD (CCCD)

April 2012:  Went on medical leave (M)

“After Buckley went on a medical leave in April 2012, Yee and facilities staff found leaking hoses, caged animals living in classrooms, odiferous egg incubators in the principal’s office, and bird feces “all over the couch and the walls” in a room where staff prepared breakfast and lunch for the school nutrition program, Yee said.”

(Scroll down page for article)

2010-2012:  Principal at West Dover School, Calgary, Alberta

01 March 2012:  West Dover Principal Mark Buckley scrambles eggs at Calgary Board of Education breakfast for students.  The breakfast was prepared by representatives from the Boys and Girls Club of Calgary FANS program, the Breakfast Clubs of Canada and the Calgary Board of Education. (Click here for external link to article)

 December 2011, Dianne Yee, an area director for the Calgary Board of Education, visited West Dover and, according to media reports,  said that the hallways were cluttered with algae-filled fish tanks, furniture, dying wall plants and hazardous electrical cords.

Winter 2011:  one his prize-winning rabbits (  Buck Gone Wild Minuet)

May 2011:  President of the Edmonton Area Rabbit Society ( The Edmonton Area Rabbit Society)

29 April 2011Barb MacKerrow dies, in her 87th year.

 – Prior to her death, and only as a result of a protracted lawsuit,  she received a small settlement from the Diocese of Peterborough.  The settlement was, she said, a small portion of what was owed.  She opted to settle rather than go to trial only because she was tired, her health was deteriorating and she wanted a little money to leave behind for her grandchildren (P)

19-20 February 2011:  Wetaskiwin, Alberta Live Rabbit Auction (page from The Canadian Rabbit Hopping Club newsletter, January-February 2011)

January 2011:  Mark Buckley Principal of West Dover School , Calgary, Alberta ( West Dover School Newsletter – with message from the Principal)

2011:  Principal West Dover School, Calgary, Alberta (  West Dover School newsletter)

2010:  Principal West Dover School, Calgary, Alberta (M)  West Dover is a K-6 school

2011:  Name is listed in index.  No address. (CCCD)

2007:  Was Mark Buckley ever Principal at William Roper Hull Homes in Calgary ?  There is a Mark Buckley who was Principal in 2007.

October 2018:  Yes.  according to Buckley was Principal at William Roper Hull School.  The school was a decicated special needs school.   It is unknown what dates he worked as Principal at William Roper.

03 March 2004:   Sylvia letter to Bishop Nicol De Angelo, Bishop f Peterborough Diocese,  expressing concerns re Barb MacKerrow’s financial well-being.  The letter was sent by registered mail.  No response.  A follow up letter sent 04 May 2004 was likewise ignored.

May 2002:  Working for a fertilizer company – I think the company was in Calgary?

2002:  Name is listed in directory index.  No address. (CCCD)

 2002:    in Edmonton Alberta.  Working as Program Manager with Alberta Learning – developing Career and Life Management Guide to Implementation (Buckley Alberta Learning).

 – while with Alberta Learning was also assisting at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Sherwood, Alberta.  When Monsignor Hamilton learned of Father Buckley’s background, Buckley was gone. (P)   In order to assist at the church Father Buckley had to have been given “faculties” by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Edmonton, Alberta, Thomas Christopher Collins.

Fall 2001:   In Edmonton Alberta working for Alberta Learning (   Page 3 from Wellspring Fall 2001)

– applied for a teaching position in Grande Prairie, Alberta (P)

– Buckley claims  Barb MacKerrow was in love with him and that is why she  gave him the money.

September 2001:  Our Lady of the Snows opens in Canmore Alberta.  Father Buckley was to be Principal.  The school was located on the grounds of public school.  When the public school learned of Father Buckley’s past they refused to work with him (P)

December 2000:  Buckley lawyer threats legal action after publication of “Friends in High Places”

08 September 2000:  Bishop Doyle denies that he  gave Father Buckley permission to use parish funds for his own use (F)  A few days later the investigating officer confirmed that Bishop Doyle said that he gave Father Buckley permission to use parish funds for his, Buckley’s,  own use, (F)   And a few days later the Crown attorney said that he stood by the statement he made in court (see below)

– gone from Catholic schools boards and churches in Diocese of Calgary Alberta.   On to Edmonton Alberta where he secured a job in curriculum development with Alberta Learning

25  July 2000 online:    Okotoks Lottery Dream Home for sale for  $199,900

24 July 2000:   Charges against Father Buckley withdrawn (transcript)

Crown D. Thomson:  “…This is a situation in which the O.P.P. received a compliant from various parishioners in a Catholic parish within the county that the priest has been taking parish monies and using them for his own purposes.  The O.P.P. after an extensive investigation, caused a charge to laid and a warrant to be issued for the parish priest.  After that occurred in May of this year for the first time the bishop [James L. Doyle]  granted police an interview and at  that time told police that the parish priest had his authority to to use parish monies for his personal use.

“As a consequence of that information being received it is our view that there is no longer a reasonable prospect of conviction and I am asking that the charge be marked withdrawn.”

21 June 2000:  Father Mark Buckley won the Foothills Community Centre home lottery fund-raiser – a home valued at $240,00 (F)

05 June 2000Let us prey: The Calgary Catholic diocese is sheltering a priest wanted for fraud

27 May 2000: Three weeks after Father Buckley was hired to work  for the Christ the Redeemer School District he was on his way back to Ontario, on a leave of absence.   Superintendent Ron Wallace , who said he was aware of of “the financial difficulties”  Father Buckley was in before he was hired, said:  “We have given him time to resolve the situation. We will not get involved and we do not believe he has committed a crime.”  Bishop Doyle is quoted as saying:   “we do not want the charge pursued.” (M)

 19 May 2000:   news of outstanding warrant is out publicly in Calgary (Calagary Herald, Okotoks priest faces fraud charge” – scroll down).

May 2000:   Bishop Doyle talks to police for the first time (See above)

19 May 2000:   news of outstanding warrant is out publicly in the Calgary Herald (“Okotoks priest faces fraud charge” – scroll down).

May 2000:  employed in curriculum division  of Christ the Redeemer School District in Okotoks, Alberta.(M)

09 December 1999Congregation for Clergy to Barb MacKerrow

August 1999-April 2000:   teaching at Okotokos’ Holy Trinity School. Okotoks Alberta (M)

 – On weekends ‘says’ Saturday 7 pm and Sunday 10:30 am Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Canmore Alberta. He also said Mass on occasion at St. Bernard’s in Exshaw.(F)

August 1999-April 2000 school :  Employed by Calgary Roman Catholic School District No. 1 (CRCSD)

 – taught at Holy Trinity Academy and some time during the year became Principal, – also taught at St. Mary’s School, and Good Shepherd in Okotoks (F)

09 December 1999:  Congregation for Clergy letter of reply to Barb MacKerrow, which reads in part:  “We thank you for the information provided and note that youy are in contact with appropriate local authorities.”  (Congregation for Clergy response)

October 1999:  Father Buckley is part of movement to see the creation  of a new Catholic school board for Canmore (M)

22 September 1999:  Apostolic Nuncio Paolo Romeo letter of reply to Barb MacKerrow.  (“Your correspondence is hereby acknowledged…

September 1999:  Appointed to Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Canmore, Alberta (M)(two pages from Carillon September 1999)

10 September 1999:  Barb MacKerrow sends letters and documentation regarding the fraud charges to the Nuncio and Congregation for the Clergy and tells them that despite the fraud charges  Bishop Henry permitted Father Buckley to continue to function as a priest and teacher in the Calgary Diocese (F)

Fall 1999:  hired by Christ the Redeemer Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 3 (CRCSRD) serving Okotoks and the Archdiocese of Calgary

18 August 1999 Barb MacKerrow to Buckley lawyer re attached letter that Buckley “now fears for his safety” and “feels he is being stalked by you.”


06 July 1999Buckley lawyer exchange with Barb MacKerrow re contacting OISE

02 July 1999Letter from Lawyer to Barb MacKerrow threatening legal action if she doesn’t “cease and desist: contacting people regarding “any perceived difficulties you have with Father Mark”‘

1998-1999 School year:  Employed by Calgary Roman Catholic School District No. 1 (CRCSD) (Summer 1998 – June 1998)

– contract not renewed (F)

– Barb MacKerrow contacted the school board superintendent.  The school board contacted detective in Ontario regarding the fraud charges.  Father Buckley told Detective Constable O’Hallaran that  he was going to turn himself in.

– counseling students at Ascension of Our Lord school, and eventually also assisting at St. Anthony Roman Catholic Church, Drumheller, Alberta (F)

January 1999:  Bishop Fred Henry to Barb McKerrow

31 December 1998:  fraud charges against Mark Patrick Buckley were sworn to (these related solely to the Father Buckley’s utilisation of funds at St. Mary’s and were laid on behalf of the parishioners.  When the charges were laid a few days later, a warrant was issued for his arrest.  The warant could be executed only within a 50-100 mile radius of Peterborough  (F)

02 November 1998:    Barb MacKerrow letter to Cardinal Aloysius Ambrozic

 – widow Barb MacKerrow wrote to Cardinal Ambrozic explaining that Father Buckley had phoned her in July asking that she she contact Cardinal Amrozic on Buckley’s behalf.   She said Father Buckley explained that he wanted to apply for position with the Toronto Separate School Board  but in order to get position he required approval of Cardinal Archbishop Aloysius Ambrozic.  According to Barb, Buckley said that Ambrozic would not grant approval because of Buckley’s “questionable activities.”  Buckley asked Barb to write to the Archbishop, telling her that that then he,  Father Buckley, would be able to get a job and pay her back the monies he owed her.  Barb, trusting that the monies owed would finally be forthcoming, complied.

July 1998:  Father Buckley phoned Barb MacKerrow (see above)

Fall 1997-Summer 1998:  OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)

Spring 1998:  Parish committee was formed – they turned to the Nuncio to asking, amongst other things, how they could retrieve monies that Father Buckley “had swindled from an older widow.”

1998:  Index gives address as Toronto (CCCD)  (this would have been when he was studying at OISE)

30 October 1997Minutes of St. Mary’s Finance Committee meeting (After Father Buckley’s departure)

 -discusses financial situation at the parish

28 October 1997Bishop Doyle letter to parishioners at St Marys

Bishop Doyle advised St. Mary’s finance committee that “good comes out of evil” – gives example that auditing and accounting procedures throughout the diocese had been changed “to ensure that this sort of thing can never happen again.” (F)

Fall 1997:  in  Toronto to attain education/teaching credentials at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – University of Toronto) – spent some of his free time working with the University’s credit union (F)

– when Father Buckley left St. Mary’s the parish account was overdrawn by $109,000 (F)  He was driving a jade green Maxima registered in his mother’s name (P)

30 July 1997:  Meeting of the St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church Finance Committee

August 1993 – 1997:  Pastor, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Grafton, Ontario (Assumption of BVM is also referred to as St. Mary’s)

(apart from his pet shops Father Buckley had acquired a menagerie of pets since his arrival at St. Mary’s, including horses, rabbits, turkeys, angora goats purebred Dobermans and lots of birds) (F)

30 May 1997:  The Examiner reports the bankruptcy:   (Catholic trustee owes $382500 :Father Mark Buckley declares bankruptcy)  Buckley currently “on leave” plans to attend teacher’s college for a year starting in the Fall but refused to say where (M)

Initially parishioners’ pleas to have their bankrupt priest removed fell on deaf ears. By end March sufficient numbers had banded together to freeze the collection plate:  Father Buckley was gone. (F)

04 March 1997:  Father Mark Buckley declared personal bankruptcy.  His official debt included

 – $202,000 (actually $208,000) to Barbara MacKerrow;

 – $12,000 to his mother;

 –  $18,000 to Nissan Canada for his 1995 Nissan Maxima;

 – $60,800 to the Royal Bank of Canada’

 –  $10,000 to the Diocese of Peterborough (Bishop Doyle wound not specify what this entailed – told local media it was “expenses incurred”)


 – since January 1997 continued to dip into parish funds to the tune of $6,929.27 (F)

02 March 1997:  sale (closing) at Miracle of Pets.(F)

28 February 1997:  sale (closing) held at Fish N’ Critters.  Store closed. (F)

 –  early February 1997:   days after his return from Mexico Barb had Father Buckley served a Statement of Claim to register the loans (F)

– three week holiday in Mexico (F)

–  for at least 17 months had been quietly dipping into parish funds, writing cheques to himself, depositing funds into his own account, paying down his credit cards, and buying food for his pets.  One cheque, for example,  was for $3,424 to buy a horse, and another for $1,195 was to buy a saddle. (F)

1997:  Pastor, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Grafton (CCCD)

1996:  Pastor, St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (CCCD)

December 1996:  dressed as Santa Claus entertains at Trax V, a Toronto gay bar (F)

c September 1996:  said he needed $30,00 to cover an overdraft.  Barb had just sold her home.  She felt sorry for Father Buckley.  She loaned him the money. (F)

– some time during the year purchased and furnished a cottage on Little Lake, Ontario, helped his friend “Darryl”, a homosexual drag queen, open and decorate  a beauty salon, actively applying for jobs in the private sector, assisted a parishioner who opened a restaurant in Grafton – he hired the cook and then housed the man in the parish rectory (F)

 – sometime during year applied for position as Chaplin at Bowmanville Catholic High School (F)

June 1996:  buys $26 tube of lipstick for his gay Drag Queen friend “Darryl.”

March 1996:  told parishioners that he was going on retreat in Ottawa, but instead headed to Mexico (F)

1996:   some time after after his January trip to Mexico went on a two-week trip to Hong King, Hawaii, San Francisco.  On return from Hawaii smuggled an exotic lizard into Canada.  The lizard was concealed under his shirt. (F) FAther Buckley ws cash-strapped.  he asked Barb MacKerro, the widow, to mortgage her home to lend him $50,000.  Barb refused. *F)

January 1996:  Shopping for a nipple earring on Church Street, Toronto (F)

 – to Mexico for a one-week vacation (F)

 – dipping into parish funds (F)

1996:  listed as member of diocesan Marriage Tribunal “Rev. Mark Buckley JCL, PH” with Rev. Monsignor C. O’Donaghue (CCCD)

26 October 1995Minutes of St Marys Parish Council meeting 26 October 1995

Page 2- concerns were addressed regarding Father Buckley operating pet shops.  Father Buckley explained that he had sought and received permission from the bishop to open the shops.  Buckley also said that this would provide for him in his retirement and that he needed an outside interest to help balance his life and to serve the parish.

21 October 1995:  Grand opening of Miracle of Pets, Father Buckley’s second pet shop (F)  (Miracle of Pets grand opening flier)

(widow Barbara MacKerrow loaned Father Buckley a total of $185,000 to open the two pet shops).

(Below, Image from 1995 St. Mary’s Parish Directory – Click on image to enlarge)

May 1995:  – opened his first pet store, Fish N’Critters

1994:  Pastor,  St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Grafton (CCCD)

 – On Marriage Tribunal, listed as “Rev. Mark Buckley JCL, PH” – with Rev. Monsignor C. O’Donaghue (CCCD) (JCL stands for Licentiate in Canon Law)

 – listed as in charge of Vocations (CCCD)

 –  ran for and was elected school trustee for the separate school board

August 1993:  Pastor at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Grafton  (T) and Str. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church, Colborne, Ontario (M)

 – Judicial Vicar for the Diocese.  According to newspaper report is in process of completing his PhD in Canon Law (I don’t believe he ever completed it)

c 1993:  Pastor at  Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Church in Hastings, Ontario.  Arrived with three young male friends.  On his arrival there was $20,000 in the parish account.  Renovated the rectory.  Fundraiser to cover reno costs.  After reno done Father Buckley begab to express an interest in St. Mary’s in Grafton.  Seven months after his arrival at Mount Carmel he was off to St. Mary’s in Grafton.  When he left, the bank account was depleted (F).

1993:  190 Lees Ave., Ottawa, Ontario   Ph: 613- 565-3702 (CCCD) This is a high Rise apartment building which is close to St. Paul University, Ottawa.  Probably studying canon law?

1991:  93 Westlake Ave., Toronto, Ontario (CCCD) (I think he was working on Marriage Tribunal for Archdiocese of Toronto?)


pent one year at St. Peter’s Seminary in London and then completed his seminary formation in Rome.  One of his professors at St. Peter’s was Father Fred Henry.  Henry was the Bishop of the Diocese of Calgary Alberta who, in

– while he was a university student was hired by then Bishop James Doyle to do office work.  One of his tasks was to interview Catholics seeking marriage annulments (F)  (Father Martin Wain was Director of the Marriage Tribunal from the early 80s.  )

01 December 1982:   Vancouver B.C.  – faced two or three charges of of theft under $5,000 and one charge of stolen property.  He was found guilty on the theft charges and given six months probation and a fine;  the charge of stolen property was stayed.

15 March 1962:  DOB


Former principal accused of ‘fraud,’housing animals and having sex in school

Edmonton Journal

07 November 2017

Janet French


Ex-principal accused of unprofessional conduct

Calgary Herald

09 November 2017

Janey French


School meal programs help kids learn

Calgary Herald

26 August 2010

Cara Casey


High River teacher faces fraud charge

Calgary Herald

27 May 2000

Howard Salkow


Okotoks priest faces fraud charge: Warrant issued in Ontario for Fr. Mark Buckley

Calgary Herald

19 May 2000

Joe Woodard

5 Responses to Buckley: Father Mark Buckley

  1. Sylvia says:

    This link was forwarded to me re the Alberta Teacher’s Association’s discipline process.

    Interesting information for those who are keeping an eye on this. Note that a written decision will be released within 60 days. That decision is available free of charge upon request. I believe that puts the decision into the New Year?

  2. Jack C. says:

    One point of clarification. Mark Patrick Buckley received his Bachelor of Education from OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto), not OECTA (Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association). The former is a degree-granting institution through which one may gain one’s teaching credentials; the latter is the union representing teachers employed by a Catholic school board in Ontario.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Thanks Jack. Corrected. A typo.

  4. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    Such a fine upstanding example of a Roman Catholic priest! His bishops must be so proud! Mike.

  5. Anonymous says:


    You can see in the attachment to the article that Mark Patrick Buckley was principal at William Roper Hull School. It is noted that this is a dedicated special needs school. Also noted is that West Dover School has a high immigrant population, which is less likely to challenge authority figures.

    Buckley was a spokesman for William Roper Hull Homes in 2007, when a teen was strangled to death by her mother.


Leave a Reply