Rev. James L. Gummersbach

Gummersbach was accused in the 1990s of abusing boys in the 1950s-60s. In 1999, a jury awarded a man $1.2M after several other alleged victims testified; the verdict was later reversed by an appeals court, which ruled that the statute of limitations had expired. Laicization announced November 3, 2006.  Gummersbach's  name was included on the archdiocese's list in July 2019 of those with substantiated allegatiions against them. He died in 2014.

: 1954
Laicized: 2006
Died: 2014 

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

1956 St. Patrick's Rolla


Gummersbach worked under Msgr. Gerold J. Kaiser.


Parish had a school with 142-213 students.
1956 1959 Immaculate Conception Union MO


Pastor was Rev. Raymond C. Schuermann.

Parish had a school with 196-223 students.
1959 1963 St. Gregory's

St. Ann

Two men testified at a1999 civil trial that Gummersbach sexually abused them at St. Gregory's when they were children. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
February 24, 1999)



Pastor 1959-1961 was Rev. Michael O'Keeffe, and third priest was Rev. Joseph H. Blattner. Pastor 1961-1963 was Rev. Joseph J. Richter. Third priest 1962-1963 was Gerald T. Nienhaus, and 1963-1964 third priest was David A. Walter.

St. Gregory's had a school with 1,092-960 students.



John Joseph Carberry was Archbishop (1968-1979)

1968 Immaculate Conception Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Louis

Accused in the 1990s of sexually abusing boys at this parish in the 1960s. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
February 23, 1999).



Pastor was Msgr. James P. Johnston. Second priest 1963-1965 was John J. Leibrecht, Ph.D. Last priest 1963-1966 was David A. Walter. From 1966-1968 Gummersbach was second priest, third was Rev. Paul J. Butler.

Parish haad a school with 359-276 students.
1968 1972 Church of the Annunziata


Accused in 1994 of abusing a 15-year-old boy at this parish beginning in 1968. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
June 10, 1994)



Gummersbach worked under Msgr. James R. Hartnett.

Parish had a school with 165-202 students.

1972 1974 St. Joseph Hospital Kirkwood MO Chaplain Indexed as at St. Joseph's in Kirkwood in Directory, but not listed there.
1972 1979 St. Joseph Hospital St. Charles MO Chaplain  


Archbishop was John Lawrence May (1980-1992)

1981 Immaculate Conception

Flat River



MO 1/1  
1979 1981 St. John's Bismarck MO   St. John's was a mission of Immaculate Conception.
1981 1987 St. Rose of Lima St. Louis MO


In 1981-1982 Gummersbach was third priest after Revs. James Marshall and James M. Moll. Moll was pastor 1982-1987 with Gummersbach as assistant.

1981 1982 St. Louis Children's Hospital St. Louis MO   This assignment is per news report. (Associated Press, carried in My Fox
November 3, 2006)
1982 1987 Deaconess Hospital St. Louis MO Chaplain  
1987 1989 ? ? ?   Gummersbach is not indexed in the 1988 or 1989 Directories, and is not listed at his previous assignments.


Replacing Carberry as Archbishop was Justin Francis Rigali (1994-2003)

1994 St. Agnes St. Louis MO


In residence. Pastor was Rev. George F. Mayer.

1993 1994 Little Flower, St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus Richmond Heights MO


Revs. James J. Benz; Philip G. Krahman; James L. Gummersbach.

Parish had a school with 216 students.
1993 1994 Deaconess Hospital

St. Louis

Placed on leave in April 1994 due to allegations of having sexually abused a boy in the
late 1960's. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
June 10, 1994)

MO Chaplain

Does not appear in Directories after 1994.

Gummersbach was laicized in 2006. (St. Louis Review
November 3, 2006) 

He died in 2014. (Archdiocese of St. Louis, July 26, 2019.)

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1955-1994).

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 & 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.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.