Assignment Record – Rev. Robert S. Koerner, o.m.i.

Summary of Case: A priest of the Missionary Oblates of Mary ordained in 1937, Koerner served in Texas, Montana and California, spending the bulk of his career in southern California Latino parishes. He died in June 1999. In March 2003 the San Diego diocese announced that Koerner sexually abused children, "generally boys", throughout his 27 years as pastor of St. Patrick's in Calipatria. San Diego bishop Brom said he first learned of accusations against Koerner in October 2006, when parishioners told him Koerner's abuse was part of the parish's history.

: 1937
Died: June 25, 1999


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Antonio bishop was Arthur Jerome Drossaerts (1918-1940)

1940     TX  

Koerner is not indexed in the 1937-1940 Directories.

Koerner entered the minor seminary in San Antonio in 1924, at age 12. He was ordained in San Antonio in 1937.


Corpus Christi bishop was Emmanuel Boleslaus Ledvina (1921-1949).

1941 Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission TX 2/2 Our Lady of Guadalupe had a school.
1940 1941 St. Anthony's Penitas TX   This was a mission of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mission, TX.
1940 1941   Granjeno, Madero, Abran, Habana, Los Ebanos, Guadalupe Terrero, La Joya, Cuevitas TX   These were missions of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mission, TX.


Los Angeles archbishop was John Joseph Cantwell (1922-1947)

1942 The Guardian Angel San Fernando CA   This was a mission of Santa Rosa Church in San Fernando, CA.
1942 1944 St. Ferdinand's (Old Mission) San Fernando Valley CA 4/5

St. Ferdinand's had a school.

Koerner is indexed but not listed as here in the L.A. archdiocesan pates of the 1944 Directory.

1942 1944 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Newhall CA  

This was a mission of St. Ferdinand's.

Koerner is indexed but not listed as here in the L.A. archdiocesan pates of the 1944 Directory.

1942 1944 Our Lady Queen of Peace Sepulveda CA  

This was a mission of St. Ferdinand's.

Koerner is indexed but not listed as here in the L.A. archdiocesan pates of the 1944 Directory.

1944 1956 Guardian Angel Pacoima CA 1/1  


Great Falls bishop was William Joseph Condon (1939-1967)

1963 Our Lady of Guadalupe Billings MT 1/1 Our Lady of Guadalupe had a religious vacation school.


San Diego bishop was Charles Francis Buddy (1936-1966), followed by Francis James Furey (1966-1969), Leo Thomas Maher (1969-1990), and Robert Henry Brom (1990-).

1990 St. Patrick's


In March 2003 Bishop Brom announced, "Koerner sexually abused children throughout the years of his pastorate at St. Patrick's, from 1963 to 1990." The diocesan chancellor said at the time that "more than two or three" victims had been identified thus far, and that they were "generally boys".

CA Pastor; Appointed Superior of Oblates in the Imperial Valley in Sept. 1963.  
1990 1991         Koerner is not indexed in the 1991 Directory, nor is he listed in the diocesan pages as at his previous or subsequent assignments.


Oakland bishop was John Stephen Cummins (1977-2003).

1994 Mount Mary Immaculate, Center for Spiritual Growth Lafayette CA    
1994 1995         Koerner is not indexed in the 1995 Directory.


San Antonio bishop was Patrick Fernandez Flores (1979-2004).

1999 Oblate Madonna Residence San Antonio TX  

This was a retirement home for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Koerner died June 25, 1999.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1938-2000)

Calipatria Church Told of Alleged Priest Abuse; Inquiry Names Now-Dead Pastor, By Sandi Dolbee, San Diego Union-Tribune, March 3, 2003
Bishop Says Late Priest Abused Minors in Imperial Valley, Associated Press State & Local Wire [Calipatria, Calif.], March 3, 2003
Names of Accused San Diego Priests, Lompoc Record [San Diego CA], March 30, 2007
Diocese Names 38 Accused Priests, By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer, Union-Tribune [San Diego CA], March 31, 2007
Documents Released by San Diego Diocese Oct. 25, 2010, Koerner file, pp. 4, 9, and 50.
Priests against Whom There Are Credible Allegations, Diocese of San Diego [San Diego CA], March 30, 2007

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 Kowerner'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 21, 2013