Assignment Record– Rev. Thomas J. Brunner

Summary of Case: Thomas J. Brunner was ordained for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1974. He assisted at parishes in Reading, Deer Park and Montgomery, then held the position of pastor at parishes in Anderson Township and Troy. For many years he was also a religion teacher, music minister and chaplain at Mount Notre Dame High School in Reading. In 1985 two girls, who were Mount Notre Dame students, told their principal that Brunner had sexually abused them. He did not deny the allegations. His assignment at the school was terminated and he was sent by the archdiocese to counseling. He was allowed to continue in parish ministry. In 1989 a woman told the archdiocese that Brunner had sexually abused her when she was a high school student in the 1970s. He was sent for a psychological evaluation and again allowed to stay in ministry. In September 2003 Brunner resigned from his long-time position as pastor of St. Patrick's in Troy in anticipation of his impending removal per recommendation of the Archdiocese's review board. He was on paid leave until laicized by the Vatican in March 2006.

Ordained: 1974
Laicized: 2006



Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archbishop was Joseph Louis Bernardin (1972-1982).

1978 SS. Peter and Paul Cincinnati (Reading) OH 3/3, 2/2

SS. Peter and Paul had a school with 264-272 students.


Bernardin was succeeded as Cincinnati archbishop by Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1982-2009).

1985 Mount Notre Dame High School

Cincinnati (Reading)

Two students accused Brunner of sexual abuse in 1985. He did not deny the allegations.

In 1989 another woman reported to archdiocesan officials that Brunner had sexually abused her in the late 1970s, when she was a high school student.

OH chaplain, religion teacher, music ministry leader

Mount Notre Dame was an all-girls' high school

Brunner was sent to counseling and ordered by archdiocesan officials to not be alone with children. He was removed from Mount Notre Dame, but his parish ministry continued.

1978 1983 St. John the Evangelist Cincinnati (Deer Park) OH 3/3 St. John the Evangelist had a school with 292-211 students.
1983 1988 Good Shepherd Cincinnati (Montgomery) OH 3/3, 2/2  
1988 1995 Immaculate Heart of Mary Cincinnati (Forestville/Anderson Township) OH 1/2, 1/1

IHM had a school with 497-463 students, and a CCD program with 778-630 students.

After a woman alleged in 1989 that Brunner sexually abused her in the 1970s when she was a high school student, he was sent for a psychological evaluation. It determined he was not a threat and Brunner was allowed to continue active ministry.

1995 September 2003 St. Patrick's Troy OH 1/2, 1/3

St. Patrick's had a school with 195-169 students, and a CCD program with 298-431 students.

Brunner resigned from the parish in September 2003 due to allegations he had sexually abused teenage girls in the 1980s at Mt. Notre Dame High School. This was several weeks before the newly formed Archdiocesan Review Board was to hear evidence regarding his case. The allegations were already deemed "substantiated." He was suspended with pay.

Brunner is not indexed beyond the 2003 Directory.

September 2003 March 2006 Suspended       Brunner was laicized but he Vatican, as announced in March 2006.

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Sources: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1975-2003).

Fifth Accused Priest Identified, By Dan Horn, The Cincinnati Enquirer, September 18, 2003
10 Area Priests to Be Reviewed, Dayton Daily News, September 18, 2003
Troy Pastor Resigns, By Tom Beyerlein and Ben Sutherly, Dayton Daily News (Ohio), September 18, 2003
Archbishop Places Abusive Priests on Leave, By Tom Beyerlein, Dayton Daily News, Downloaded September 23, 2003
Woman: Priest Molested Me, Too, By Janice Morse, Cincinnati Enquirer, October 3, 2003
Victim to Women: Come Forward, By Roy Wood, The Cincinnati Post, Downloaded October 3, 2003 
Plea Bargain Likely in Church Sex Abuse Case, By Jim DeBrosse and Tom Beyerlein, Dayton Daily News, November 20. 2003
14 Still Priests Despite Sex Cases, By Lynn Hulsey and Tom Beyerlein, Dayton Daily News, March 12, 2004
Advocacy Group Says Priest Violating Terms of His Suspension, By John Nolan, Associated Press State & Local Wire, February 17, 2005
Status Report on Clerics Credibly Accused of Child Abuse, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Not Dated, Cached by Google on February 7, 2006
Ex-Chaplain Removed from Priesthood, The Cincinnati Post , March 30, 2006
Priest with Area Ties Ousted, By Tom Beyerlein , Dayton Daily News, March 30, 2006
Victims, Church Still Trying to Pick up Pieces, By Tom Beyerlein, Dayton Daily News, April 22, 2007


Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Brunner's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on August 28, 2016.


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