Barbour: Father Joseph Barbour

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Joseph Barbour (Father Joseph Barbour)

Barbour pic Chaplain 1980 cropped

Father Barbour, Chaplain at St. Bonaventure School, 1980 ( picture from St 1980 Adelphian)

Joseph D. Barbour

priest, Diocese of St. John’s Newfoundland.  Ordained 1963.  Charged 1990 – offences related to allegations of abuse of a male in St. Mary’s Bay, 1986.  Outcome of charges unknown.

November 2012 a blogger on Sylvia’s Site named “Gary” alleged sexual abuse by Father Barbour.


26 August 2013:  Died, age 76.  Obituary from

Fr. Joseph D. Barbour

Passed on: August 26th, 2013

Passed away at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home on Monday, August 26, 2013. Fr. Joseph D. Barbour age 76 years. Leaving to mourn one sister Lurley Browne of Kilbride and a large circle of nieces, nephews and many close friends including the residents of St. Patrick’s Mercy Home. Fr. Barbour recently celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination to the priesthood. Resting at St. Patrick’s Mercy Home Chapel on Tuesday, August 27 from 2-8 p.m. and at Caul’s Funeral Home Chapel, LeMarchant Road on Wednesday, August 28 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. from the Basilica of St. John the Baptist presided by Archbishop Martin Currie. Interment to follow in the priests plot in Belvedere Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to a charity of one’s choice.

2012, 2010: address in St. John’s, Newfoundland

2002:  address on Hazelwood Cresc,, St. John’s, Newfoundland

2000, 1999, 1997, 1995, 1996, 1994:  address listed as 385 Topsail Rd., A1E 2B7.   709-745-5781

1993, 1992, 1991: address and phone number same as that for Diocesan Centre ( P.O. Box 1363.  709- 726-3660)

1990:  CHARGED

1985-1986: Pastor:  Assumption Church, St. Mary’s Bay (address  Assumption Presbytry, St. Mary’s Bay)

1980Father Joseph Barbour Chaplain at St Bons School, St. John’s

1973-74, 1971:  Pastor: Our Lady of Mount Carmel church, St. Mary’s Bay, Newfoundland – with missions in Colinet, North Harbour, Harricott, , H.M. Prison Camp, John’s Pond, Mitchell’s Brook, St. Catherine’s, The Tickles.

1968-69, 1967:  address in index listed as “The Palace,” St. John’s Newfoundland.  “The Palace” is listed elsewhere as the address for Mary Queen of Peace in St. John’s, however traditionally “the Palace” in a diocese refers to the bishop’s quarters affiliated with the Cathedral church of the diocese.  Bishop of the day was Patrick James Skinner.


Canadian Press

August 28, 1990  16.48 EDT

ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. (CP)

Another Newfoundland Roman Catholic priest has been charged with sexual assault.

Rev. Joseph Barbour of the Placentia Bay area was charged in connection with an incident involving a male in 1986 in a parish in St. Mary’s Bay, Nfld.

Insp. Larry Warren said Tuesday that Barbour appeared in court on Friday and was released. He is scheduled to reappear in court on Oct. 18.

Barbour was relieved of his duties at St. Francis Xavier parish in the Long Harbour‑Southern Harbour area of Placentia Bay by Archbishop Alphonsus Penney.

Penney issued a statement Sunday saying he took the action after Barbour informed him of the charge.

More than 20 priests, former priests and other men within the Newfoundland Catholic community have been charged or convicted of sex offences involving young boys.

A damning report by a church‑sponsored inquiry into sexual abuse by clergy prompted Archbishop Alphonsus Penney to offer his resignation last month.

The report, written by former Newfoundland lieutenant governor Gordon Winter, said Penney was largely to blame for allowing abuse to continue despite complaints from parents, social workers and police.

There has so far been no response from the Vatican on Penney’s offer to resign.

28 Responses to Barbour: Father Joseph Barbour

  1. gary says:

    I was touched by father barbour back in the 80’s in his office of the church,can this still be reported ?I was also sexually touched by a teacher at st.pat’s back in the 70’s,can this be reported?

  2. Sylvia says:

    It is never too late to report. In Canada there is no statute of limitations on allegations of criminal activity.

    I don’t know where you live, but, contact your local police or RCMP – they will take it from there. Since you plan to report don’t tell us any more about your allegations – (that could interfere with the criminal process), but please do keep us abreast of what you do.

    Good luck Gary. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. Gary says:

    I am ashamed to tell anyone that Fr Barbour abused me along with this teacher at St.Pats

    • Baspuit says:

      You did nothing WRONG when you were a child and are doing nothing wrong today: in denouncing these perverts!
      As Einstein said; The world is a dangerous place to live in, not because of those who do harm, but because of those who sit and do nothing!
      Hope this gets you on the path of the truth and healing process.
      We are all behind you, don’t forget!

  4. Sylvia says:

    The shame is his, not yours Gary. Please don’t carry and be weighed down by his/their shame. Put it where it belongs. It’s his/ theirs. not yours. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You were a child. Don’t be afraid to speak up Gary. Don’t be ashamed.

  5. Mike Fitzgerald says:

    If you need help with this, ask for it. I know your pain, guilt and shame. I’ve lived it, as so many others on Sylvia’s site have.
    We’re all pulling for you. Don’t ever be afraid to tell the truth. Mike.

  6. PJ says:

    As one who has a similar history to you, I too felt shame at “allowing” a collar to do this to me. After 20 years of suffering, I came forward and my healing began. It doesn’t happen overnight but believe me, when you realize you were not alone and begin to place the shame and blame where it belongs (on that church and it’s pervert collars), you begin to see the light. The value of this website and it’s supporters will be a goldmine to you in your battle against them. I thank the many who have supported me and continue to do so.I believe you will discover the same support will come to you. Hang in there.

  7. Gary says:

    Was at a local store today buying some items and as God as my witness the teacher that sexual touched me was infront of me,he looked at me a few times and just steared out of the corner of his eyes while infront of me,after some time,he returned the item to the wrong area of the store and left very quick,it made me f**kin sick to my stomach,sorry,but it did.

    • Sylvia says:

      That must have been very unsettling for you Gary. But, even though the encounter made you feel sick to your stomach, you got through the moment and are able to talk about it. You are stronger than you think you are. And don’t forget, he’s the one who left, not you.

      Remember Gary, you can go to police at any time, and never ever forget, you have nothing to be ashamed of – the shame belongs to your molesters. Get it off your shoulders Gary. Put it where it belongs.

      My thoughts and prayers are with you.

      • Gary says:

        I sent off a message on Crime Stoppers web-site about what my isssues were with this teacher,but I didn’t give my name cause I was ashamed…at least I am making some steps towards my problem I guess..they told me in a email that I would have to come in and make a formal complaint!!!

        • Sylvia says:

          Keep at it Gary. You’re getting there. Bit by bit you are going to overcome that shame which is his, not yours. Keep reminding yourself of that. Do it over and over again. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

  8. PJ says:

    They were right in giving you that advice. I was given the same advice in the late 80s when I came forward. I remember thinking that I couldn’t do it but the fact that I broke the silence convinced me the time was right. Follow your heart my friend.

  9. JG says:

    Just another voice to lend you support. You have taken the important step of breaking the “silence”!…

    If he/they were the thieves who had just stolen your wallet and were running down the sidewalk with your grocery, your rent money, you’d probably screams out just that and people ahead would try and tackle the “thieves” and get your property back. You would feel no shame, no guilt…just relief and peace of mind!
    Get back what is yours from those thieves! Let them carry the shame!
    Have a safe and courageous journey back home, one determined step at a time!
    I and everyone on the sidewalk, ahead, is cheering for you.

    • jj says:


      I just want to add another voice to JG, PJ, and Sylvia… Yes, it’s tough to come forward… I still have butterflies in my stomach as I go through the process… but I KNOW that this is all part of the healing… and that I will be much better once I’ve freed myself from this burden.

      Congratulations for this HUGE first step!!! That first phone call is the hardest – like taking that first step! Just remember that you are NOT alone, that there are OTHERS who understand what you’re going through, and that you must NOT be ashamed for what someone else did to you. I really love JG’s analogy of someone stealing your wallet – except that what this guy did was much worse!

      Courage, strength, and peace… these are my wishes for you, Gary.


  10. Gary says:

    Hello Guys,I am really thinking hard these days about walking into the RNC’s Police headquarters and filing a complaint against this x teacher that I had back in the late 70’s,wush me luck please..god bless!!!

    • Jean-Louis says:

      I’m wishing you luck, Gary… courage, strength, and peace of mind… as everyone above said before, YOU did not do anything wrong here – HE did.

      I encourage you to take care of the little boy you once were. This has helped me to overcome the sadness I feel when I think back at what happened – I’m reaching back and taking care of the “little me” from way back – and it will pay off for the “present me” of today.

      Thoughts are with you as you move forward.


    • Sylvia says:

      You have been wrestling with this for several months Gary. I think you have decided that this is what you must do – now it’s a case of actually doing it, of heading out your door to the police station.

      My thoughts and prayers, and I know those of many others, are with you Gary.

  11. Leona says:

    Gary, as someone who’s taken that solo walk in to police headquarters, my thoughts are with you. It takes courage and strength to do what you are doing, but it is important work that will keep children safe and help victims heal.

  12. PJ says:

    As another who has made that “journey”, my thoughts and prayers are with you too.

  13. Survive & Thrive says:

    My heart goes out to you too, Gary. Trust your instincts but don’t feel you must do anything until you are really ready. You will know when you are ready.
    You can also (as I did) request to talk with a lawyer for a (free) consultation about your options in terms for a civil claim. In fact, I spoke with several before deciding to go forward. In my case I went the civil route in order to hold the church accountable too. It’s good to have a clear idea of your options. And it can be a low-risk opportunity to run through what it feels like to tell your story.
    What a horrible thing it is to unexpectedly see your abuser. I can relate. I was so impacted that I still am working through PTSD about it. Hope you know that your feelings were normal reactions to that kind of incredible stress.
    From what I hear from others, your initial statement to police is key. In the Jacobs trial the defense lawyer pointed out contradictions in testimony because a survivor later remembered more/different details. Have others experienced this? What’s it like to make a statement? Do the police let you keep it simple in that first statement or do they want all the details?
    Gary- if there is any friend or family member you can ask to accompany you, please consider it. It is very scary at first to share the secret when you are still bearing the abuser’s shame, but the support is so important. But we each find our own way through. You will find your own way through this into a new life free of this burden!

  14. PJ says:

    The police will ask you to write all the details you remember and then they might question some of your statement to clarify any questions. Once done, you’ll sign the statement. Insist on a copy of it because the wheels of justice are usually mired in defence tactics which will lengthen the timeframe considerably. At least with your statement, you can have proof that you did a courageous thing. God bless.

  15. Sylvia says:

    Gary, it’s true, as Survive and Thrive says, that you can go the civil route. In fact, you are free to have criminal charges laid AND to sue. I personally think it is best to proceed criminally first, specifically because one of the pages in a defence lawyers book is to accuse the victim of being a money-grubber. Victims have every right to sue, but sometimes on the stand are thrown off and rattled when a lawyer tries to make them look and feel like a good for nothing.

    Survive and Thrive mentions the import of an initial statement to police. I suggest anyone considering going to police get a little book to jot down things as they come to mind. Put everything in that little book – what you remember about the season of the year, furniture, layout of a house or rectory or cottage or whatever, conversations, who might have seen or heard something, each and every incident as clearly as you can recall, and everything surrounding that incident.

    If you are uncertain of dates, don’t force yourself into a date – not if you are not certain, and never let anyone do it for you, or push you into agreeing to a date (or year). Try to relate the timing of incidents to other significant events in your life which you are certain about, ie, a death in the family, or the year you made your first Communion, or the year you were Confirmed.

    In other words, when you go to police be as prepared as you can be. If you think something happened when you were in a certain Grade, check to see what year that was, and be sure that’s the Grade you were in. Our minds do play tricks on us – we can often be convinced that something happened in a particular year at a particular time only to find out that it was actually the following year. Defence lawyers have a field day with those mistakes. They try to make out they are proof of lying which is rarely if ever the case. They (defence lawyers) often do the same when a victim adds information to their initial statement to police. The truth is that victims are rarely prepared to give a full statement when they go to police, – and often are too embarrassed and ashamed to tell police exactly what happened (and yes, that is in detail -as much as you can remember). So spit it all out – everything you remember, everything: sights, sounds, smells. Include the names of those who you think may have seen or heard something. If you told someone – include that, who and when.

    The less statements there are the better. When you go to trial every statement you ever made is put into evidence, and, yes, defence lawyers comb through your every word looking for the minutest difference in what you said when.

    I just wish people could realize that defence lawyers essentially have their little book of tricks and they just run down the list and throw them at you one after the other. I think when people understand that they are scrambling to get their client off at all costs, then it might it all make it a little easier.

    I see PJ has posted on this just now. Good advice there too Gary.

    This is something I’ve often thought of doing on the site: a section to give victims who are considering going to police some helpful hints, both to prepare for that and to prepare for the months ahead leading to trial, and of course for the trial itself. My thought was to invite those who have been through the criminal process to offer their suggestions. Thoughts everyone ?

    • PJ says:

      You’ve got my vote on that Sylvia. It doesn’t matter how prepared you think you are, a defense lawyer will find a way to try and confuse you. Sylvia is right when it comes to statements…every word you use could become a brick in the defense’s wall to keep you away from the collar. BUT, the truth can never fail you in statements. Keep to the facts as you know them. If you remember things later in the process, talk it over with your lawyer and develop a strategy. It’s scary, stressful, and emotional, I know. I’m still on that roller coaster ride but I’m resolved to take the full ride now. That decision did not happen overnight but I’m glad where I am now.

  16. Leona says:

    I think I’ve mentioned it before on this site, but through my therapist, I was counseled in taking my statement to one of the city’s top defense lawyers pro-bono. I remember him saying that while he defends these guys he takes on this work for victims. It took me several gruelling weeks to get my statement down on paper. I believe at the time I was in a survivor’s support group, and it was one of the goals I’d set for myself. I definitely made changes to my first statement based on the lawyers advice (Glenn Orris). Anything that was at all speculative was removed.
    Even with that support I was still grilled at the preliminary hearing for inconsistencies between my journal, which they managed to subpoena, (in hindsight perhaps one should refrain from mentioning they journal) and me statement.
    I’m wondering if you could contact a rape crisis centre to find out if there is a lawyer in your area who will review your statement before you go to the police.
    My thoughts are with you.

  17. Sylvia says:

    Thanks to a an email I learned that Father Barbour died 26 August 2913. He will be buried tomorrow Thursday, August 29, 2013 at 9:30 a.m. from the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, with Archbishop Martin Currie presiding. May God have mercy on his soul.

    I have posted the obituary on the page. As I was looking for the obituary I happened on a message by and picture of him as Chaplain at St. Bons in the 1980 Adelphian . I was not aware that he had served as Chaplain at St. Bons. Anyway, the page from the Adelphian is posted.

    Right now, I am thinking of Gary.

  18. Christian says:

    [Comment deleted at request of author]

  19. Sylvia says:

    Christian, since you seem to have known Father Barbour could you please tell me what became of the 1990 sexual assault charge against him?

    As for Gary, I don’t understand how you can unilaterally conclude that he is lying and that he was never touched by Father Barbour. Likewise, I fail to understand how you deduce that on the one hand Gary is lying about Father Barbour and on the other he is telling the truth about the teacher.

  20. Christian says:

    Sylvia, please remove my comments. They were said in a moment of haste. Gary, as Sylvia has said, it takes great courage to come forward and tell the truth. I should not be judgemental. I wasn’t there and I don’t know what happened. That is a matter for God to judge and take care of. I apologize.
    As for the charges, I was told they were dismissed, but I have no way of confirming this.

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