Polish-born Priest, Diocese London, Ontario. Ordained 1975. Served in the Archdiocese of Chicago prior to his arrival in Canada around 1988. 2006: GUILTY plea to sex abuse of two boys in Port Dover, Ontario – the abuse dates between 1995 and 2000. Sentenced to five years. 12 June 2009 was dismissed from the clerical state (laicized/defrocked)
Bishops of the Diocese of London, Ontario from the time of Father Przybylski’s arrival: John Michael Sherlock (07 July 1978 – 27 April 2002 ); Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B. (27 Apr 2002 – – )
Auxiliary Bishops of the Diocese of London, Ontario from the time of Father Przybylski’s arrival: Frederick Bernard Henry (18 April 1986 — 24 Mar 1995); Richard John Grecco (5 December 1997 – 27 April 2002); Robert Anthony Daniels ( 21 September 2004 to 1 March 2011)
The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, media (M) and London Diocese (L)
2011, 2010: Not listed in directory (CCCD)
released from jail either this year or last and believed to have left the country following his release (L)
12 June 2009: dismissed from the clerical state (L)
February 2006: GUILTY plea to two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation of two altar boys (M)
until his conviction had been living in the rectory of St. Martin’s of Tours in London, Ontario, just steps from an elementary school (M)
2005: arrested (M)
2002: 196 Dufferin Ave,. London, Ontario (CCCD) address and phone number those of St. Peter’s Cathedral
1995-2000: St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church, Port Dover, Ontario (M)
2000, 1995, 1994: Pastor, St, Cecilia Roman Catholic Church, Port Dover, Ontario (CCCD)
abuse reported to diocesan officials in 2000. Sent to Southdown (M)
1993, 1992: Our Lady of Czestochowa, London, Ontario (CCCD)
1989: Lady of Czesto Jehova, Polish parish in London, Ontario (M)
1988: Left Chicago – arrived in Canada
1970s: Left Poland for Chicago, Illinois (M)
Crown Seeks Prison Term for Priest in Sex Abuse Case
14 June 2006
By Paul Legall
The Crown has recommended at least five years in the penitentiary for a disgraced priest who abused an altar boy he had taken to the Vatican to meet the Pope.
“This is a case that cries out for a denunciatory sentence,” Crown attorney John Ayre told Ontario Court Justice Martha Zivolak yesterday.
He stressed Father Konstanty Przybylski, 56, shouldn’t get any special consideration because he’s a priest and has strong support in his community.
He submitted Przybylski used his role as pastor of St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic parish in Port Dover as a “vehicle” to win over and sexually abuse altar boys.
“There is no overt evidence of physical violence (as there often is in other sexual abuse cases involving children). He didn’t need it. He had their trust.”
During his guilty plea in February, the judge heard Przybylski won over his victims by providing them with drinks, cigarettes and gifts and taking them on trips to Europe and the United States.
In 1999, Przybylski organized a Vatican trip with a group of altar boys, including sexual abuse victims 17-year-old Philippe Lauriault and 16-year-old Trevor Kannawin.
During the pilgrimage, the priest acted as Lauriault’s chaperon because he was the only boy travelling without his parents.
In his victim impact statement, Lauriault told the judge that Przybylski had encouraged him to join the priesthood and personally inducted him into the Knights of Columbus fraternal organization when he was 18.
Meeting the Pope should have been the highlight of his religious life. But seven years later the trip evoked only thoughts of shame and humiliation. The experience was tainted by the fact that Przybylski had sexually abused him again in a conference centre near Vatican City.
In February, Przybylski pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation for abusing Lauriault, now 24, and Kannawin, 23. The boys have gone public with their stories and are suing the priest and the diocese of London for $6 million.
His lawyer, Mike McArthur, yesterday asked Zivolak to sentence the priest to a reformatory term of less than two years and consider letting him serve his time in the community as a conditional sentence or house arrest.
McArthur argued Przybylski had undergone treatment, recognizes his conduct was wrong and tried to compensate one of the victims, Kannawin, by making secret payments of about $36,000 to him. Zivolak will sentence the priest July 4.
Disgraced -priest admits sex assaults on altar boy 5 Years
Ex-Port Dover priest admits sex assaults on altar boys
The Hamilton Spectator
07 June 2006
By Paul Legall
A disgraced priest who sexually abused a Port Dover altar boy during a trip to the Vatican says he secretly paid more than $36,000 to another victim who threatened to expose him.
Father Konstanty Przybylski has pleaded guilty to sexually exploiting and sexually assaulting two boys from his parish from the mid-1990s to 2000.
Yesterday at his sentencing hearing, he said one of the boys — now 23 — called him several years ago and demanded money.
He stopped short of saying the man was blackmailing him, and denied suggestions he was portraying himself as an extortion victim as he faces a possible penitentiary term.
Former altar boys Philippe Lauriault, now 24, and Trevor Kannawin, 23, worked with Przybylski at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Port Dover.
They have gone public with their stories and are suing the priest and the diocese for $6 million.
Przybylski has pleaded guilty to abusing the two from the mid- 1990s until 2000.
Lauriault was 16 years old when the abuse started and said most of the sexual activity occurred in the parish rectory. But he was also abused when Przybylski took him on unchaperoned trips to a family wedding in Chicago, his native Poland and a pilgrimage to the Vatican.
Outside the courtroom, Lauriault said he was the only altar boy without his parents during the trip to Italy and the abuse occurred while he shared a bed with the priest in a religious conference centre near Vatican City.
The next year, he said, Przybylski took him to Poland after the priest’s mother died. In 2000, he was supposed to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the priest.
The abuse of Kannawin began when the boy was 13.
The attacks continued until 2000 when Lauriault reported the priest to his superiors in the London diocese.
Przybylski told the court yesterday that Kannawin called him in January 2003 and demanded money.
“He mentioned, ‘You will give me the money or else you will go to prison,'” Przybylski testified through a Polish interpreter in Ontario court yesterday.
“I asked how much and there was no answer,” he added.
From Feb. 15, 2003, to April 3, 2005, he said he had nine secret meetings with Kannawin in Port Dover and gave him a total of about $36,000 in sealed envelopes.
Although he claimed Kannawin had never specified an amount, Przybylski said the payments ranged from $3,000 to $5,000. Always in cash.
He testified there was little conversation during these encounters and the envelope was never opened.
Testifying at his sentencing hearing yesterday, Przybylski denied trying to buy the victim’s silence and claimed he was providing the money for professional counselling.
During cross examination by Crown Attorney John Ayre, Przybylski conceded Kannawin had never demanded money for counselling when he phoned him with the prison threat in January 2003.
Asked how he felt when he was threatened with prison, the priest replied: “I was amazed.”
But the thought of going to jail never occurred to him, he added.
Kannawin has admitted phoning the priest but denied the blackmail allegations.
During cross examination Przybylski said the thought of “extortion” never crossed his mind when Kannawin telephoned.
With a net salary of less than $17,000 a year, Przybylski testified he had to exhaust his savings and collapse his Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) to make the payments.
“You were prepared to go to great lengths to keep a secret,” Ayre charged.
“I just wished to help him,” replied the priest.
In May 2005, after also first complaining to the London diocese, Kannawin reported the sexual abuse to the Norfolk OPP. The priest was initially charged with six sexual offences. But the charges were reduced to sexual assault relating to Kannawin, who was abused over a four-year period, and sexual exploitation for both victims.
Sexual exploitation relates to the fact that Przybylski was in a position of trust and authority.
Lauriault approached church authorities in 2000 and informed the diocese about the priest’s behaviour. As a form of discipline, they relieved Przybylski of his pastoral duties and ordered him to undergo counselling at the Southdown Treatment Centre north of Toronto.
When he left St. Cecilia’s, he told his parishioners he had contracted stomach cancer.
They didn’t learn about the sexual abuse until he was charged four years later.
During treatment at Southdown, he admitted his sexual involvement with Lauriault. But he never mentioned he had also abused Kannawin, who is now married with a young child.
After Southdown, he spent some time with a sister in St. Catharines before he was moved to St. Martin of Tours Parish in London. He has no priestly duties.
After studying for the priesthood in his native Poland, Przybylski immigrated to the United States in the 1970s and served as a priest in Chicago where he has relatives. He has been in Canada since 1988.
His sentencing hearing will resume June 13.
The Crown is pushing for a penitentiary term and his lawyer, Mike McArthur, has asked for a conditional sentence or “house arrest.”
He is out of custody awaiting his sentence.
Priest gets five years for abusing altar boys
The Hamilton Spectator
05 July 2006
By Paul Legall
A Roman Catholic priest apologized and asked for forgiveness yesterday before he was sentenced to five years for sexually abusing two altar boys.
One of the teenagers was molested when the 56-year-old cleric took him to the Vatican to meet the pope.
Apart from handing down the jail term, Ontario Court Justice Martha Zivolak ordered Father Konstanty Przybylski to provide a DNA sample and placed him on the sexual offenders data bank for 20 years.
She said his crimes were aggravated by the fact that he was a Roman Catholic priest and had violated the trust of the community as well as the teenagers who regarded him as their spiritual mentor.
“Sir, you’ve asked for forgiveness,” Zivolak stated as she stared directly at the priest, who kept his head slightly bowed. “This court is not in the business of giving forgiveness.”
She added, however, it would be up to the people he violated to decide whether they should forgive him.
In February, he had pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation of two altar boys while he was pastor of St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church during the last half of the 1990s.
Zivolak heard the Polish-born pastor had “groomed” Philippe Lauriault, now 24, and Trevor Kannawin, 23, by providing them with gifts, sleepovers at the rectory and trips to the United States and Europe.
In 1999, he took Lauriault, then 17, on a pilgrimage to Rome to meet the pope and had a sexual encounter with the teen while they were staying at a conference centre near Vatican City. Lauriault said he was relieved and glad when he heard Zivolak had sentenced his former confessor and spiritual mentor to penitentiary.
“What he’s stolen (from) me I can never get back,” Lauriault told reporters outside the courthouse. “He stole my youth … That’s something I can’t forgive him for.”
As a result of the abuse, he said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder. He has dropped out of university and has a minimum-wage job. “I’ll never be who I was when I was 16 years old (when he started serving mass at St. Cecilia’s).” Lauriault kept the abuse secret until he learned that Kannawin had also been assaulted.
Kannawin, who was first abused when he was 13, was also pleased with the sentence. “I feel great, a great sense of relief. I’m glad it’s over, that’s for sure,” he said as he stood outside the courthouse with his young wife and nine-month-old daughter.
He also dropped out of university and suffered psychological trauma as a result of the abuse and doesn’t feel he can forgive the priest any time soon. He is now working in a factory.
Priest Gets 5 Years
With Konstanty Przybylski off to Prison, His Victims — Former Altar Boys — Can Try to ‘Rebuild and Heal.’
London Free Press
05 July 2006
By Jane Sims
Simcoe — As a Roman Catholic priest for three decades, Konstanty Przybylski had walked this way before — with his head bowed, his hands clasped in front of him.
But yesterday’s walk from the Simcoe courthouse through the parking lot to the OPP station for a DNA sample was one of humiliation, not humility.
Przybylski’s clasped hands were held together with handcuffs.
The head was bowed in shame.
As two OPP officers led away the 56-year-old Przybylski — Father Konny to his parishioners — to begin a five-year prison sentence, the two men he sexually abused when they were Port Dover altar boys stood together in relief.
“I know he’s going to jail. I know he can’t hurt me any more,” said Phillipe-Alexandre Lauriault, 24.
“Now it’s trying to rebuild and heal from there.”
Lauriault and Trevor Kannawin, 24, both had a court-imposed publication ban lifted to reveal what happened to them when they were teenagers with ties to St. Cecilia’s Church.
At one point, they were best friends, but didn’t know they each had been victimized by the same man.
It was a random meeting at a bar years later when they let each other know they were not alone in their agony.
The two men have each launched $3.1-million civil lawsuits against Przybylski and the Diocese of London.
Ontario Court Justice Martha Zivolak, in imposing the maximum sentence requested by the Crown, made it clear she believed the young men were victims of a horrendous breach of trust.
Przybylski’s lawyer had sought a conditional sentence.
The priest pleaded guilty in February to one count of sexual assault and two counts of sexual touching.
Zivolak reviewed the pattern of abuse Lauriault and Kannawin experienced.
First it was hugs, then kisses, then fondling.
Then came the sleepovers, trips, mutual masturbation, fellatio and for one of them, anal intercourse.
The abuse started in 1995 for Kannawin at age 13 and lasted for three years. Przybylski was welcomed into his parents’ home and trusted in the community.
Przybylski turned the boy on to alcohol and cigarettes and took him on a trip to Chicago, where he had been posted earlier.
Lauriault was 17 when the abuse started in 1998 and continued until 2000. Przybylski took him to Chicago, Poland and to meet Pope John Paul II in Rome.
He bought him a car.
Zivolak said though there was no overt violence, the extent of the grooming and Przybylski’s position within the community were significant aggravating factors in sentencing.
The men have suffered, she said. Lauriault gave up his dream of being a priest. Both had troubles in school and with coping every day.
Both told of their struggles in victim impact statements.
Zivolak said the two men had “tremendous strength” to come forward.
Zivolak was concerned about Przybylski’s “lack of insight” into his behaviour.
Defence lawyer Michael McArthur had argued earlier the priest had counselling and never acted out on his impulses until he was posted to Port Dover, where he felt isolated and lonely.
Zivolak also noted Przybylski had told his congregation when he left he had cancer, but he is not being treated.
She rejected his claim that Kannawin had tried to extort $36,000 from him over two years, commenting she had grave concerns about the priest’s evidence.
As well as violating the boys’ trust both physically and spiritually, Zivolak called the crimes “a violation of all those who respected you in the Catholic church.”
Przybylski asked for forgiveness in his address to court.
“I want to apologize to everyone,” he said.
Both men said they come to court expecting the worst — house arrest.
“To have the judge believe the two of us today is a great feeling,” Lauriault said.
Kannawin, holding his eight-month-old daughter, said he went to the police initially “to put behind me before I moved forward with my life.
“I’m relieved. It’s been a long time waiting — a sense of closure.”
Forgiveness, however, is a more complicated issue.
“I’m hoping I can,” Kannawin said. “(But) not right now, that’s for sure.”
Lauriault said the diocese should feel “shame.”
“I realize no one is perfect, but there were signals there. They should have seen it coming . . . There’s no way they didn’t have any suspicions.”
A diocese spokesperson could not be contacted yesterday.
Until yesterday, Przybylski was living at the rectory of St. Martin’s of Tours on London’s Cathcart Street, just steps from St. Martin’s elementary school.
Lauriault said housing the priest there was “unforgivable.”
Victims of Priest’s Abuse Talk of Lives Going off Rails
Rev. Konstanty Przybylski Pleaded Guilty in February to Sexual Abuse
London Free Press
13 May 2006
SIMCOE — One victim says he is “broken,” while another says he feels immense shame because of the sexual abuse he suffered.
Philippe-Alexandre Lauriault and Trevor Kannawin, both 22, gave victim impact statements during the sentencing hearing of Rev. Konstanty Przybylski.
Przybylski pleaded guilty in February to sexually abusing Lauriault and Kannawin between 1995 and 2000, while he was a priest at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church in Port Dover.
Przybylski has lived in London since 2000. When he was arrested nearly a year ago, he was not assigned to a parish, a spokesperson for the Diocese of London said.
A publication ban on the names of the former altar boys was lifted during the hearing Thursday in a Simcoe courtroom.
“I have lost a huge piece of my life,” Lauriault said in his statement. “I am broken.”
Lauriault’s family moved to Port Dover and he said during his first meeting with Przybylski, the priest asked him if he’d like to be an altar boy.
Lauriault said he took day trips to London with Przybylski.
A couple of years later, “Rev. Przybylski started to take a greater interest in me,” Lauriault told the court. “He would want me to hug him. . . . At first, they were normal hugs.”
The hugs progressed to longer hugs, then kissing, Lauriault said.
The priest asked him if he masturbated and when Lauriault said he had, Przybylski told him it was a sin, but if they were to masturbate each other, then it would be OK.
He said the priest offered him cigarettes and alcohol and even bought him a car.
Lauriault travelled with Przybylski to Poland, Chicago and Rome. While in Rome on a trip with other St. Cecilia’s parishioners, Lauriault had the opportunity many Catholics dream of — he met the Pope.
But Lauriault said his memory of meeting Pope John Paul II is tarnished because during the trip, just minutes from the Vatican, Przybylski abused him.
“All the photos I have of meeting the Pope, Rev. Przybylski is in the back. I cannot look at those photos,” he said.
Lauriault said he became dependent on alcohol and cigarettes. He went away to university and then college in Ottawa, but was never able to focus on his studies and dropped out of school.
Kannawin was quiet when he gave his victim impact statement, but he said he felt “shame” over what had happened.
He said he started to act out, getting piercings and tattoos, started smoking, wasn’t able to focus on his studies when he attended Brock University and began to pull away from his family.
Przybylski’s lawyer, Mike McArthur of Simcoe, questioned Kannawin about several phone calls Kannawin made to his client in November 2004.
McArthur alleged Kannawin had extorted money from Przybylski, saying if the priest didn’t give him money, Kannawin would make sure he went to jail.
Kannawin admitted to trying to contact Przybylski, but said it was because he wanted to ask Przybylski why he had abused him.
Przybylski is scheduled to appear on June 6 in a Simcoe court.
Too Close for Comfort
School Board Officials Question Whether a Sex-Abuse Suspect Should Be Living Next to a School
19 June 2005
By Kelly Pedro
The head of the London District Catholic school board questions whether a priest facing child sex-offence charges should be living next to aLondonschool until trial.
Joe Rapai said he spoke with the diocese ofLondonand the Norfolk County Crown attorney Friday to ask whether it was possible to move Rev. Konstanty Przybylski to a parish that’s not next to an elementary school.
“My question was, ‘Could it be any other site?’ ” Rapai, the board’s education director, said yesterday.
“I thought it was important to raise the question of whether there was any chance (he could be moved). There are some parishes that are not immediately adjacent to a school.”
Przybylski, 55, was charged Wednesday with two counts of sexual assault, two counts of sexual exploitation, sexual interference and sexual touching.
Two young men say they were sexually assaulted at St. Cecilia’s Church in Port Dover, where Przybylski was a priest between 1995 and 2000, Norfolk OPP have said.
They were altar boys at the church and between 12 and 18 years old at the time.
Przybylski has been living at St. Martin of Tours rectory onCathcart Street, next toSt. Martin’s school, since he left Port Dover in 2000.
He is not assigned to a parish.
Bishop Tony Daniels sent a letter to all pastors in the diocese Friday, explaining the situation and saying the court ordered Przybylski to live atSt. Martin’s rectory.
Rapai said he doesn’t think the Crown realized the rectory was so close to the school.
“We’re looking at one foot away from the school,” he said.
Rapai said he raised the question of whether Przybylski’s living arrangements were appropriate after parents expressed concern to him.
“We’re not judging. We’re not pre-empting this situation. We’re just raising a question,” he said.
The decision on whether Przybylski’s living arrangements should be changed is up to the courts, Rapai added.
London Ward 6 trustee Loren Demelo, whose ward takes inSt. Martin’s school and the church, said she’s asking parents with concerns to contact the diocese.
She added Przybylski has no contact with kids at the school.
“On our end, really what can you do? It’s in the courts.”
Rapai said the board didn’t know of the charges against Przybylski until they were reported in the media. If the board had known earlier, he said, it could have prepared for parents’ reaction.
Poles take `underground railway’ from Ontario to U.S., priest says
23 November 1989
Windsor, Ont.(CP) – Polish nationals may be paying up to $2,000 to travel “an underground railway” from Ontario to the United States, a Polish priest says.
Nineteen Poles with Canadian visas were discovered in the back of a transport truck during a routine check at a weigh station on Highway 401 on Monday.
The Poles – 16 men and three women, aged 21 to 55 – told investigators they were bound for Chicago although their passports didn’t entitle them to enter the United States.
Stories similar to those described by the truck passengers have been heard at Lady of Czeto Jehova church in London, Ont., its parish priest said Tuesday.
Rev. Frederick Przybylsky said that three months ago parishioners told him two Polish men and a Polish woman from London paid $2,000 for the journey but were caught at the border. The three were deported to Poland, he said.
“These are people working one year or two years and then going back to the homeland with the money,” he said. “Many hope to earn enough money before they are caught so they can improve their lives back home.”
Przybylsky, who lived in Chicago before moving to London, said that illegal immigrants from Poland and Mexico are attracted to Chicago because many employers ask few questions about citizenship and social security numbers.
Employers get hard-working, stable employees despite low wages – usually the minimum wage of $4 an hour.
“Nobody asks you if you have any visa or something,” Przybylsky said.
“They work as a cleaning lady or something like that. It’s on the black market.”
Jobs are less plentiful in Canada and employers are stickier about proof of citizenship, he said.
Polish pipeline runs through city, priest believes
The Windsor Star
22 November 1989
By Brad Honywill
Windsor may be part of an underground railway for Polish nationals hoping to gain illegal entry into the United States.
Late Monday night 19 Poles with Canadian visitor visas were found in the back of a transport truck during a routine check at a weigh station on Highway 401.
Some told investigators they were on their way to Chicago although their passports did not entitle them to entry into the United States.
On Tuesday night a Polish priest from London, where some of the visitors came from, said in an interview he believes others have taken the same route, paying $2,000 to be slipped into the United States.
Rev. Frederick Przybylsky, a priest at Lady of Czesto Jehova, the only Polish parish in London, said he has heard stories similar to those described by the truck passengers discovered at the weigh station.
Three months ago, he said, parishioners told him that two Polish men and a Polish woman from London paid $2,000 for the journey but were caught at the Windsor/Detroit border.
He said the three were recently deported to Poland.
Przybylsky and others from the parish said they knew nothing of this most recent attempt by Polish nationals to sneak into the United States. OPP spokesmen said they knew nothing more of the fate of the 16 men and three women, aged 21 to 55, after they were released early Tuesday.
The priest said he understood his countrymen’s motivations to sneak across the border. Many hope to earn enough money before they are caught so they can improve their lives back home, he said.
“I think these are people working one year or two years and then going back to the homeland with the money,” he said in broken English.
Przybylsky said he lived in Chicago before coming to London and knew that the American city has a problem with illegal residents from Poland and Mexico.
He said people from those two countries are attracted to Chicago by the opportunity to work at jobs where employers ask few questions about citizenship and social security numbers. In exchange, employers snag hard working, stable employees willing to work for very low wages, usually at the minimum wage of $4 an hour.
“Nobody asks you if you have any visa or something,” the priest said. “They work as a cleaning lady or something like that. It’s on the black market.”
In Canada, he said, the jobs are less plentiful and employers are stickier about proof of citizenship.
Przybylsky said the illegal residents are able to save money by jamming into basement apartments costing maybe $300 a month.
“I heard about it a lot in Chicago,” he said. “We had many problems like that.”