Assignment Record – Rev. Chester "Chet" E. Gaiter, s.j.

Summary of Case: Rev. Chester "Chet" Gaiter professed vows as a Jesuit brother of the Missouri Province in 1962. He worked as an infirmarian for Jesuit communities in Kansas City and St. Louis before attending divinity school. Gaiter was ordained a priest of the Society of Jesus in 1976. During his priesthood he pastored several parishes. He served also as a campus minister and religion teacher at Cardinal Ritter High School in St. Louis. Gaiter retired in the mid-1990s, reportedly due to problems with memory loss, which led to a diagnosis of early Alzheimer's disease. In the 2000s two men - who came forward separately - accused Gaiter of having sexually abused them while they were Cardinal Ritter students in the 1980s. One of the men accused three other priests as well, two of whom taught at Cardinal Ritter High, and one of whom the man said began to molest him when he was a third grader in a St. Louis parochial school. This accuser said the priests plied him with alcohol and drugs. Gaiter died in 2010.

Ordained: 1976
Died: Aug. 14, 2010


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Cincinnati archbishop was Karl Joseph Alter (1950-1969).

1963 Jesuit Brothers' Juniorate Milford OH   Gaiter made his vows as a Jesuit brother on March 12, 1962.


St. Louis Archbishop was Joseph Elmer Ritter (1946-1967).

1967 Jesuit Community at St. Louis University St. Louis MO infirmarian  
1967 1968 St. Stanislaus Seminary Florissant MO infirmarian  


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

1973 Rockhurst High School Kansas City MO infirmarian This was a Jesuit high school for boys.


St. Louis Archbishop was John Joseph Carberry (1968-1979).

1976 St. Louis University St. Louis MO divinity student  


Denver archbishop was James Vincent Casey (1967-1986).

1977 Ministry Training Services Denver CO pastoral intern Gaiter was ordained a Jesuit priest June 19, 1976 in Denver CO.


Carberry was succeeded by John Lawrence May (1980-1992).

1983 St. Matthew, Apostle St. Louis MO 4/4, 1/4, 1/7 St. Matthew's had a school with 236-220 students.


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985).

1984 Jesuit Tertianship Los Angeles CA   Address was 2627 Menlo Ave.


May was replaced as St. Louis archbishop by Justin Francis Rigali (1994-2003).

1993 Cardinal Ritter Prep. High School

St. Louis

Gaiter was accused in a lawsuit settled in April 2007 of the sexual abuse of a Cardinal Ritter student in the 1980s. The accuser said Gaiter was one of four St. Louis priests who sexually abused him, and that the abuse by one of them started when he was a third grader at a parochial school. He said the priests plied him with drugs and alcohol.

In a November 2007 lawsuit a man accused Gaiter of having sexually abused him at Cardinal Ritter Prep. between 1985 and 1987.

MO religion teacher; campus minister This was a Jesuit high school for boys.
1984 1985 Jesuit House St. Louis MO    
1985 1993 St. Matthew, Apostle

St. Louis


MO 5/6, 4/5, 4/4, 4/6, 3/5 St. Matthew's no longer had a school.


Belleville bishop was Wilton Daniel Gregory (1993-2004).

1994 St. Joseph's East St. Louis IL 1/2

St. Joseph's had a catechesis program with 25 students.

Per news reports, Gaiter was showing signs of memory loss after his move to St. Joseph's, and had to retire.

1994 1995         Gaiter is not indexed in the 1995 Directory.


Raymond Leo Burke succeeded Rigali as St. Louis Archbishop (2003-2008), followed by Robert James Carlson

2010 Jesuit Community Corporation at St. Louis University-Jesuit Hall/Fusz Pavilion St. Louis MO  

Gaiter was diagnosed with early Alzheimer's disease and was moved to the Jesuit Hall community. Fusz Pavilion was a skilled nursing facility for Jesuits of the Missouri Province.

Gaiter died Aug. 14, 2010.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1977-2011)

Church Settles Suit Accusing Four Priests of Abuse, Associated Press, carried in St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 19, 2007
Sexual Abuse Settlement Reached against Former ESL Priest and Two Others, Belleville News-Democrat, April 19, 2007
Civil Suit against 3 Priests Is Settled, Missouri Man to Receive $140,000. Allegations Included Sexual Abuse, Associated Press, carried in Kansas City Star, April 20, 2007
Man Abused by Priests Urges Blacks to Speak Out, By Sylvester Brown Jr., St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 10, 2007
Clergy Sex Suit Settled, By Alvin A. Reid, St. Louis American [St. Louis MO], June 13, 2007
St. Louis: New Suit Alleges Abuse at Cardinal Ritter Prep, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 22, 2007
SNAP Says SLU Shelters Sex Offenders, Challenges Sam Simon, By Chris King, The St. Louis American, May 13, 2009
Gaiter, Chester E.,, February 11, 2011

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 Gaiter'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 June 15, 2013.