January 31, 2005

Parishioners back priest

Lynn Daily Item

By Debra Glidden
Monday, January 31, 2005

SWAMPSCOTT - Parishioners at St. John the Evangelist Church consoled one another and expressed disbelief over allegations made against their former pastor, who resigned on Friday after allegations were made he tried to solicit sex for a fee.

At the 10 a.m. Mass at St. John the Evangelist on Sunday, which was attended by more than 200 people and presided over by Monsignor Paul Garrity of St. Mary's Church, the mood among parishioners as they entered the church.

The Rev. Jerome Gillespie, 55, who was sent to St. John's in September, is scheduled to appear in Chelsea District Court on Feb. 17 to face charges of enticement of a child under age 16, solicitation of sex for a fee, and annoying and accosting a person of the opposite sex. He is alleged to have propositioned a 12-year-old girl and her mother at a Chelsea restaurant last Tuesday night.

The parishioners at the Sunday morning service said they doubt the allegation.

Posted by kshaw at January 31, 2005 07:29 AM