Major: Father Romeo Major

Major Romeo

Father Romeo Major.   Roman Catholic priest,  Ordained 21 June 1964 for the Diocese of Alexandria (Alexandria-Cornwall) Ontario.  Charged through Project Truth Probe in 2000.  Charges related to sex abuse of teenage girl withdrawn or dropped.  Retired after charges laid.Member of the Knights of Columbus.

For some reason the file of Father Romeo Major was one of many Cornwall sex abuse files which landed on the desk of Brockville Crown Curt Flanagan.  What involvement Flanagan had in this particular file is at present unknown, but he did have some input, if only offering an opinion to an assistant Crown.

Testimony at the inquiry that another woman alleged abuse by Romeo had confided in friend and lawyer for the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese Jacques Leduc.  She was allegedly told by Bishop Eugene Larocque that if she ever told anyone he would see that she was fired  from her teaching job with the Catholic Separate School Board in Quebec

[The following information is limited to that which I have on hand regarding Father Romeo Major’s assignments and activities in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwall and beyond. And so, for example, Father Major may well have been in charge of Boy Scouts from 1966 on with only rare interruption but I have information confirming only that he was in charge during the years indicated.Please note: In most dioceses rotations transpire in the Spring and/or Fall. Information for annual directories (indicating which parish a priest is serving in) is submitted the preceding Fall after the final round of rotations and parish assignments have been accomplished. A change of parish in the intervening months pre-publication is not the norm but does happen – such changes are therefore not conveyed in directories.]DOB: 29 January 1938

Ordained: 21 June 1964 by Bishop Rosario Brodeur in Nativity Co-Cathedral, Cornwall, Ontario

1965: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church (with Fathers B. Guindon, B.Lajambe, A. Milette and B.A.Cameron.

1966: listed in charge of Boy Scouts for the Diocese of Alexandria-Cornwal, Ontario.

1967: St. Francis De Sales Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario (with Father Francois E. Lefebvre)

  • in charge of Boy Scouts & Guides for the diocese

1968: Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall Ontario (with Fathers B. Guindon, E. Houde and Y. Royer)

  • in charge of Boy Scouts for the diocese

1969: St. John Bosco Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario (with Fathers Aime Leduc and G. Paquette)

1969-1972: Missionary work in Honduras

01 August 1972 -1984: Pastor at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario

Under Father Major’s leadership the parish became more involved in various “renewal” movement within the Church, specifically Marriage Encounter, R3, Cursillo and Parish Renewal.

  • 1973-1974: listed in charge of Boy Scouts for the diocese
  • 1980: listed in charge of Guides for the diocese
  • listed in charge of “Gardes de la Nativite” for the diocese (Father Thomas Villeneuve now listed in charge of Scouts)

1984 or ’85 (?) – ? early 90’s:  promoting le Mouvement du Renouveau Paroissial in French parishes throughout Ontario and Quebec

1985-1986: address in Catholic directory places him at St. Columban’s Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall where Father Gary Ostler is pastor. He may have been living and/or assisting at St. Columbans before the 1985 was printed which would explain the apparent contradiction between this and the 1985-1987 listing.

(According to the 1985-1986 directory Father Major was not pastor (ie in charge) at any parish in the diocese for a spell. If he was functioning as a priest in a parish he seems to suddenly be assisting vs in charge.  This is possibly because of his involvement with le Mouvement du Renouveau Paroissial?)

  • in charge of Scouts for the diocese

1985-1987: listed as Pastor at St. Martin of Tours Roman Catholic Church, Glen Robertson, Ontario.

1991: Pastor at Crist-Roi (Christ the King) Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario

  • Scouts
  • Diocesan contact for “Joie de Vivre”

1995: Pastor at Canadian Martyrs Roman Catholic Church, Cornwall, Ontario

  • Scouts

11 April 2000:  charged through Project Truth probe with sexual abuse of a teenage girl. Preliminary hearings were scheduled 24 & 25 April 2002. Charges were withdrawn or dropped prior to trial when, according to media reports, the main witness was unable to testify due to health problems.

Major, then in his early 60s, retired after facing the sexual abuse charges.

2002: Living in Cornwall but not directly affilliated with a parish. Perhaps assisting where needed?

April 2007:  Died

Death Of Cornwall Priest

Cornwall News AM 1220

April 27, 2007 — A Cornwall priest has died suddenly of natural causes. Sixty-nine-year-old Father Romeo Major passed away at his home on Edward Street Tuesday. He was ordained by Bishop Brodeur in June of 1964. The funeral will be held Monday.

Obituary for Rev. Romeo Major

Obituary in Cornwall Standard Freeholder

MAJOR, Reverend Roméo – Reverend Roméo Major passed away at his late residence on Tuesday, April 24, 2007. Age 69 years, formerly of 15 Edward Street, Cornwall, Ontario. Dear son of the late Alfred Major and the late Elizabeth Cuerrier. Dear brother of Rita (Mrs. Yvon Duplantie) and Juliette Paquette both of Cornwall. Also survived by one nephew Paul Paquette and three nieces Diane Eyolfson, Denise Paquette and Louise Doe, grandnephew Martin and grandniece Carly. Predeceased by one brother Roger Major.

Resting at the BOULERICE FUNERAL HOME LTD., 218 Montreal Road Cornwall, Ontario on Sunday April 29 from 2 p.m to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Solemn Translation from Boulerice Funeral Home Ltd. to Nativity co-cathedral on Monday, April 30 at 9 a.m.

Visitation Monday, April 30 in Nativity co-cathedral from 9 a.m. until funeral mass at 11 a.m. Interment in Nativity Cemetery, Cornwall, Ontario. As expressions of sympathy, Memorial Donations to the Charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

Members of the Knights of Columbus, Council 9695 are requested to assemble at Boulerice Funeral Home Ltd. on Sunday, April 29 at 8:00 p.m. for prayers and visitation for our late brother Rev. Roméo Major.

Members of the Knights of Columbus, Assemblée Marcel Renaud #2224 are requested to assemble at Boulerice Funeral Home Ltd. on Sunday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m. for prayers and visitation for our late brother Sir Knight Rev. Roméo Major. Honour Guard requested at the Funeral mass at Nativity co-cathedral on Monday, April 30

19 Sex Abuse Charges Laid

The Ottawa Sun

Tuesday, April 11, 2000


“Investigators probing decades of abuse by Cornwall officials and clergy laid another 19 sex offence charges against four men yesterday. The charges stem from further complaints brought to the attention of investigators with “Project Truth,” the OPP’s ongoing, 32-month probe of sexual abuse.

Rev. Charles MacDonald, 67, of Glen Robertson near Cornwall, faces two counts of gross indecency. MacDonald has already been ordered to stand trial on 21 sex charges dating back to the late ’60’s and early ’70’s.

Jean-Luc Leblanc, 55, of Newington, northwest of Cornwall, faces 10 new sex offence charges, including one count of buggery, two counts of anal intercourse, two counts of sexual assault on a male and one count of procuring a person for illicit sexual intercourse. Leblanc, a convicted pedophile who once was a meteorologist with Transport Canada and upon retirement, drove a school bus for the Upper Canada District Board in 1998, was hit with 13 sex charges last July stemming from the Project Truth investigation. He had already been charged with 28 sex-related charges earlier in 1999 .

Brian Bernard Dufour, 59, of Hamilton, was charged yesterday with two counts of indecent assault on a male and two counts of gross indecency. OPP Det. Insp. Klancy Grasman said he charges stem from the late 1960’s.

Rev. Romeo Major, 62, of Cornwall, was charged with one count of indecent assault on a female.

Dufour, Major and MacDonald are scheduled to appear in Cornwall, Ontario court April 17, 2000. Jean Luc LeBlanc will appear in court in Cornwall, Ontario June 23, 2000.

Grasman said he expects Project Truth, which has netted 114 charges so far, to wrap up by the end of next month.”

No Such beast

From my Sylvia’s Site blog re 24 Nov. 2008 testimony of Detective Constable Joseph Dupuis at the Cornwall Public Inquiry.  The following is a verbatim extract from the blog:

At some point a woman identified as C-69 contacted Project Truth with allegations against Father Romeo Major.  At that time Major had already been charged. According to notes entered into evidence

“[C-69] went on to say that she was paid $5,000 for treatment and that her good friend, Jacques Leduc, had helped her get that for her. She had been a good friend of Leduc for years. They started school together and after grade school went to grade 13 together at St. Lawrence High School. Leduc had advised her that you could not proceed on any criminal charges due to a limit of two years in the Province of Québec.

Leduc was acting as counsel for the Alexandria-Cornwall Diocese at that time. C-69 was paid by a Diocese from Québec. She had to sign documents that she would never talk about the abuse from unknown priests ever again.

Bishop Larocque also discussed with her that if she ever talked about abuse, he would see that she was fired from her teaching job at the Catholic Separate School Board. C-69 advised that she had disclosed to Jacques Leduc everything that happened to her.”

Dupuis described C-69 as a very fragile person.  There was no follow up with Bishop Larocque or Leduc on these allegations.  There have been inferences made that C-69 was not a credible witness.

The charges against Major from the one other witness were dropped.

Major died April 2007.