Reed: Father Francis Reed

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J. Francis Reed

Priest, Diocese of Sault St. Marie.  Ordained 15 May 1964.  Sexual assault of 19-year-old girl he had been counselling (at parent’s request) for two years.  Seven charges laid in 1997 – Crown declined to prosecute.  In 2001 sex assault lawsuit settled out of court after the victim, Elizabeth McKenna, spent 20 days on the witness stand.  Recyled to England.  Died in England January 2012


Bishops of Sault Ste. Marie Diocese from time of Father Francis Reed’s ordination :

Alexander Carter  (Coadjutor Bishop: 10 Dec 1956 – Bishop 22 November 1958 – 03 May 1985); Marcel André J. Gervais (03 May 1985 –  13 May 1989  when appointed, Coadjutor Archbishop of Ottawa, Ontario) ; Jean-Louis Plouffe (02 December 1989  –  )

Auxiliary bishops:  Adolphe E. Proulx  (2 Jan 1965 – 28 April 1967 [ also served as Chancellor from 1960 – 1965] ); Roger-Alfred Despatie (20 May 1968 – 8 February 1973); Gérard Dionne ( 29 January 1975 – 23 November 1983);  Bernard Francis Pappin (29 January 1975 – 27 Aug 1998);   Jean-Louis Plouffe (12 Dec 1986 – Bishop 02 Dec 1989);  Paul-André Durocher ( 20 January 1997 – 27 April 2002); Robert Harris 26 October 2002 – 8 May 2007); Brian Joseph Dunn (16 July 2008 – 21 Nov 2009).


07 February 2012:  Elizabeth McKenna: There is life after abuse

12 December 2011:  BLOG In the refectory

13 May 2003:  EM v Reed (Ontario Court of Appeal – Great American insurance company ordered to pay portion of legal costs of Father Reed and the Diocese of Sault Ste Marie.

June 1980: Ontario religious educators meet in Ottawa 1980


The following information is drawn from Canadian Catholic Church Directories (CCCD) which I have on hand, the 1980 Ontario Catholic Directory (OCD) and media (M)

31 January 2012:  Died in England

2011:  County Durham, UK (CCCD)  (on 12 December 2011 Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Newhouse, Durham website lists Father Francis Reed (retired) as “Also in Residence.”  Pastor Father David Coxon.  (Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle)

2010:  Queen of Martyrs Church, Newhouse Eshwinning, Durham, England PH7 9LF (CCCD)

2005:  out of country on sabbatical (M)

2002, 2000, 1999:  Pastor, Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, Massey, Ontario (CCCD)

May 2001:  Bishop Ploufffe issued apology to Elizabeth McKenna (M) He acknowledged that Reed had been reinstated and was back in ministry.  According to Plouffe, parishioners were receptive t Reed’s return once the lawsuit was settled   Plouffe described Reed a ‘a very holy man.”  According to Plouffe, “We’re not dealing here with anything criminal … This was a civil suit.”  (M)

2000:  Elizabeth McKenna spent 20 days on the witness stand in Toronto before the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie decided to settle for an undisclosed sum

1998:  Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, Sudbury, Ontario (Pastor Father Father R.H. Farrel)

1997:  index lists address as 1770 Paris St., Sudbury,  and phone number as 705-522-8710 (CCCD) Under Sault Ste. Marie Diocese he, along with Sister Diane Dupont sasv, is listed as in charge of Faith Development and Formation of Pastoral Assistants for the diocese (CCCD)

Elizabeth McKenna filed a compliant with Sault St. Marie police.  Charges were laid – the Crown allegedly declined to prosecute because of consent issues and Elizabeth’s psychiatric history (EM and M)

1996:  Pastor, Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, Espanola, Ontario (CCCD)

Father Reed and Sister Diane Dupont sasv are listed as the contact persons for Formation to Permanent Ministries (CCCD)

1995, 1994, 1993, 1992:  Pastor, St. Stephen Martyr Roman Catholic Church, Dowling, Ontario (CCCD)

1991:  Pastor, St. Gerard Majella Roman Catholic Church, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (CCCD)

1990:  Elizabeth McKenna met with Father Clement, then Vicar General of the Diocese of Sault St.e Marie, and told him she had been sexually abused by Father Reed. (Online account by Elizabeth McKenna)

1985-86:  222 Albert St. East  705-256-2260 (CCCD) (address for the Catholic Centre in Sault Ste. Marie)

1980:  “At studies” (OCD)

1973-74: index lists him at “Office of Religious Education”169 Spring St., Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (CCCD)

member of the diocesan Liturgy Commission (CCCD) with Monsignor  C.G. Adams and Fathers A. Huneault, J.A. Hutton, F.O. Murphy, J. Marchand, L.A. Martin, G. Roy, and R.J. van Berkel (CCCD)

1971-72:  index lists him at “Office of Religious Education” (CCCD)

1968-69:  Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. (Pastor Father R.H. Farrell) (CCCD)

member of the diocesan Liturgy Commission (CCCD) with Monsignor C.G. Adams and Fathers F.L. Faranzena, H.T. Kennedy, J. Marchand, L.A. Martin, G. Roy, R. Tremblay and R.J. van Berkel

1967: 110 Washington St., Brussels, Belgium (CCCD)

Summer 1967:  Sexual assaults of Elizabeth McKenna by Father Reed began (L)

15 May 1964:  ORDAINED


Further info re the lawsuit referenced below and Father Francis Reed

2003: Negligence Versus Intention


The Canadian Encyclopedia online

Excerpt from Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandals

Those who are able to talk about their compensation struggles with Catholic dioceses and their insurers say the experience was in many ways worse than the abuse. Elizabeth McKenna spent 20 days on the witness stand in a Toronto courtroom in the spring of 2000, before the diocese of Sault Ste. Marie and their insurers finally agreed to settle a $3-million lawsuit she had pursued for a decade. “They really put the gloves on,” says McKenna. “I’ll never forget one of the lawyer’s questions: ‘Do you have an orgasm when you masturbate?’ ” In the run-up to trial, she says, high school acquaintances were approached by private investigators seeking information about her past.

McKenna was a devoutly religious 17-year-old who wanted to become a nun when her parish priest, Father Francis Reed, initiated a sexual relationship with her. The encounters continued for years, even as a confused McKenna plunged into depression and self-destructive behaviour – today, at age 55, her arms are covered with white scars from countless cigarette burns and knife cuts. Ultimately McKenna, who had Reed criminally charged (although the case did not go to trial when the crown would not proceed with prosecution), received an undisclosed financial settlement, as well as a tepid written apology from Sault Bishop Jean-Louis Plouffe for the priest’s “wrongful conduct.” Father Reed continues to serve three parishes in northern Ontario.



The Toronto Star

25 September 1997

A Catholic priest who once served in Sault Ste. Marie has been charged with four counts of indecent assault in connection with an incident 30 years ago. Rev. Francis Reed, 59, now of Espanola, will appear in court in the Sault next month. The complainant is a 50-year- old woman.

2 Responses to Reed: Father Francis Reed

  1. Leona says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story on this website. I am horrified to read that Fr. Reed was never removed from the priesthood.

  2. Anon says:

    This man was a piece of work. I knew someone who tried to receive communion on the tongue from him, he yelled at her “hands please” and refused to give it to her on the tongue. He was as much of a modernist as modernists come. May god have mercy on his soul.

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