Assignment Record Rev. Francis McGrath

Summary of Case: After completing seminary training in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, Francis McGrath was ordained for the Diocese of Trenton NJ in 1978. He assisted parishes in Redbank, Trenton and Tom's River, and he served for a time as chaplain at McCorriston High School. In 1995 a man reported to the Archdiocese of Baltimore that McGrath had sexually abused him as a minor in the early 1970s, when McGrath was a seminarian. The archdiocese informed the Diocese of Trenton; McGrath admitted to the sexual abuse of "three or four victims" during his time in Trenton, and went on leave. The Official Catholic Directory shows McGrath as "Absent on Leave" through 2002, the year another individual alleged abuse by McGrath, in the mid-1970s.

Ordained: 1978



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Baltimore archbishop was Lawrence Joseph Shehan (1961-1974), followed by William Donald Borders (1974-1989).

St. Mary's Seminary and University

Roland Park

Accused in the 1995 of sexually abusing a male minor in the early 1970s.

In 2002 another accusation emerged of abuse of a minor by McGrath in the mid-1970s.



Assisted at Gilman School 1972-73; Our Our Lady of Good Counsel in Locust Point 1973-74; Calvert Hall College High School 1974-76; St. Anthony of Padua in Northeast Baltimore 1976-77.



Trenton bishop was George William Ahr (1950-1979). He was succeeded by John Charles Reiss (1980-1997).

1983 St. James


In 1995 McGrath acknowledged sexual abuse allegations by "three or four victims" in Trenton parishes.

NJ 3/3, 3/4

St. James' had a grammar school with 693-535 students, and a high school with 1,319-1,230 students.



1989 St. Anthony's Trenton NJ

3/3, 4/4

McCorriston High School chaplain.


St. Anthony's had a grammar school with 820-640 students and a high school (McCorristin) with 1,102-1,000 student.



1995 St. Justin's Tom's River, Dover Township NJ 2/3 St. Justin's had a religious education program with 1457-1545 students.


John Mortimor Fourette Smith replaced Reiss as Trenton bishop (1997-2010).

2002 Leave of Absence      

The Baltimore archdiocese informed the Trenton diocese in 1995 of the allegation that McGrath sexually abused a male minor in the early 1970s, prior to ordination.

McGrath is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1979-2002)

Archdiocese Lists 6 Accused of Child Abuse; Suspended and Former Priests Were Trained at Baltimore Seminary, By John Rivera, Baltimore Sun, August 21, 2002
More Allegations of Abuse at St. Mary's Probed; Maryland Prosecutors Investigate 2 Claims of Misconduct from Decades Ago, By Annie Gowen, Washington Post, August 22, 2002
Archdiocese's list of clergy accused of child sexual abuse, Baltimore Sun, September 26, 2002

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 McGrath'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 February 19, 2016.