Deveau: Father Raoul Deveau

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Raoul Deveau (Father Raoul Deveau)

priest Diocese of Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.  Ordained 1943 in Halifax, Nova Scotia (before Diocese of Yarmouth was created).  Now deceased.

Lawsuits filed 2006 (Joanne Munroe-Sullivan), 2009 (Linda Deschamps) and 2010 ( Catherine Kiley MacKenzie) re allegations of sex abuse when plaintiffs were young girls.

Deveau started molesting Deschamps when she was 11 or 12-years-of-age.  He took Linda on vacations during which the sex abuse continued.  When she was around 12 or 13 Deveau asked Linda’s parents that she  be allowed to live with him to help with house keeping.  Because of their dire financial situation the parents agreed.  Linda moved in with Deveau – she then moved with him when he was transferred to St. Bernard’s in Digby, NS.  She was told by Deveau to call him “uncle” and tell people they were related.  According to the Statement of Claim Bishop Austin Burke knew that the girl was living with Deveau.  After receiving complaints from parishioners Burke transferred Deveau to Notre Dame de Lourdes in Melbourne, N.S.   Linda lived with Deveau for 10 years – during those years she was subjected to repeated acts of sexual assault and sexual intercourse by Deveau.

16 November 2016:  Both claims were settled “to the plaintiff’s satisfaction.”


20 September 2006:  Joanne Munroe-Sullivan Originating Notice and Statement of Claim

 22 December 2009: Linda Deschamps Notice of Action and Statement of Claim


The following dates and information are drawn from available Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD), media (M)  and the Statements of Claim (SC).  Additional timelines will be added as information becomes available. 

October 1982:  Died (M)

?: St. Louis, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia (I)

 ?: Notre Dame de Lourdes, Melbourne (SC)

?: St. Bernard’s, St. Bernard, N.S. (SC)

1973-74:  address St. Thomas, Shelburne and St. Phillip’s Barrington, Nova Scotia (Pastor Gaston d’Entrement) (CCCD)

(transfer to Shelburne said to have transpired after allegations of sex abuse Joanne Munro-Sullivan.  Sex abuse of Linda Deschamps started in Shelburne, as did that of Catherine Kiley MacKenzie)

1971-72:  Pastor St. Theresa Church, Weymouth, N.S. with mission Saint Theresa in Southville, N.S. (CCCD)

Fall 1969:Pastor St. Thomas, Shelburne, Nova Scotia with mission church St. Phillip’s Barrington, Nova Scotia (I –

1968-69: Pastor St. Joseph, Weymouth, with mission at St. Theresa, Southville, N.S.  (Bishop Burke) (CCCD)

1967:  assisting Holy Cross Church, Plympton, N.S. and mission Sacred Heart in Doucetteville, N.S. (Pastor Father David Stokes) (Bishop Albert Lemanger) (CCCD)

1959:  Pastor Holy Cross, Plympton, N.S., and mission Sacred Heart in Doucetteville, N.S. (Bishop Albert Lemanger) (CCCD)

1947-1953:  St. Charles Boromeo, Amherst, Nova Scotia ( after merger with Our Lady of the Nativity is no  Holy Family)

March 1943: Ordained in Halifax, Nova Scotia.  He would have been ordained for the Archdiocese of Halifax and, after the creation of the new Diocese of Yarmouth, N.S. in 1953, became a priest in the Yarmouth Diocese

?: Born in Meteghan, Nova Scotia


Church neither admits, denies sex abuse claim

Diocese responds to woman’s lawsuit alleging she was repeatedly assaulted by Shelburne priest

Sat, Aug 14 2010 – 4:53 AM

By The Canadian Press

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth and the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax have filed a statement of defence in a case involving a woman from Halifax who alleges she endured nearly a decade of sexual assaults by a priest.

In December, Linda Deschamp filed a lawsuit in Nova Scotia Supreme Court that alleges the abuse began after Rev. Raoul Deveau offered her a job cleaning the rectory in Shelburne when she was 11 years old.

Deschamp alleges in a statement of claim that when she went to the rectory she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the priest, who died in the early 1980s.

John McKiggan, Deschamp’s lawyer, has said the now middle-aged woman moved in with the priest to help her impoverished, devout parents and was instructed to call him uncle.

Deschamp’s suit and the statement of defence contain information and allegations that have not been proven in court.

The statement of defence for the diocese and Halifax Archbishop Anthony Mancini, filed July 27, says they admit to none of the allegations made in Deschamp’s claim.

However, the church and Mancini also say they neither admit nor deny certain allegations, saying they have insufficient knowledge about some of them.

Among these allegations is Deschamp’s claim she was hired to clean the rectory or that she was repeatedly sexually assaulted there by Deveau.

The church and Mancini also say they neither admit nor deny that Deveau sexually assaulted Deschamp during several vacations, and that the local bishop had failed to act on complaints about the priest’s conduct during the 10 years Deveau and Deschamp lived together.

However, the church specifically denies Deschamp’s statement that the bishop presiding over Deveau’s parishes relocated the priest after receiving complaints about his alleged misconduct involving another female child.

The statement of defence also says Mancini is not a proper defendant in the matter because Deschamp’s claim does not disclose a cause of action against him.

The diocese claims it did not employ Deveau, saying the relationship was ecclesiastical in nature.

As well, the defence statement says that even if Deveau was employed by the church, the actions alleged in Deschamp’s claim were “independent acts” that did not occur within the scope of his employment.

As a result, the diocese is not liable for Deveau’s actions, the defence statement says.

“The Diocese of Yarmouth states that it did not know, nor ought to have known, that Deveau presented a danger to the plaintiff . . . and at all times took all reasonable steps regarding training and supervision of Deveau,” the defence statement says.

The statement of defence also says Deschamp’s action was filed too late under the terms of the Limitations of Actions Act.


06 January 2010:  External link to CBC radio “N.S. Diocese Lawsuit” – interview with Linda Deschamps


Church Faces New Lawsuit


Chronicle-Herald (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

May 13, 2010

By Sherri Borden Colley

Third woman suing archbishop, diocese over alleged abuse by Shelburne priest

A third woman is suing the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Halifax and the Diocese of Yarmouth alleging she was sexually abused as a minor by the late Rev. Raoul Deveau while he was a priest at the St. Thomas Parish in Shelburne.

Catherine Kiley MacKenzie of Shelburne filed her lawsuit at Nova Scotia Supreme Court on April 23. She alleges that former Bishop Austin Burke transferred Deveau from the parishes in Plympton and Weymouth to the St. Thomas Parish as a result of complaints about Deveau’s sexual misconduct with a female child, Joanne Muron, who is also suing.

“Burke and the diocese did not warn members of St. Thomas Parish of Deveau’s sexual misconduct,” MacKenzie’s statement of claim alleges. “The diocese and the bishop knew, or ought to have known, that Deveau posed a real risk of sexually assaulting the plaintiff and other children in the Parish of St. Thomas.”

MacKenzie was able to gather the strength to proceed with the case once she realized she was not alone, her lawyer, John McKiggan of Halifax, said Wednesday.

“In most cases, survivors are paralysed by their shame and it’s only when they realize that they’re not the only one that experienced these assaults that they’re able to physically come forward and try to have someone held accountable,” McKiggan said.

MacKenzie, who is in her 40s, claims that as a result of Deveau’s alleged sexual assaults and batteries when she was a minor, she has suffered from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, substance addiction, nervous shock, decreased social abilities and low self-esteem. She is seeking various damages, court costs, prejudgment interest and other relief as the court sees fit.

None of her allegations have been proven in court.

Marilyn Sweet, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Halifax, which is not named in the suit, said she was not aware of the court action.

“I have not seen this particular case but there have been other claims against this same person (Deveau),” Sweet said. “So, more information than that, I don’t have today.”

Meanwhile, the Halifax diocese filed a two-page defence on Feb. 10 in response to a $2-million lawsuit Philip Latimer filed against it and the Antigonish diocese alleging Rev. Allan MacDonald sexually molested him for four years. At the time, MacDonald was a pastor in the Antigonish County community of Havre Boucher.

The diocese says Latimer’s allegations disclosed no cause for action against the diocese in fact or in law for the acts MacDonald is alleged to have committed. It also denied it was responsible for his actions because he was not employed in the Archdiocese of Halifax. The Antigonish diocese has not yet filed a separate defence.

In March, in response to the worldwide sexual abuse scandal involving priests, Archbishop Anthony Mancini of the Archdiocese of Halifax announced a new code of conduct for priests and other church workers.

All employees are now asked to sign a document promising they won’t abuse, endanger or in many cases even be alone with people in their care. They are also subject to a criminal record check and a scan of the child abuse registry.



Second Suit against Priest Is Revealed

Woman Claims Father Raoul Deveau Sexually Abused and Battered Her

By Eva Hoare

The Chronicle-Herald

January 6, 2010

A second lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Church alleging sexual abuse by Father Raoul Deveau has surfaced.

Joanne Muron-Sullivan says the priest, now dead, sexually abused and battered her while he served as a parish priest for Plympton in Digby County.

The allegations were made in a legal action filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in September 2006. She claims the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yarmouth and Terrence Prendergast, the former archbishop of Halifax who presided over Yarmouth, are liable for the alleged actions of the priest, court documents allege.

The 2006 legal action has completed the discovery stage, John McKiggan, Ms. Muron-Sullivan’s lawyer, said Tuesday.

Mr. McKiggan said the church has denied all the allegations in Ms. Muron-Sullivan’s lawsuit and no trial date has been set.

Marilyn Sweet, a church spokeswoman, said Tuesday there would be no comment on Ms. Muron-Sullivan’s legal action. The church also would not provide any documents pertaining to its legal defence, Ms. Sweet said.

Ms. Muron-Sullivan’s lawsuit alleges that the priest “battered” the woman.

“While acting in his capacity as parish priest, Deveau sexually assaulted and battered the plaintiff,” the lawsuit says.

The 2006 lawsuit also alleges the church is liable because it should have removed and disciplined the priest. Neither Ms. Muron-Sullivan’s age nor the dates for the alleged abuse were provided in the lawsuit.

“The diocese and the bishop knew or ought to have known that Deveau posed a real risk of sexually assaulting the plaintiff and other children in the parishes of Plympton and Weymouth,” court documents allege.

“The bishop and the diocese employed and supervised the defendant Deveau and permitted him to work in close proximity with children,” the lawsuit says.

The church also would not comment on a lawsuit launched on Dec. 24 by Linda Deschamp. She alleges that the priest sexually assaulted her over a 10-year period.

Mr. McKiggan is also Ms. Deschamp’s lawyer.

Like Ms. Deschamp, Ms. Muron-Sullivan claims she has suffered from anxiety, sexual dysfunction, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and emotional trauma as a result of the priest’s alleged actions.

“The plaintiff has sustained and will continue to sustain pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of amenities,” the lawsuit alleges.

Ms. Muron-Sullivan is seeking general, special, aggravated and punitive damages among other remedies.

None of the allegations in either lawsuit have been proven in court.

In the other lawsuit, filed Dec. 24, Ms. Deschamp alleges that Father Deveau forced her to live as his “niece,” calling him uncle.

She alleges she was repeatedly sexually assaulted while she lived with the priest. She claimed to have been initially assaulted at St. Thomas parish in Shelburne.

She alleges Father Deveau offered to take her in and her family members, devout Roman Catholics who were very poor, agreed because they trusted him.

Ms. Deschamp claims she was 12 or 13 when she went to live with the priest and stayed until she was 21.

The actual dates of the alleged assaults were not provided in the court documents.

Ms. Deschamp is in her 50s and lives in Halifax.

4 Responses to Deveau: Father Raoul Deveau

  1. VJ says:

    Is there an update on this?

    BTW, when he was in Amherst (1947-1953: Holy Family, Amherst, Nova Scotia), the parish was called St. Charles. Much later it merged with another local parish to form the current Holy Family parish.

    Thank you.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Thanks VJ – Yes, I see that Holy Family was formed in 2006 after amalgamation with Nativity of Our Lady. I have corrected 🙂

    I am trying to get an update – hopefully will have news today or tomorrow and will post.

  3. Sylvia says:

    Update: Both claims were settled “to the plaintiff’s satisfaction.”

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