A Marist Brother is locked up on child-porn charges in Sydney

By a Broken Rites researcher (article posted 18 March 2016)

A Marist Brother (Terence Joseph Gilsenan, 60) is scheduled for court in Sydney in 2016, charged with producing child-abuse material. The material was produced by combining faces of children with images of adults engaged in sexual acts, court documents allege. Police arrested Gilsenan at the Marist Brothers' imposing Sydney harborside residence at 14 Drummoyne Avenue, Drummoyne. A court has refused him bail and he will remain in custody to await his court proceedings.

Gilsenan was arrested by police from Sydney's Burwood Detectives Office. He appeared in Burwood Local Court on 26 February 2016, where he was denied bail. The case was listed again on 17 March 2016 for another brief procedure. The case will come up again in court soon.

Meanwhile, the Burwood detectives are continuing their inquiries.

He has been convicted and jailed
but he is STILL a Marist Brother

Following is a Broken Rites article about Brother Gilsenan, posted on 13 June 2015:-

In 2001, Broken Rites learned that in Sydney's Campbelltown District Court in 2001, Marist Brother Terence Joseph Gilsenan (born 18 October 1955) was sentenced by Judge Megan Latham to three years jail (with parole after 21 months) after pleading guilty to one incident of intercourse and three incidents of gross indecency, committed against a 12-year-old boy (a boarder from a country area) at St Gregory's College, Campbelltown, a Sydney outer suburb. The offences occurred in 1987-89 when Gilsenan, then in his early thirties, was  a trainee Brother while working at the college. He was also the assistant boarding supervisor.

Broken Rites has ascertained that in 1986, just before committing the offences at the Campbelltown school, Terry Gilsenan had been teaching at St Patrick's Marist Brothers College, in Dundas, Sydney.

Some time after his 1987-89 offences, Terry Gilsenan became officially professed as a Marist Brother.

Brother Terry Gilsanen's later schools, after Campbelltown, included Hamilton Brothers Marist College in Newcastle in 1995-96.

Some time after this, the former Campbelltown schoolboy reported Gilsenan's 1987-89 offences to the New South Wales police, resulting in the 2001 court case. 

Gilsenan's conviction in 2001 did not end his Marist career. Despite him now being a convicted paedophile, the Marists retained him as a Marist Brother.

Broken Rites has ascertained that, by 2004, the Marists had appointed Brother Terry Gilsenan to be a member of a newly-establshed Marist "Ministry Team", which has been described on a Marist website as "a new venture between the Catholic Education Office Sydney (Eastern region) and the Marist Brothers".

The Ministry Team's task was "to provide support for the faith life and Marist character to the six schools in the Eastern region of the [Sydney] Archdiocese which have Marist roots, traditions and culture: Pagewood, Daceyville, Randwick, North Sydney, Kogarah and Penshurst."

Broken Rites has seen a list of the Ministry Team's eight members. All were Marist Brothers — and the list includes Terry Gilsenan.

The Marist document said that, as well as liasising with staff of the schools, the tasks of the Ministry Team include:

  • "induction programs for Year 7 classes";
  • "leadership days for students in Years 7-12 in the Student Council";
  •  "meditation sessions for seniors as they approach final exams"; and
  • "joining school communities for their weekly Masses or prayers".

In May 2015 Brother Terry was listed on Marist websites, selling comic books and school resources for the Marist Brothers. The items include the "Champagnat Comic Book" and "cards, posters and publications for your school or ministry".

The Marist website indentified Gilsenen only as "Brother Terry" on the Marist Schools Australia website, but he could be contacted directly on an email address, land line and mobile phone numbers that were available from the website.

When contacted by journalist Joanne McCarthy of the Newcastle Herald in mid-June 2015, Marist Brothers provincial leader Brother Jeffrey Crowe defended the Marists' decision to place a convicted child sex offender’s direct contact details on a Marist Schools Australia website. Brother Crowe said that Brother Terry Gilsenan’s position was "essentially an office role". He said: "It is the view of the Marist Brothers that Brothers who have been convicted can be gainfully employed, provided the strictest conditions are met."

A member of the New South Wales state parliament, Mr David Shoebridge (the Justice spokesperson for the Greens) told the Herald that it was "unbelievable" that the Marist Order could consider it reasonable to make a convicted child sex offender  as the contact point for a children’s comic book.

Mr Shoebridge said: "He [Brother Terry Gilsenan] retains all the status of being a Marist Brother, and his contact details are available on the order’s own website. The Marist Brothers are still in denial, despite everything we’ve heard at the [child-abuse] Royal Commission. In 2015 no one with responsibility for educating children should have to be told it is wrong, in fact culpable, to have a convicted paedophile selling comic books.”

A New South Wales victims advocate, Mr Bob O'Toole (who was abused by a Marist Brother in the 1950s), told the Herald:

"Have they learnt anything from the Royal Commission?

"I don’t begrudge a man making a living even if he is convicted, but why put him in a position like that working directly with schools, and where any child can inadvertently make contact with him simply by accessing the Marist Schools Australia website?"

Mr O'Toole said the failure to include Gilsenan’s surname, and naming him simply as "Brother Terry" on the website and in the advertisement, prevented people from having any ability to identify him as a child sex offender.