Rev. James H. Ford

Summary of Case: Ford was accused in a February 2012 lawsuit of having sexually abused a young boy in the 1970s. Also in February 2012 Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan representatives stated that they received a report in 1995 from another person who claimed to have been sexually abused as a child by Ford, in the early 1980s. Ford left the priesthood in 1986 and died in 1992, possibly of AIDS.

: 1973
Incardinated: Kansas City-St. Joseph
Died: 1992


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Kansas-City bishop was Charles Herman Helmsing (1962-1977)

1977 Holy Cross

Kansas City

Ford was accused in a Feb. 2012 lawsuit of having sexually abused a young boy in the 1970s at Holy Cross.

MO 2/2, 2/3 Holy Cross had a school with 215-355 students.


John Joseph Sullivan succeeded Helmsing (1977-1993)

1979 St. John Francis Regis Kansas City MO 3/3 St. John's had a school with 385-354 students.
1979 1983 St. Peter's

Kansas City

Diocesan representatives stated in Feb. 2012 that a person reported to them in 1995 that they were sexually abused by Ford in the early 1980s. The diocese settled with and provided counseling for that person.

MO 2/3, 2/4 St. Peter's had a school wit 381-528 students, and a preschool until 1981 with 53 students.
1983 1985 Post-Graduate Studies Boston MA   Ford is not indexed in the 1984 or 1985 Directories. Per news reports, he was in post-graduate studies at Boston College.
1985 1986 Christ the King Kansas City MO 4/4 In residence. Christ the King had a school with 341 students, and a preschool with 57 students.
1985 1987 Center for Pastoral Life and Ministry Kansas City MO Coordinator of New Wine  
1986   St. Mark's Independence MO 2/2 Ford is not indexed beyond the 1987 Directory.

Per news reports, Ford resigned from ministry in 1986, and died in 1992, possibly of AIDS.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1974-1988)

Lawsuit Filed against Catholic Diocese Alleges Abuse from Now-dead Priest, By Laura McCallister, Multimedia Producer, Jonathan, Carter, KCTV, February 10, 2012
Lawsuit claims former KC priest abused four boys in family, BY MARK MORRIS, The Kansas City Star

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.

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 Ford's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation 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 March 8, 2012