Assignment Record – Rev. Richard James Kurtz, s.j.

Summary of Case: A Jesuit of the Detroit Province ordained in 1977, Kurtz taught for many years at the Jesuit's University of Detroit High School. He was quietly removed from his teaching position and his ministry was restricted in April 2001 after allegations surfaced that he had recently sexually assaulted a male minor in Denver, CO. The Official Catholic Directory shows that Kurtz subsequently lived in Temperance MI, in a Jesuit Community at Loyola University of Chicago and at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston, MI. The Jesuits maintain that they notified civil authorities in Detroit in 2001; Kurtz wasn't arrested until November 2011. He pled guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to supervised probation in confinement. Kurtz was again arrested in September 2014 on charges of production, transportation and possession of child pornography. He pled guilty to the child pornography charge in February 2015, and faced a possible minimum of 10 years in prison. Sentencing was scheduled for July 2015.

: 1977


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes
1977 1978 Jesuit School of Theology Chicago IL  


Detroit archbishop was John Francis Dearden (1958-1980), followed by Edmund Casimir Szoka (1981-1990).

1983 University of Detroit Jesuit High School Detroit MI chemistry teacher U. of D. Jesuit had 686-535 students, all male.


Cleveland bishop was Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006).

1984 Gesu University Heights OH 5/5 Gesu had a school with 608 students.
1984 1985         Kurtz is not indexed in the 1985 Directory.

Sept. 1984

Adam Joseph Maida succeeded Szoka as Detroit archbishop (1990-2009).

May 2001 University of Detroit Jesuit High School


• Kurtz was removed by the Jesuits from his teaching position in April 2001 after accusations emerged that he had recently sexually assaulted a boy during a visit to Denver, Colorado.

• An FBI investigation in 2011 yielded the discovery of child pornography among Kurtz' possessions. Included were videotapes he had secretly made of UDJH hockey players changing in the locker room during the 1998-1999 hockey season.

MI chemistry teacher

U. of D. Jesuit had 574-922 students, all male.

The Jesuits stated in 2011 that in 2001 they reported the allegations to civil authorities in Michigan and placed Kurtz on restricted ministry.

2001 2003         Kurtz is listed in the Directories' Detroit archdiocesan pages under "members in the U.S. residing outside the Province." A specific location is not shown.
2003 2005   Temperance MI   Address given is 606 W. Sterns Rd. Apt. F.


Chicago archbishop was Francis Eugene George, o.m.i. (1997-).

2007 Jesuit Community at Loyola University



2007 2009         Kurtz is not indexed in the 2008 or 2009 Directories.


Detroit archbishop was Allen Henry Vigneron (2009-).

Oct. 2011 Colombiere Center


Child pornography was found among Kurtz' possessions in Clarkston after his November 2011 arrest.

MI   Kurtz is not indexed beyond the 2010
Oct. 2011    


Child pornography was found among Kurtz' possessions in Clarkston after his November 2011 arrest.


In November 2011 Kurtz was arrested and charged with sexual assault on a child. He had been investigated since June of that year by civil authorities after the Jesuits of the Chicago-Detroit Province notified them of allegations that Kurtz abused a child in Denver in 2001. Kurtz was arrested in Chicago; he had moved there from the Detroit area in Oct. 2011. He pled guilty in 2012 and was sentenced to a 10-year-to-life term of supervised probation in confinement in Missouri.

Kurtz was arrested in Missouri in September 2014 for the production, transportation, and possession of child pornograpy. He pled guilty in February 2015. Sentencing was scheduled for July 2015. He faced a possible minimum of 10 years in prison.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1978-2010)

Detroit Priest Arrested, Accused of Sexual Assault in Douglas County, 9 News, November 21, 2011
Jesuit Arrested on Sex Assault Charges in Colo., Chicago Tribune, November 21, 2011
Catholic Priest Arrested in Chicago As Suspect in Douglas County Sex Assault, By Kieran Nicholson, The Denver Post, November 21, 2011
Society of Jesus Chicago-Detroit Province Catholic Priest Arrested on Sexual Assault, Douglas County Sheriff, November 21, 2011
Priest Arrested for Sex Assault of a Child, KRDO, November 21, 2011
Chicago Priest Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges, NBC Chicago, November 21, 2011
Priest Arrested in Chicago for Alleged Sex Assault in Colo., WLS, November 21, 2011
Father Richard James Kurtz, Jesuit Priest, Busted in Alleged 2001 Sex Assault on Minor, By Michael Roberts, Denver Westword, November 22, 2011
Richard James Kurtz, Jesuit Priest, Arrested on Decade-Old Sexual Assault Charges, Huffington Post, November 22, 2011
Priest Arrested on Charge of Sexual Assault on Boy, By Mary Wisniewski, The Reuters, November 22, 2011
Chicago Jesuit Priest Arrested for Sexual Assault, By Jeffrey R. Anderson, Jeff Anderson & Associates, November 22, 2011
Group Calls on Archdiocese of Detroit for More Info on Abuse Allegations, By David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, November 23, 2011
Statement from U of D Jesuit High School Regarding the Arrest of Fr. James Kurtz, S.J., University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, November 23, 2011
SNAP: Priest Nabbed on Sexual Assault Charges Lives at Loyola, WLS, November 23, 2011
U-D Jesuit Says It Reacted Promptly to 2001 Abuse Allegations against Priest, By David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, November 24, 2011
FBI Arrests Jesuit for Alleged Sex Abuse: Society of Jesus Official Denies Loyola Connection Despite Circulating Claims, By Yara Shams, Loyola Phoenix, November 30, 2011
MI - Letter to Archbishop Vigneron, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, January 30, 2013
Priest Charged With Production, Transportation, And Possession Of Child Pornography, The United States Attorneys Office - Eastern District of Michigan, September 29, 2014
Feds: Ex-Jesuit teacher videotaped boys in locker room, By Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, September 30, 2014
Priest with Colorado connection enters guilty plea in Michigan porn case, TheDenverChannel, February 25, 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 Kurtz'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 5, 2015.