Assignment Record Rev. John C. Holdren

Summary of Case: John C. Holdren was ordained for the Rockford IL diocese in 1971. He assisted in parishes in Aurora, Crystal Lake and Geneva. He pastored a Johnsburg parish from 1983 until going on sick leave in 1994, after he was injured during what he told police was a home invasion. He is last indexed in the Official Catholic Directory in 2005, still as "Absent on Leave." Holdren was accused in a lawsuit filed September 8, 2015 of sexually abusing a 7 to 9-year-old boy at an Aurora parish in the early 1970s. The abuse is said to have included fondling and sodomy. Holdren's accuser said some of his friends have told him they were abused, too. Holdren denied abusing the boy. Rockford diocese stated in September 2015 that Holdren was no longer an active priests; Holdren told a reporter he was active and helping out at a local parish.

Ordained: 1971



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Rockford bishop was Arthur Joseph O'Neill (1968-1994).

1973 St. Rita's of Cascia


A 49-year-old man filed a lawsuit claiming Holdren sexually abused him in the early 1970s St. Rita's, when the man was a 7 to 9-year-old boy. He said the abuse included fondling and penetration, and that some of his friends told him they were abused, too.

IL 2/2 Holdren denied the abuse.
1973 1980 St. Thomas Crystal Lake IL 2/2, 3/3  
1980 1983 St. Peter's Geneva IL 2/2  
1983 1994

St. John the Baptist

Johnsburg IL 1/2, 1/1 In July 1994, Holdren suffered head and facial injuries in what he reported to police was a home invasion. He resigned from St. John's three weeks later.


O'Neill was succeeded by Thomas George Doran (1994-2012).

1999 Sick Leave        


Doran was replaced as Rockford bishop by David John Malloy (2012-).

2005 Absent on Leave      

Holdren is not indexed beyond the 2005 Directory.

The diocese said in September 2015 that Holdren remained "unassigned" and was not working as a priest."

Holdren stated in a September 2015 interview that he is still a practicing priest, helping out at Our Lady of Mercy in Aurora.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1972-2005)

Parish Gets Ready to Celebrate 150th Year, Chicago Tribune, August 10, 1990
Group Asks Rockford Catholic Diocese to Seek Victims after Child Sex Abuse Suit Filed, by Georgette Braun, Rockford Register Star, September 8, 2015
Rockford Priest Accused of Child Abuse, by Amanda DeVoe,, September 8, 2015
Former Crystal Lake, Johnsburg Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Child, by Emily K. Coleman, North West Herald, September 10, 2015
Former Geneva Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Young Boy, by Aimee Schaenzer, Geneva Patch, September 10, 2015

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 Holdren'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 October 5, 2015.