Luis Fernanda Lima-Esteves
Priest, Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario. Ordained 1963. 1989 charged with fraud and assault. Fall 1990 ACQUITTED of all charges. November 1992 killed while crossing highway in Oakville, ON
10 November 1992: Killed while crossing highway in Oakville, Ontario (M)
1995: Not listed in directory (CCCD)
1991: St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, Ontario (CCCD)
November 1990: Acquitted of assault charge (M)
October 1990: Acquitted on theft charge (M)
1985-86: Pastor, St. Joseph Portuguese Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, Ontario (CCCD)
1980: St. James (the Greater) Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, Ontario (with Fathers A.M. Pucci crsp, J. Cavaglia crsp (CCCD)
1973-74: St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, Ontario (Pastor Father B.W. Harrigan cb) (CCCD)
1971-72: St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, Oakville, Ontario (Pastor Father J.W. Flaherty (CCCD)
1968-69,1967: Not listed in directory (CCCD)
1963: ORDAINED (CCCD)
Portuguese priest killed crossing Oakville roadway
The Toronto Star
11 November 1993
Father Luis Lima–Esteves, one of the most colorful and controversial Roman Catholic priests in Ontario’s Portuguese community, was killed after he was hit by two vehicles while crossing Highway 25 in Oakville yesterday.
Lima–Esteves, 53, known to his parishioners as Padre Lima, was trying to cross the road, south of Highway 5, when he was struck by southbound van, police said. Lima–Esteves was then thrown into the northbound lane where he was hit by another vehicle, according to police. No charges were laid.
Lima–Esteves was a priest with St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church near the scene of the accident.
Making a difference A gallery of influential and lesser-known lights in the Toronto-Portugese community
The Toronto Star
10 September 1992
Father Luis Lima–Esteves is one of the most colorful and controversial Cathoilc priests in the Portuguese community. Known as Padre Lima, he is adored by many of his parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church on Bronte Road in Oakville.
But he has also been before the courts twice and been chastised for blessing a bullfight in Listowell, Ont. Lima, 53, was acquitted on assault charges stemming from a 13-year-old boy giggling in church and on fraud charges for collecting money and goods for a church raffle that was never held.
Priest acquitted of assaulting boy
The Toronto Star
22 November 1990
Oakville’s controversial priest, Rev. Luis Lima–Esteves, has been acquitted of assaulting a 13-year-old boy who had been giggling during a Sunday church service two years ago.
Judge J. E. C. Robinson said defence testimony created a reasonable doubt that Father Lima, as he is known at St. Joseph’s Church on Bronte Rd. in Oakville, assaulted the youngster.
The judge admonished parishioners who started clapping in the courtroom when the decision was announced. “Please, order in the court,” Robinson said. The clapping stopped abruptly. Lima shook his lawyer’s hand.
Daniel Machado, who had been sitting with other youngsters at the front of the church, testified Lima grabbed him by the sweater and pushed him, yelling for him to get out of the church for giggling.
“I’ll kick you out the window,” he quoted the priest as shouting.
His testimony was supported by his sister, their mother, and another girl. Daniel said he and his family have never returned to the church.
Lima, 51, said Daniel had been laughing and talking during the service and was distracting children he was addressing at the front of the church. He denied touching the boy.
Lima’s testimony was backed by three adults.
The charge was laid by Halton Region police during an investigation of a lottery raffle at St. Joseph’s that was never held. Lima was acquitted last month on theft and fraud charges in connection with proceeds from the 1987 lottery.
In the summer of 1989, Lima attracted attention when he attended a Portuguese-style bullfight in Listowel to bless the bull ring, bullfighters and public.
Oakville priest acquitted of theft
The Toronto Star
12 October 1990
Parishioners applauded and an Oakville priest wept as he was acquitted of theft and fraud charges involving collections for a church raffle that was never held.
Judge Doug Latimer said yesterday he had a reasonable doubt that Rev. Luis Lima–Esteves had intended to defraud ticket buyers or prize donors, or that he had intended to take one of the prizes.
But the accused, known as Father Lima to his parishioners at St. Joseph’s Church on Bronte Rd., showed “a serious error in judgment in cancelling the lottery without returning the money and prizes,” the judge said in Ontario Court, provincial division.
One of the donated prizes, an oak table and set of chairs, was found two years later by police in Lima–Esteves‘ rectory.
A parishioner testified he gave Lima–Esteves a box of sold raffle ticket stubs and $750 cash for the church’s building fund the day before the draw in June, 1987. Two others said they gave Lima– Esteves $171 for tickets sold.
Ticket buyers never got their money back.
Lima–Esteves, 51, was charged with theft under $1,000 and with theft by conversion in connection with the table and chairs.
Lima–Esteves testified he couldn’t recall getting the money. He denied being in charge of the raffle, although he admitted signing the licence application.
The church council, at the urging of another priest who has since returned to Portugal, wanted the lottery and was in charge of it, he said.
Lima–Esteves said he was prepared to give ticket buyers back their money, but no one asked for it.
The dinette set remained in the church hall for about a year after the lottery was to have been held, then was moved across the street to his rectory to provide room for a dinner he was giving for a group of Portuguese musicians, Lima–Esteves testified.
When police questioned him about the set, Lima–Esteves said he had bought it from a parishioner. But that man said he sold the priest only an easy chair.
Oakville priest charged with fraud, assault
07 November 1989
A Roman Catholic priest in Oakville has been charged with fraud, theft and assault involving a 12-year-old boy.
A church held a lottery raffle in which parishioners donated prizes and sold thousands of tickets but no draw was ever held, Halton Region police said.
In a separate and unrelated incident, a priest physically assaulted a boy during a Sunday Mass, police said.
Witnesses told police that a priest grabbed the youngster, who was giggling during Mass, and shook him violently before the stunned congregation.
The theft and fraud charges come after police raided a home and church. They recovered some of the prizes which were to have been raffled on June 15, 1987, during a festival at the church.
Chairs and a solid oak table were recovered at the home. An accordion was found at the church, police said.
Those items were returned to the original donors after they were photographed for evidence, said Sergeant Bill Coda, the officer in charge of the investigation.
But a color televison set donated by a furniture company has not been recovered, Coda said.
Neither has the money from the tickets, which sold for $1 each. The proceeds were to go toward the building of a new church.
Halton police began the investigation after getting a number of complaints. Three other parishioners took their complaints to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Church members have also complained to the Archdiocese of Hamilton. They went to police when the bishop failed to address their concerns, one complainant told The Star.
Parishioners were apparently outraged when a priest took to the podium recently and proclaimed that the entire congregation was under investigation by police.
Rev. Luis Lima-Esteves, 50, pastor of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Bronte Rd., was charged last night after a lengthy investigation by Halton police.
The colorful and controversial Portuguese-born priest is known as Father Lima to parishioners.
He hosts a popular nightly radio program, which he boasts has 100,000 listeners and brings in more than $375,000 in advertising revenue.
This summer he attended a Portuguese-style bullfight held in in Listowel, Ont., to bless the bull ring, the bullfighters and the public, he said.
“I’m here to bless the bullfighters, not the bulls,” Lima told reporters who kept pressing him on whether it was appropriate for a priest to be attending a bullfight. “I go where my people go.”
In 1982, when parishioner Delia Adiano was murdered, Lima shocked his congregation by shouting from the pulpit that he suspected the killer was in attendance at the funeral Mass. He urged the killer to give himself up.
No one came forward and the murder is still unsolved.
Lima is to appear in Oakville Provincial Court on Dec. 5.
Oakville priest’s fraud trial starts
The Toronto Star
11 November 1990
An Oakville priest, surrounded by 100 supporters, began his trial yesterday on charges of fraud, theft and assault.
Father Luis Lima–Esteves, 50, of Oakville’s St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, appeared in Oakville Provincial Court facing charges of fraud and theft in connection with a 1987 raffle to raise money for the church.
He is also charged with assault in connection with a separate incident in which a 12-year-old boy was reportedly shaken in front of parishioners after giggling during Mass.
At least $700 in tickets were sold by parishioners for the raffle, which was supposed to be held June 7, 1987, witnesses told the court.
But they said the raffle was never held and the prizes – a color television, an oak table with four chairs and an accordian – were never awarded.
Close to 100 parishioners and friends of Father Lima, as he is known within Oakville’s Portuguese community, filled the courtroom. The trial is to continue Oct. 11.