Conrad: Monsignor James Conrad

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Priest, Diocese of Peterborough, Ontario.  Ordained 1979.  1991 – CONVICTED for stroking another man’s leg in a roadside washroom stall.  1992 conviction OVERTURNED.

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Bishops of Peterborough Diocese: James Leonard Doyle  (24 May 1976 – 28 December 2002 ); Nicola de Angelis, C.F.I.C. (28 December 2002  – )

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The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Directories (CCCD) of that date, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD), obituary (O)  and media (M)

04 October 2011:  Mass at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, Bracebridge, Ontario (O)

30 September 2011:  I received an email advising that Monsignor Conrad died “this past week.”  I could find no obituaries online.

27 September 2011:  Died in London Ontario (O))

2011address on Notre Dame Dr., London, Ontario (CCCD)

 Peterborough Diocese website lists him amongst retired priests – address given is in Bracebridge, Ontario – no phone number

2010:  980 Burnharm St., Apt. #3, Cobourg, Ontario (CCCD)

2002, 2000: 334-333 Brock St., Peterborough, Ontario (CCCD)

Financial Administrator for Peterborough Diocese (CCCD)

Comptroller for Peterborough Diocese (O)

appointed “Director of the Cathedral Court” (O)

2001: elevated to Prelate of Honour (O)  This is when he became Monsignor Conrad)

1999: 334-333 Brock St., Peterborough, Ontario (CCCD)

Financial Administrator for Peterborough Diocese (CCCD)

Comptroller for Peterborough Diocese (O)

 “Director of the Cathedral Court” (O)

1998:  334-333 Brock St., Peterborough, Ontario (CCCD)

Financial Administrator for Peterborough Diocese (CCCD)

Comptroller for Peterborough Diocese (O)

appointed “Director of the Cathedral Court” (O)

dispatched by Bishop Doyle to speak to distraught parishioners at St. Mary’s RC Church in Grafton, Ontario.  Parishioners were upset regarding the alarming results of an audit conducted following the departure of Father Mark Buckley.  According to informed sources, when he was thanked for coming to address the financial situation, Conrad “Flew into a rage and said no, he hadn’t come for that purpose” and in fact threatened to walk out if the subject of finances was raised.  The issue was not addressed. (Read: Friends in High Places)

1997, 1996:  not listed (CCCD) (still in Venice, Florida?)

05 May 1997:  provided Nihil Obstat to Encounters with Jesus in the Gospels, a “Senor High Parish Religion Program” printed int he States by Saint Mary’s Press, Christian Brothers Publication.  Imprimatur granted by Bishop James L. Doyle of Peterborough, Ontario.

1995: Vicar Parochial, Venice, Florida (O)  (what was he doing in Florida?  Why was he out of the country?)

1995:  3 Pine Ave. South,  Mississauga 905-274-1623  (CCCD)

1994: 7 Maple Ave. South, Mississauga, Ontario 905-891-8997 (CCCD)

1993:  address for Peterborough Diocesan Centre (CCCD)

May 1992:  conviction OVERTURNED (M)

1992:  index lists address for St. Joseph’s in Brecebridge, but pastor listed as Father Hugh Hale (CCCD)

1991:  Pastor, St. Joseph RC Church, Bracebridge, Ontario (CCCD)

1991: commenced  studies at St, Augustine’s, Toronto – obtained Master of Arts at Regis College – year unknown (O)

June 1991:  CONVICTED (M)

September 1990:  charged (M) – media reports indicate that he was pastor in Bracebridge, Ontario (M)

1985-86:  address St. Joseph RC Church, Duoro (Pastor Father Francis Cox) (CCCD)

1984:  according to Obituary was appointed Pastor at St. Joseph Church in Bracebridge, Ontario in 1984 (O)

1980:  St. Anne RC Church, Peterborough, with Father R.J. Heffernan (OCCD)

19 May 1979:  ORDAINED (O) (he was in his mid 40s when he was ordained.  What was he doing before ordination?)

according to Obituary he was appointed Pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Trout Creek, Ontario (O)

16 June 1936:  Born in Nova Scotia – his family later moved to Toronto Ontario (O)

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Monsignor James Sinclair Conrad

Date of Birth:

Tuesday, June 16th, 1936

Date of Death:

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Funeral Home:

Reynolds Funeral Home Turner Chapel

1 Mary Street

Bracebridge, Ontario, CANADA

P1L 2B6

Obituary:

CONRAD, Monsignor James Sinclair

Passed away at his residence in London, Ontario on September 27th, 2011. He was retired from the Peterborough Diocese of the Catholic Church. Monsignor Conrad was born the son of the late Dorothy Mary Spence and Joseph Cedric Parker Conrad of Nova Scotia on June 16th, 1936. They later moved to Toronto raising their family which included sisters, Janet Lynch, of Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec and Joanne Laschinger of Toronto. He also has one surviving brother, Robert Conrad of London. He was predeceased by another brother, John Murray Conrad in 1965.

Monsignor Conrad’s priestly appointments commenced with his ordination on May 19, 1979 at Peterborough and was appointed pastor to the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Trout Creek. In 1984 he was appointed pastor at St. Jospeh’s Church in Bracebridge later elected Dean and appointed to studies in 1991 at St. Augustine’s, Toronto where he obtained his Masters of Arts degree at Regis College. Father Conrad took an appointment to Venice, Florida in 1995 as Vicar Parochial at St. Raphael’s Parish. Upon his return to Canada he became the Comptroller of the Peterborough Dioceses and appointed Director of the Cathedral Court with additional appointments to the governing diocesan finances. During this period, he was elevated to Prelate of Honour, May 2001 by His Holiness, Pope John Paul, 2nd , with the title of Monsignor. He was honoured to have met Pope John Paul at the Holy See, Vatican City shortly after the Pope’s appointment.

Cremation has taken place with a Mass conducted at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bracebridge, Tuesday, October 4th under the direction of Reynolds Funeral Home “Turner Chapel in Bracebridge. A private burial will be held at a later date.

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Priest’s sex assault conviction overturned

Toronto Star

12 May 1992

Andrew Duffy

A Bracebridge priest has been acquitted of sexual assault by an appeal court justice who questioned the impartiality of the trial judge.

Father James Conrad was convicted of the offence last June by Judge Douglas Bice. He received a suspended sentence, then appealed his conviction.

Earlier this month, Ontario Court Justice David Lockwood ordered the conviction quashed, saying Bice’s conduct raised “doubt with respect to his impartiality.”

During Conrad’s trial, Bice questioned the conduct of six Ontario Provincial Police officers who attended the hearing, in uniform and in plainclothes.

A transcript of the trial shows Bice accused them of taking part in “a form of intimidation.”

“Perhaps this is all part of OPP policy that when a clergyman is charged with an offence that as many officers as possible of that faith should attend at the trial to show their support,” he said.

He also criticized a probation officer – a Catholic parishioner in Bracebridge – for playing a role in Conrad’s defence.

Conrad had been accused of stroking the leg of another man as he sat in a washroom stall next to his own.

The probation officer took photographs showing Conrad’s arm was too short to reach through a hole in the washroom wall to the next toilet.

Now, some members of the Catholic community are calling for Bice’s removal from the bench.

GO Transit chairman Lou Parsons, a friend of Conrad, has asked the Ontario Judicial Council to review Bice’s conduct.

Conrad was removed from his Bracebridge parish and has spent the past year studying. He could not be reached for comment.

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Canadian Press

May 12, 1992  11.46 EDT

TORONTO (CP)

The sexual assault conviction of a priest accused of stroking another man’s leg in a washroom has been overturned by an appeal court justice.

Father James Conrad of Bracebridge received a suspended sentence last June after being found guilty of stroking the man’s leg in a washroom at a roadside rest area near Arrowhead Provincial Park.

Earlier this month, Ontario Court of Appeals Justice H.D.P. Logan ordered the conviction quashed, saying trial Judge Douglas Bice erred.

“I find a verdict of acquittal should be entered since the verdict arrived at by the learned trial judge is unreasonable, speculative and cannot be supported by the evidence,” Logan wrote in his decision released this week.

During Conrad’s trial, Bice questioned the conduct of six Ontario Provincial Police officers who attended the hearing to support Conrad, accusing them of taking part in “a form of intimidation,” a transcript of the trial shows.

“Perhaps this is all part of OPP policy that when a clergyman is charged with an offence that as many officers as possible of that faith should attend at the trial to show their support,” Bice said.

He also criticized a probation officer — a Catholic parishioner in Bracebridge — for playing a role in Conrad’s defence.

The probation officer took photographs showing Conrad’s arm was too short to reach through a hole in the washroom wall to the next toilet, where the priest was accused of stroking the man’s leg.

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 Canadian Press

June 24, 1991  12.23 EDT

BRACEBRIDGE, Ont. (CP)

Some members of the local Roman Catholic community have called for sanctions against a local judge who reprimanded six police officers for attending a Catholic priest’s trial.

Judge Douglas Bice, of the Ontario Court’s provincial division, questioned the conduct of the officers before delivering a guilty verdict against Rev. James Conrad.

Conrad had been charged with sexual assault for allegedly stroking the leg of another man as he sat in a washroom stall next to his own.

“I would suggest, firstly, by having such senior officers in court in support of an accused that the judge might be influenced in favor of the accused or, secondly, that their very presence might be a form of intimidation,” court transcripts quote Bice as saying.

The judge also criticized a probation officer — a Catholic — for playing a role in Conrad’s defence.

Conrad’s lawyer asked for a mistrial following the judge’s remarks, but Bice denied the motion.

Meanwhile, Catholics in Bracebridge, about 50 kilometres north of Orillia in Ontario’s cottage country, have expressed outrage at the judge’s remarks.

“He went out of his way to pick on Roman Catholics and one would have to wonder why,” said Lou Parsons, a friend of Conrad’s.

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Canadian Press

September 14, 1990  17.29 EDT

HUNTSVILLE, Ont. (CP)

Provincial police have charged a Roman Catholic priest after a man complained he was sexually assaulted in a washroom at a roadside rest area.

The man, who told police he was assaulted earlier this month at a rest area on Highway 11 across from nearby Arrowhead Provincial Park, said he was able to escape to his vehicle and drive away, police said Friday.

Charged with sexual assault is James Conrad, 54, of Bracebridge. Conrad is a priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bracebridge.

3 Responses to Conrad: Monsignor James Conrad

  1. Sylvia says:

    I have added more dates to the Monsignor James Conrad page. This case has always intrigued me: the fact that a group of OPP officers and a probation officer sat in on the trial in support of Conrad boggles the mind.

    I am now intrigued to see that after his conviction was overturned Msgr. Conrad headed for Mississauga (Archdiocese of Toronto). Was he assisting at a parish there? or working in a hospital? I have no idea. Does anyone know?

    And then, there is no sign of Conrad in either the 1996 & 1997 directories. What happened to him? Is that error/oversight on the publisher’s part? If not, where was Conrad and what was he doing?

    Conrad resurfaces in the 1998 directory with an address in Peterborough. A few years later he’s in Cobourg. The 2011 directory gives an address in London, Ontario. The Peterborough Diocese website list him amongst its retired priests with an address in Bracebridge.

    Can anyone fill in the gaps here?

  2. Sylvia says:

    I just received word that Monsignor Conrad died “this past week.” I have as yet been unable to find an obituary. If anyone has seen an obituary would you please send it or a link to it to me at cornwall@theinquiry.ca

  3. Peter Bruce says:

    I met Rev. Conrad a few years back when I lived in Cobourg, Ont. He seemed to be in poor health, not sure what his issues were. He told me he was the honourary chaplain of the O.P.P. When I told him I grew up in Bracebridge and have a cottage there still, he said he was the pastor in Bracebridge for many years. I did not let on that I knew all about him and his run in with the law. In the summer I attended mass in Bracebridge and was always impressed with his sermons, as were many others. He was a great speaker. As time went on, I started to think that he was a bit of a blow hard. Liked to tell people how smart he was. I know he was a good fundraiser for the parish and seemed to be in pretty well with the rich and powerfull people who have summer residences in Muskoka. The parishoners in the Bracebridge parish spoke very highly of him in those times.
    I have always found this story interesting and I am glad to be able to add my thoughts.

    Sincerely, Peter Bruce.

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