Priest, Diocese of Regina, Saskatchewan. Ordained 02 April 1949. 1994 CONVICTED – sentenced to three years for sex abuse of 15 girls under age 12. Charges related to abuse perpetrated in the 60s and 70s.
Unless otherwise noted the followung dates and information are drawn from the Canadian Catholic Church Directory (CCCD) of the date indicated and Faith Alive: Regina Archdiocese 1910-2010 (FA)
07 April 2009: died at age 85. Obituary on Archdiocese of Regina website reads as follows:
April 7, 2009
Reverend Eldon McGrath, a Regina Archdiocesan priest for almost 60 years died April 3 at the age of 85. Father Eldon was ordained a priest on April 2, 1949 and served a variety of parishes in the Archdiocese of Regina.
The funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at 11 am. at Holy Rosary Cathedral. The principal celebrant will be Most Reverend Daniel Bohan Archbishop of Regina with priests of the Archdiocese. Interment will take place in Ceylon, Saskatchewan where his parents, two brothers and a sister are also buried.
Father McGrath is survived by his sisters Madeline McCurrey of Regina, Margaret and Mary McGrath both of Victoria, sister-in-law Patricia McGrath of Regina and numerous nephews and nieces.
Father McGrath retired to Martha House in Regina but spent the latter part of his life at Santa Maria Senior Citizens Home.
June 2006: “assisted” Archbishop Daniel Bohan at a Mass celebrating the centennial of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan (what was a convicted molester doing in sanctuary? and with the archbishop no less!) (FA) (Archbishop Daniel Joseph Bohan: March 2005 0)
2002, 2000, 1999, 1998: 1855 – 2nd Ave North, Regina 306-545-7109 (CCCD)
1995,1996, 1997: address c/o Diocesan Centre (CCCD) (Archbishop Peter Joseph Mallon: June 1995-March 2005)
November 1994: GUILTY plea
22 August 1994: WYNYARD, Sask. — Pre-trial hearing for Father Eldon McGrath (Canadian Press)
1994: address and phone number listed as: 13270 Maple Dr., St. Louis, Miss.; 314-965-0860 (CCCD) (this is the address for St. Michael’s Community, Servants of the Paraclete. The centre specializes in the treatment of alcoholism, chemical dependency and “psychosexual difficulties.”)
1991: Pastor at Our Lady of Grace, in Sedley, with missions at St. Peter in Kronau, St. Francis of Assisi in Francis and St. Aloysius in Filmore Saskatchewan (CCCD)
1982-? 1988: St. Patrick’s RC Church, Cupar, Saskatchewan (external link)
1985-86: St. Patrick’s RC Church, Cupar, Saskatchewan (Halpin) (CCCD)
1981: Pastor, Our Lady of Victory, Esterhazy, Saskatchewan (FA)
1971-75: Rector at Holy Rosary Cathedral, Regina, Saskatchewan (Online)
1973-74: Rector at Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral Regina, with missions at St. Jerome’s in Regina Beach, St. Peter’s in Lumsden and Sacred heart in Silton, Saskatchewan (CCCD) (Archbishop Charles Aime Halpin: Sept. 1973-Apr. 1994)
1967-71: Pastor, Holy Trinity RC Church, Regina, Saskatchewan (Holy Triniry Parish History online)http://www.holytrinityregina.com/HT_history.html
1968-69: Pastor, Holy Trinity RC Church, Regina, Saskatchewan (CCCD)
1967: Pastor St. Ignatius in Sinnett, with mission at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Lanigan, Saskatchewan (CCCD)
Member of the diocesan marriage tribunal
1959: Pastor St. Ignatius ,Sinnett, with missions at “Reine des Martyrs” in Lanigan and “Reine du Ciel” in Jansen, Saskatchewan (CCCD)
02 April 1949: ordained (Archbishop of Regina Michael Cornelius O’Neill: 1949-1973)
as a child attended St. Joseph RC Church in Ceylon, Saskatchewan. (Father Kenneth Greer, another convicted molester from the Regina Archdiocese, was also from St. Joseph. Greer was ordained June 196o)
Priest pleads guilty to sex assault, gets three years
November 28, 1994 21.27 EST
A 71-year-old Roman Catholic priest received a three-year sentence Monday for sexually abusing 15 girls under the age of 12 in east-central Saskatchewan.
Eldon McGrath pleaded guilty to 15 counts of indecent assault, the name of the offence at the time the incidents occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Prosecutor Matthew Miazga said all except one of the girls were members of Roman Catholic families that McGrath dealt with. Two of them told their parents about McGrath putting his hands into their panties and touching them, but nothing was done, Miazga told court.
All but one of the assaults he described occurred in the Lanigan parish where McGrath was posted between 1956 and 1967. Lanigan is about 115 kilometres east of Saskatoon.
The most recent assault occurred in the early 1970s in Regina.
The victims reported similar assaults. McGrath would invite them to sit on his lap where he would hold them while he touched them, even if they tried to squirm away, according to Miazga’s submission to court.
This would happen when McGrath visited their homes and sat at the kitchen table having coffee with their parents, in the church basement during catechism classes or at school.
Some women remember one incident while others say they were assaulted once a week for a couple of years.
McGrath retired two years ago from the parish in Sedley, about 50 kilometres southeast of Regina, when the charges arose.
Justice Ted Noble of Court of Queen’s Bench agreed with the three-year term jointly recommended by Miazga and defence lawyer Mark Mulatz.
At least 60 people were in court to hear the sentencing. McGrath apologized to his victims and to other priests for the embarrassment he caused them.
Miazga read portions of several victim impact statements in court. One woman said she lost her faith, her soul, her childhood and self-esteem.
Others said the experience made it difficult for them to raise their children as Catholics.
Some women said they’ve had problems with alcohol and difficulties in their marriages.
“Most of them have had difficult lives,” Miazga said.
While not every event could be the result of abuse, McGrath’s assault may have put some on the path to becoming victims as adults, he said.
Rev. Joseph Schnurr, spokesman for the Regina archdiocese, said: “We really feel very badly about people who have been victimized,” said
“We’re trying to take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
This includes more careful screening of candidates for the priesthood and more explicit discussions with them about sexual relations, he said.
June 7, 1993 17.39 EST
Two elderly priests from Saskatchewan are undergoing treatment in the United States following allegations of child sexual abuse, a Roman Catholic offical said Monday.
“We are a sinful church,” Rev. Joseph Schner of the Archdiocese of Regina told a news conference. “If anybody wants any proof of it, we have that.”
RCMP are investigating the cases but no charges have been laid.
Rev. Eldon McGrath is at a U.S. treatment centre for sex offenders, while Rev. Ted Dekievit is temporarily being treated for other health problems.
Both men are in their 70s.
McGrath was the priest in Lanigan in the early 1960s and later served in Esterhazy. Dekievit retired to Melville about six years ago, but remained active in church activities.
Schner said the church wants any abuse victims to feel that they can come forward and receive help for their suffering. “We would hope that … they’d be welcome to do that in very strict confidentiality that we’d be able to help them out.”
A prepared statement about the case was read to parishioners attending weekend services at St. Henry’s Roman Catholic Church in Melville, Sask., about 130 kilometres northeast of Regina.
The statement said the issue had not been discussed publically because guidelines set out by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops insist on strict confidentiality, to protect all people involved.
The Catholic Church has been rocked in recent years with charges of sexual assaults at various locations in Canada and several priests have been jailed.
Schner said the Regina archdiocese has established a committee last year to respond to needs of possible victims.
June 8, 1993 00.47 EST
Two elderly priests from Saskatchewan have received treatment n the United States following allegations of child sexual abuse, a Roman Catholic official said Monday.
We are a sinful church,” Rev. Joseph Schner of the Archdiocese of Regina told a news conference. “If anybody wants any proof of it, we have that.”
Schner said Rev. Eldon McGrath, 70, is at a U.S. treatment centre for sex offenders. RCMP are investigating incidents, involving two pre-adolescent girls more than 30 years ago in Lanigan, Sask., but no charges have been laid.
Rev. Ted Dekievit, 71, also went to the U.S. centre but has since returned to Saskatchewan for treatment of other health problems. Melville RCMP said they have completed their investigation of allegations against him and have not laid charges.
Both priests have been suspended from their ministries.
McGrath was the priest in Lanigan in the early 1960s and later served in Esterhazy, Sask. Dekievit retired to Melville, Sask., about six years ago but remained active in church activities.
Schner, a member of the advisory committee on sexual abuse for the Regina Archdiocese, said the allegations against the two priests had been kept confidential by his committee to ensure the integrity of the police investigations and protect the individuals involved.
He said the church wants any abuse victims to feel that they can come forward and receive help for their suffering.
“We would hope that … they’d be welcome to do that in very strict confidentiality that we’d be able to help them out.”