Assignment Record – Rev. John E. McGrath

Summary of Case: A priest of the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese, McGrath was accused in the early 1990s of having sexually abused two girls, ages 16 and 14, in the late 1960s. The girls worked in the church office and rectory at the Minneapolis parish where McGrath was an assistant priest. Per the archdiocese, McGrath was permanently removed from ministry in 1995, and died the same year.

: 1957
Died: 1995
Incardinated: St. Paul and Minneapolis


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


St. Paul bishop was William Otterwell Brady (1956-1961), followed by Leo Binz (1961-1975).

1965 The Nativity St. Paul MN 3/3, 2/3 The Nativity had a school with 951-1,206 students.


St. Paul became the archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1966.

1969 St. Helena's


McGrath was accused in 1993 lawsuits of having sexually abused two girls, ages 16 and 14, at St. Helena's between 1966 and 1969. The girls were parishioners and worked in the church office and rectory.

MN 2/3, 3/3, 2/3 St. Helena's had a school with 618-526 students.
1969 1970 St. Andrew's St. Paul MN 2/3

St. Andrew's had a school with 441 students.

McGrath is indexed as at St. Andrew's in the 1971 Directory, but is not listed as there in the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocesan pages; nor is he listed under his next assignment.


Binz was succeeded by John Robert Roach (1975-1995).

1976 The College of St. Thomas St. Paul MN    
1976 1995 Sacred Heart Robbinsdale MN 1/1, 1/2, 1/1

Sacred Heart had a school with 231-305 students.

McGrath is not indexed beyond the 1995 Directory. Per the archdiocese, he was permanently removed from ministry in 1995, and died the same year.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons,1958-1995)

Complaints on Priest Filed, St. Paul Pioneer Press, November 3, 1993
Pioneer Press 11.03.93; St Paul & Minneapolis 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 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 Dec. 9, 2013