Places Father Joseph Maskell Worked Show That 'The Keepers' Subject Was Employed By Several Ministries


With its new docuseries The Keepers, Netflix is diving into a cold case that has remained unsolved for decades. The series takes a deep look at the mysterious 1969 murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, who was a beloved teacher at Archbishop Keough Catholic High School in Baltimore. But, the series isn't only focused on Cesnik's story. It also delves into the many allegations of sexual abuse against Keough's chaplain, Father Joseph Maskell. Maskell was never charged with a crime and denied the allegations until his death in 2001, and told The Baltimore Sun in 1994 that "I never had sex with a kid ... It is absolutely untrue." Because of the allegations, The Sunday Times reports that Maskell was stripped of his ministry by the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1994 but continued to gain employment after fleeing to Ireland in 1996. So, where else did Father Maskell work?

According to the Archdiocese of Baltimore website, before working as chaplain at Keough High School, Maskell served at Sacred Heart of Mary in Baltimore from 1965 to 1966. After that, he moved on to work at St. Clement in Lansdowne from 1966 to 1968. He then worked as the chaplain for Archbishop Keough Catholic High School from 1967 to 1975 and was also chaplain for the Baltimore police department during that time, according to The Times article. Additionally he worked at Our Lady of Victory from 1968 to 1970. Between 1970 and 1980, Maskell was living and "assisting" at St. Clement, while he served at the Division of Schools from 1975 to 1980. Between 1980 and 1982, he served at Annunciation before moving on to Holy Cross from 1982 to 1992. His final stint of employment in the United States before he fled to Ireland was for St. Augustine in Elkridge from 1993 to 1994.


The Archdiocese of Baltimore acknowledged the allegations against Maskell in a statement to Bustle.

"Since the 1990s, when the Archdiocese of Baltimore first learned of an allegation of child sexual abuse against Maskell, and on numerous occasions since, the Archdiocese has publicly acknowledged and apologized for the horrific abuse committed by him. The Archdiocese reported the allegations to civil authorities in the 1990s and cooperated fully in any investigation, removed Father Maskell’s faculties to function as a priest, apologized to victims and offered them counseling assistance, sought additional victims, and provided direct financial assistance to 16 individuals abused by Maskell.
Though it was unaware of the abuse at the time it occurred approximately 50 years ago, the Archdiocese deeply regrets the damage that was caused to those who were so badly harmed and has worked diligently since becoming aware of their abuse to bring some measure of healing to them. The Archdiocese is wholly committed to protecting children, holding abusers accountable — clergy and laity alike, and promoting healing for victims. These are hallmarks of the Archdiocese’s child protection efforts, which we strive to constantly strengthen.
There is no room in the Archdiocese for anyone who would harm a child and every effort must be made to ensure what happened before never happens again. It is our hope that The Keepers advances this pursuit, just as we hope the series helps those who have kept alive the memory of Sr. Cathy and our collective hope that justice will be won for her."

In 1996 Maskell fled to Ireland without the Archdiocese's knowledge, they claim on their website. After that, The Irish Mirror reported that Maskell continued working in a religious capacity and as a psychologist until 1998 and then went back to America the following year. He died shortly after in 2001.