Fr. Eugene A. Gavigan

Order: OCSO
Ordained: 1954
Status: Accused

Died: 07/25/1959
Diocese: Diocese of Savannah GA

Named as accused on the Savannah diocese’s list 11/8/2018. Joined the Trappists in 7/1947 and took solemn vows 8/15/1951. Ordained at Holy Ghost Abbey in Conyers in the Atlanta archdiocese. Released from cloister reportedly for ill health and to ‘pursue his talent as a sculptor at Notre Dame.’ After teaching assignments he worked in Savannah 1958-1959 as assistant pastor of St James’ parish. Died at age 30 on 7/28/1959 in a fall, during a camping trip to the Grand Canyon with two 16-year old boys, one of whom also died. Included in 11/2020 on the Atlanta diocese’s list of credibly accused. Included in the 3/24/2023 GA PAC Report. It shows that in 2002 a woman reported that Gavigan sexually abused her multiple times in 1959, when she was age 6 and a student at St. James Parish School in Savannah. She said Gavigan was babysitting her when he blindfolded her and stuck his penis in her mouth, and that he tried to put it into her vagina. She said the priest told her father she had been bad, so her father spanked her.

Return to main database page. See abbreviations and posting policy. Send corrections.

Our Database of Publicly Accused does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. 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.