Farrell: Father Kenneth Farrell

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Kenneth Farrell

K.J. Farrell

Priest, ordained for Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario.  Later serving in Diocese of Nelson, British Columbia.  Ordained 02 June 1962.  Laicized in 1985.  1994 charged – charges relate to his years in the priesthood in British Columbia.  Sentenced to 21 months in jail.


Bishops of the Diocese of Hamilton Ontario from time of Father Farrell’s ordination:  Joseph Francis Ryan  (16 August 1937 – 27 March 1973); Paul Francis Reding  (14 September 1973 – 08 December 1983); Anthony Frederick Tonnos (02 May 1984 – 24 September 2010)

Bishops of the Diocese of Nelson, British Columbia during the years Father Farrell appeared to be serving the diocese: Wilfrid Emmett Doyle (09 November 1958 – 06 November 1989); Peter Joseph Mallon (06 November 1989 – 09 June 1995 when appointed, Archbishop of Regina, Saskatchewan)


The following information is drawn from copies of Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand and media (M)

(There is conflicting information regrading the late 60s – CCCDs show him in the Hamilton Diocese, media reports indicate he was in the Diocese of Nelson, BC.)

December 2017:  News that he died about 8 years ago in Ontario

1997:  not listed in CCCD

October 1994:  sentenced to 21 months in jail (M)

March 1994:  when arrested was working as a counsellor at a half-way house for alcoholic reform in Toronto, Ontario (M)

not listed in CCCD index (CCCD)

1991:  not listed in CCCD index

1986:  LAICIZED with his consent (M)

1985-1986: address c/o 839 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna, British Columbia.  This is the address for Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Kelowna (Pastor Father Charles Mulvihill) (CCCD)

charges relate to 1972-1982 when he served in Nelson and Kelowna, BC (M)

1972-1982:  Administrator of Immaculata secondary school, Kelowna, BC (M)

1982:  according to media, left Diocese of Nelson BC to seek treatment of alcoholism (M)

1980:  listed in index of 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory as priest with the Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario and “On leave” (OCD)

1973-74:  address for Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Kelowna, BC. (Pastor Father P. McCarthy)

1972:  according to media, was Rector at the Cathedral of Mary Immaculate in Nelson, BC (M)

charges relate to 1972-1982 when he served in Nelson and Kelowna, BC (M)

1971-72:  St. John Roman Catholic Church. Guelph, Ontario (Pastor Father F.A. Sienna) (CCCD)

1969:  index lists him at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Hamilton, Ontario (Pastor Father J.P. Lardie) (CCCD)

according to media was pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Cranbrook, BC from 1967 to 1971 (M)

1967:  index lists him at St. Eugene’s Roman Catholic Church, Hamilton, Ontario (Pastor Father J.B. Cox) (CCCD)

according to media was pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Cranbrook, BC from 1967 to 1971 (M)


Roman Catholic Bishop Hubert Patrick O’Connor wasn’t born a rapist.

The Vancouver Province

18 September 1996

Joey Thompson

He was tutored.

As an elite member of an almighty, male-run club, he learned it was his privilege to order female subjects to the back of the pew.

Church leaders are hardly champions of equality. They still expect women to rely on rhythm.

What disgusts me most is that the high-ranking clergyman still doesn’t get it, although it’s been six years since his arrest for sex crimes.

If anything, he has dug in his well-polished black heels — he keeps insisting his only sin was to chase skirts when he said he wouldn’t.

He doth protest too much.

“If I had not breached my vow of chastity, I would not be here today,” he told B.C. Supreme Court Justice Wally Oppal shortly before being hit with 2 1/2 years in jail.

“I have paid a very heavy price.”

Cry me a river.

What about your victims, pal?

Have you ever worried about them, just once in your shameful, hypocritical life?

No, sir. This isn’t about breaking a promise.

It’s about breaking native women’s spirits, taking away their right to trust; it’s about shattering their fragile self-worth and deep faith in God.

But why should I expect O’Connor to get it? His cohorts don’t.

Men will take advantage of the vulnerable and less-privileged as long as there are lofty titles and massive, authoritarian institutions to inspire and protect them.

Here’s a sampling of so-called religious leaders, most of them Catholic, charged with sex crimes in B.C. the past few years:

– Williams Lake New Life Christian Fellowship pastor Ted Daigle pleaded guilty to four sex-related charges involving his two step- daughters.

– Terrace Salvation Army minister William Douglas was convicted of 12 sex-assault charges against native Indian boys.

– Nelson Catholic priest John Monaghan was convicted on 14 sex- related counts on young girls.

– Cranbrook Catholic priest Leonard Buckley was convicted of assaulting nine boys.

– Catholic priest Luke Meunier died in prison while awaiting extradition to B.C. to face trial for sexually assaulting Nelson choirboys.

– Catholic priest Robert Whyte pleaded guilty to molesting kids during Nelson camping trips.

– Westbank Catholic priest Kevin Rolston was convicted of buggery and gross indecency involving two boys. The judge found Rolston had no sense of moral responsibility– the priest claimed the boys seduced him.

– Kelowna Catholic priest Kenneth Farrell was convicted for committing indecent sexual acts with teenage boys on camping trips. He lured them with booze and smokes.

– Nelson Catholic priest Ian Cooper pleaded guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault on boys and girls.

– Nelson Catholic priest Paul Pornbacher pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault.

– Vancouver Catholic priest John Eason was convicted of indecent assault on a young woman.

– Nanaimo Catholic Oblate brother Glen Doughty was convicted of four sex crimes against students at a native residential school.

– And Mission priest Pacidus Sanders awaits trial on multiple sex charges dating back 20 years.

Frightening, isn’t it?

If you have a comment or column idea call Joey Thompson at 732- 2119 or write care of The Province.


Ex-priest gets 21 months

The Vancouver Sun

04 October 1994

A former Nelson priest begged God’s forgiveness Monday before being sentenced to sentenced to 21 months in jail for committing indecent acts with teenage boys.

Kenneth Farrell, 67, also asked forgiveness from his victims and their families.

The incidents took place in Nelson, Vancouver and Kelowna in the early and mid-’70s. Farrell would take his victims on trips and offer them alcohol and cigarettes, then take advantage of them sexually.


Ex-priest given bail on boy-sex charges

The Vancouver Province

08 March 1994

NELSON — A former Kelowna Catholic priest arrested last week in Toronto for sexual-related offences, appeared in Nelson provincial court yesterday.

Kenneth Farrell, 66, was charged with one count of buggery, two counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency involving B.C. boys.

The acts allegedly involved two boys in their early teens in Nelson and Kelowna from 1972 to 1982, when Farrell was a priest in those communities.

Farrell, who also served in Cranbrook, last served in the priesthood in 1986.

He was released yesterday on a $10,000 bond and allowed to return to Ontario, where he works as a drug and alcohol counsellor.

The conditions of his release are that he not drink alcohol and stay away from children under 18 and away from playgrounds.

Farrell is the ninth priest to be charged with sexual offences in the Nelson diocese.

The diocese spans an area from Kelowna, south to the United States border and east to the Alberta boundary.

Seven of the priests have been convicted of sexual offences since 1988.

An eighth, who was convicted in the U.S., died in Florida awaiting extradition to Canada.

Farrell is scheduled to return to Nelson court May 17.


Former priest to face sex charges

Vancouver  Sun

07 March 1994

NELSON — A former priest in the Nelson diocese arrested in
Toronto last week was transported back to the West Kootenay
community of about 8,000 people Sunday to face sex charges from up
to 25 years ago.

Kenneth Farrell, 66, was a priest in the Nelson diocese from 1967
to 1982. Five charges surround alleged offences that include
buggery, gross indecency and indecent assault on matters arising in
Nelson and  Kelowna during Farrell’s time in the Nelson diocese.

Farrell was an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Parish in Cranbrook
from 1967 to 1971 when he moved to Nelson as the rector of the
Cathedral of Mary Immaculate.

He moved to Kelowna  in 1972 and served in the positions of pastor
and associate pastor at various churches until he left the diocese.

He left the diocese in 1982 to seek treatment for alcoholism.

Farrell was a counsellor at a half-way house for alcoholic reform
at the time of his arrest in  Toronto.

He is expected to appear in Nelson provincial court for a first
appearance and bail hearing Tuesday.

Kenneth Farrell was the ninth priest to be charged for crimes in
the Nelson diocese in recent years. Seven were convicted. The eighth
died awaiting trial.

Earlier this year, Paul Pornbacher was convicted of three counts of
indecent assault in Kelowna, Invermere and Nelson. Sentencing is
expected in June.

Police are continuing their investigation into charges against


Former priest faces sex charges

The Vancouver Province

04 March 1994

Suzy Hamilton

NELSON — A former Catholic priest in the Nelson diocese has been charged with five sex-related crimes.

Kenneth Farrell, 66, of Toronto, was arrested in Ontario yesterday for buggery, sexual assault and indecent assault of children, allegations relating to incidents while he was a priest in Nelson and Kelowna.

Farrell, who was ordained in 1962 in Ontario, came to B.C. in 1967 and served in Cranbrook, Kelowna and Nelson.

He was administrator of Immaculata secondary school in Kelowna from 1972 to 1982, said Roman Catholic spokesman Father Wayne Pfliger.

Farrell was laicized — removed from the priesthood — by the church, with his consent, in 1986, Pfliger said.

“The church has nothing to do with him now,” he said.

Farrell was working at a halfway house for alcoholics when arrested, said Nelson police Det. Pat Severyn.

He will be brought to Nelson to face charges in provincial court. Police wouldn’t say whether the alleged victims were boys or girls.

Nelson police are asking anyone with information to call them at 354-3919 or Kelowna RCMP.

Their probe continues.

16 Responses to Farrell: Father Kenneth Farrell

  1. Sonni McLaren says:

    *Thanks for this info.  I do know that I spent a lot of time with him while at St. Mary’s Cranbrook.  That is where he always paid for my room at a local Hotel and arranged for meals at restaurant.  He would always show up at the room with a bottle and some food. one thing would always lead to another and afterwards he would give me money.  I was in Montreal visiting my Sister in 1972 and the next thing I know he phoned her place and lo and behold he and a fellow Preist (Italian)(could have very well been Father   Sienna Pastor in  Guelph at that time.) don’t remember his name, flew to Montreal and came to see me.  We went drinking and then he took  me back to his room at the Laurentian Hotel in Montreal.  I didnt see him til I returned to BC. went to Kelowna BC for the summer to get work picking fruit.  I was at Mass in Kelowna  I knew Father Mulvihill very well, and then I got a tap on the shoulder as I was leaving Mass.  It was Father Ken and so he took me back to St. Theresas where he was Pastor at the time.  He asked me to help serve Mass a few times after that and would always invite me to go out for Dinner and drinks with him. During the summer I met many Preists most from Nelson Diocese and some from other places.  Monsegnior Larrabee from St Marys Cathedral Winnipeg, Father Ian Cooper Nelson Diocese, Rev. Father Bobillier Dawson City Yukon, all had visited St Theresas that summer. And many more. Father introduced me as “His project”. 

    I didn’t see him again after that summer, and I left BC and went to the USA for quite some time.  It wasnt til later that I learned that he had left BC and went to Hamilton and toronto Area. Never saw or heard from him again after 1972-73.

    It was a period in my life that I will never forget.  I had been in the Royal Canadian Navy and then went to work at various jobs, travelling around Canada and cooking/Waiter in Lodges, Hotels, Railroad, etc. During that period I always went to Mass when possible and thus met many, many Clergy. Father Ken was by far the worst, even though I had met to my amazement, many different Preists in Canada and the USA that seemed to be attracted to me.  I was I guess you could say and good looking young man and had a problem with drinking, so that is usually how they caught my attention and confidence. 

    I have always wanted to write something about my encounters with them and I have been afraid to so that is why I am thank ful for your web site and for the opportunity to share this with someone that knows what I am talking about.  

    As I said, I am still single, and am now retired going on 70. and I attribute my lifestyle and history to my encounters with these various clergy.  I think about it each and every day no matter how much I try to forget.

    Thanks Sylvia


  2. Sylvia says:

    I have pasted a few more articles on Kenneth Farrell.  I previously had not known the outcome of the charges against him.  He was convicted in 1994 and sentenced to 21 months in jail.  He was laicized ‘with his consent’ in 1985. 

  3. vince campbell says:

    The kelowna RCMP new of this no good priest back in 1979-80 and gave him a free pass out of kelowna BC. Glad to hear he went to jail why it took 14 years is strange. I wonder how many lives he ruined in that 14 years.

  4. Patrick says:

    Stumbled upon this site today, and must say I find it very disturbing… as a former student and a victim of the bastard Neil Cassidy, principal of Immaculatta High, the catholic school board decided to fire and replace with Ken Farrell. I don’t understand why in all there wisdom they decided that instead of seeking help for the countless victims they would just pretend it never happened. here I am some 40 years later still suffering from that trauma I experienced in what should have been the best years of my life! I guess I can count myself lucky escaping the grips of Farrell, but I guess I was wiser and able to distance myself from him. When I look back it makes me shutter……

  5. Leona says:

    This can be a very disturbing site, for sure, Patrick. When I found it in 2011, I too was shocked. Sylvia has done a masterful job of creating a repository of the important materials that are needed to tell the story of clergy abuse in Canada. No one else seems to be telling it here or cares, and yes, quite simply the church would like to pretend it never happened and would like to move on. I think what Sylvia’s site shows is that few in the church are really willing to look at the extent of the problem and the reciprocal damage, and without that then children and vulnerable adults are still at risk.

  6. Leona says:

    The new movie “Spotlight” has done a good job of bringing this topic back into the public’s consciousness.

    At the end of the film, there are four pages of cities where the scandal has broken open like in Boston. There are too few Canadian cities on that list. I believe we’ve been complacent Canadians, and trusted the establishment to do the work. The church relies on that, and the story stays quiet. Thanks again, Sylvia for your tireless work.

  7. Leona says:

    There is a great website linked to the film that profiles some of the scandals throughout the world. I think it should include information from Sylvia’s site, but I’m a bit biased.


  8. Paulnordoff says:

    Could you please tell me if he is still alive

  9. Sylvia says:

    I personally don’t know if he is still alive or not Paul. He has been out of the priesthood since 1985. When he was charged in the ’90s he was in Toronto.

    Can anyone out there help?

  10. Pat Severyn says:

    Ken Farrel died in Ontario about 8 years ago. I know that for sure as I received a call in Nelson. A family member advised me. I was the investigator that charged him in Nelson, and his niece called me. I’m sure that will make some people more at ease to get on with their lives.

  11. Sylvia says:

    Thank you Pat. I will hunt around to see if I can find an obituary. (If anyone else can find it please pass along the link)

  12. Pat Severyn says:

    No problem. I will get it when I find it and pass it along.

  13. Wilhelmina Engelhart says:

    A member of my Family was raped by this priest. He was in grade 4. He had gone to confession to him and was raped afterward. Fr Farrell threatened him, so he never told anyone until he was in his twenties. He just wants to forget what happened. This was in the 70’s in Kelowna BC

  14. 1yellowknife says:

    Pat Severyn: Thank you for your caring follow up. Wilma Engelhart: So sorry this happened to your relative.

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