March 31, 2005

Sympathy for priest fired over messages

BILLERICA (MA)
Lowell Sun

By JACK MINCH and MATT MURPHY, Sun Staff

BILLERICA -- After working closely with Rev. Michael Randone for nearly three years, St. Theresa's pastor said he came to know a priest sincerely committed to helping the youth of his Billerica parish.

But yesterday, Rev. Eugene Tully called his former colleague to offer some friendly words of comfort, a day after Randone was fired from his post at Central Catholic High School in Lawrence and resigned his parish in Haverhill amid allegations that he sent inappropriate online messages to students.

I didn't want to call him to get information or details. I spoke to him briefly to tell him we were thinking of him and that to let us know if we could do anything to help, Tully said. I think he's upset, very saddened and hurt.

Randone, 36, was fired Tuesday as Central Catholic's part-time chaplain because he was instant-messaging students over the Internet in violation of policy, according to the school.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

One message was sent to a juvenile female, according to a published report that quoted a Department of Social Services official. School officials reportedly
said the message was of a sexual nature.

Posted by kshaw at March 31, 2005 06:12 PM