Rev. Louis J. Heitzer/Rev. Joseph Heitzer

Summary of Case: Heitzer was accused publicly in 2002 when a man told the story to the U.S. bishops gathered in Dallas of his having been sexually abused by Heitzer in 1968, when he was 11 years-old. The St. Paul and Minneapolis Vicar General stated at the same gathering that there was some indication that the archdiocese knew about allegations that Heitzer had abused children. Heitzer died in 1969 while in treatment for alcoholism.

: 1942
Incardinated: St. Paul and Minneapolis
Died: Nov. 24, 1969


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


St. Paul archbishop was John Gregory Murray (1931-1956)

1944 Most Holy Trinity Windsted (New Ulm) MN associate priest This assignment is per the archdiocese in Dec. 2013.
1944   St. Andrew Fairfax (New Ulm) MN associate priest This assignment is per the archdiocese in Dec. 2013.
1944 1945 Assumption (German) St. Paul MN 2/2 Assumption had a school with 98 students.
1945   Holy Redeemer Marshall (New Ulm) MN   This assignment is per the archdiocese in Dec. 2013.
1945 1948 St. Mary Help of Christians Sleepy Eye (New Ulm) MN 2/2 St. Mary's had a grade school with 335-347 students, and a high school with 134-161 students.
1948   St. Joseph's Waconia MN accociate priest This assignment is per the archdiocese in Dec. 2013.
1948 1950 St. Aloysius Olivia (New Ulm) MN 2/2 St. Aloysius had a school with 151-158 students.
1950 1954 Sacred Heart Franklin (New Ulm) MN 1/1 Administrator  
1950 1954 St. Patrick's Birch Coulee MN   This was a mission of Sacred Heart in Franklin.
1954 1955 St. Joseph's Rosen (New Ulm) MN 1/1 St. Joseph's had a school with 129 students.
1955 1956 St. Michael's Gaylord (New Ulm) MN 1/1  
1955 1956 St. Francis de Sales Winthrop MN   This was a mission of St. Michael's in Gaylord.


Murray was succeeded by William Otterwell Brady (1956-1961)

1958 St. Luke's Clearwater MN 1/1  


Leo Binz followed Brady as St. Paul archbishop (1961-1975). The archdiocese was renamed St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1966.

1966 St. Scholastica's Heidelberg (New Prague) MN 1/1  
1966 1967 St. Richard's Richfield MN 3/3 St. Richard's had a school with 631 students.
1967 1968 St. Peter's

Forest Lake

A man told the archdiocese in about 2000 that Heitzer sexually abused him when he was an 11 year-old boy in1968. The priest had taken the boy on a fishing trip, and the abuse is said to have occurred in a motel.

MN 2/2

St. Peter's had a school with 328 students.

This alleged victim of Heitzer spoke before the U.S. bishops at their historic June 2002 gathering in Dallas, TX.

Also at the bishops' Dallas meeting in 2002, the St. Paul and Minneapolis Vicar General, Rev. Kevin McDonough, stated, "There's some indication that leaders of the archdiocese knew about allegations that Father Heitzer abused some children".

1968 1969 On Sick Leave       Heitzer died November 24, 1969. He had suffered a heart attack during treatment for alcoholism.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1945-1970)

Sexual Abuse Victims Question Archbishop, By Berk Brown, Forest Lake Times, October 16, 2002
Victim Remembers, Recounts for Bishops 'That Horrible Night', By Warren Wolfe, Star Tribune, June 14, 2002
St. Cloud Man Tells Bishops of Abuse, By Stephen Scott, Saint Paul Pioneer Press, June 14, 2002
List of Credibly Accused Priests, released Dec. 5, 2013

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 Heitzer'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 Dec. 8, 2013