Rev. Donald J. McGuire, S.J.
Career, Accusations of Abuse, Information Sources, and Documents

This webpage gathers information about Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a convicted serial pedophile whom the Jesuits allowed to continue functioning as a priest for 35 years after they first received allegations in the late 1960s of sexual abuse. The page includes a chronology of McGuire's career and the allegations against him; collections of media reports and legal filings; and an archive of Jesuit documents and complaints by parents.

McGuire worked as a teacher at the Jesuit's Loyola Academy in Chicago and at San Francisco University, and as a prolific retreat master. He gave retreats for aspiring diocesan priests, and for many years was spiritual director for the Carmelite Sisters and the Missionaries of Charity, whose leader and founder, Mother Theresa, selected McGuire to be her confessor. Through his Mission FIDES organization, McGuire organized and led Ignatian retreats for lay people. He collaborated with EWTN in the early 1980s and was chaplain of the National Federation of Catholic Physicians in the early to mid-1990s. McGuire preyed upon his students and upon boys in the devout families who attended and funded his Ignatian retreats, especially ones who acted as his personal assistants.

The McGuire cases are significant for many reasons: for the number of his victims; for the duration and severity of the abuse; for the callous dishonesty of the Jesuit order in ignoring complaints; for McGuire's arrogant manipulation of Catholic families' faith and trust; and for his national and international travels while abusing his victims, which has resulted in an indictment for "traveling in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a minor."

Career of Donald J. McGuire, S.J.

Novitiate of the Sacred Heart in Milford OH; West Baden College in West Baden Springs IN; Loyola University in Chicago; Seminary in Munster, Westphalia, Germany; University of Innsbruck in Austria (doctoral studies); Loyola University in Chicago (M.A. 1974, Ph.D. 1977)
: 6/61
Incardinated: Archdiocese of Chicago

Start Stop Parish Town/Accusation State Position Notes
1954 1957 Loyola Academy
6525 Sheridan Rd.
Chicago IL In 1954-55, 17 priests and 10 scholastics were assigned here; McGuire was one of the scholastics. Principal was Rev. James J. McWilliam SJ; assistant principal was Rev. Eugene F. Mangold SJ. School had 812 boys in 1954-55.
1961   Ordained        
9/61 6/62 Seminary Westphalia Germany Student.  
10/62 2/65 University of Innsbruck


• Accused of sexually abusing EK here or in Westphalia. See law firm's reference to the allegation.

Austria Doctoral student. During his time in Europe, McGuire also conducted retreats, did parish work, held hospital and military chaplaincies, and taught theology in Germany, Austria, England, and Ireland.
2/65 1972 Loyola Academy


• Convicted by a Wisconsin jury on 2/23/06 of sexually abusing Victor Bender and John Doe 84 in WI in 1966-68; victims also allege that McGuire abused them in his quarters at Loyola Academy (Bender in 1966-68 and John Doe 84 in 1968-69). See article and complaint. Priest notified Jesuits about John Doe 84's abuse in 11/29/69 letter.

• Accused of sexually abusing MS in 1968 at Loyola Academy. See law firm's reference to the allegation.

IL Teacher and guidance counselor. Presidents: John H. Reinke, S.J. (1970-). Rectors: John H. Reinke, S.J. (-1970; Paul J. Clifford, S.J. (1970-). Headmasters: Michael I. English, S.J. (-1968); Rev. Robert G. Humbert (1968-71); James C. Arimond, S.J. (1971-). Day school had 1,577 students in 1966-67.
1972 6/76 Loyola University Chicago IL Masters and doctoral student; MA 1974; PhD 1977.  
6/76 1/81 University of San Francisco,
Saint Ignatius Institute
San Francisco IL Taught, conducted freshman seminars, directed student retreats, and did counseling. Total students at the university: 3,227 men and 3,009 women.
1/81 1989 Bellarmine Hall


• Accused of sexually abusing a John Doe 117 1988-94 beginning at age 9 at the boy's house in Phoenix and at Bellarmine Hall. See father's letter, 10/23/07 complaint, and article.

IL Retreat house for priests, religious, and laity; this was McGuire's Directory entry during the following assignments  
1/81 1983 EWTN Birmingham AL Unfinished project to televise university seminars.  
1983 1984 DeRance Foundation     Consultant.  
1976 2003? Carmelite Sisters Los Angeles
San Francisco
Las Vegas
Retreat master and spiritual director.  
1983 2003 Missionaries of Charity Worldwide
New York City
San Francisco

Pastoral minister and retreat director; gave retreats and seminars worldwide for Mother Teresa's nuns and affiliated lay persons and priests; counseled AIDS patients at Mother Teresa's facilities in NYC, DC, and San Francisco McGuire also directed retreats for other orders of nuns, for seminarians and priests of several dioceses, for teenagers and university students, home school programs, and for Mission FIDES
1989 2003 Canisius House
Loyola University Press Jesuit Authors' Residence

• Accused by father of 16-year-old Victim 6 in 05-11-93 letter to Jesuits. See law firm's description of the allegations.
• Accused in letter to Jesuits of abusing Victim 7 aka Victim C in 1998-99. See 10/25/00 letter. and affidavit, para. 43-53.
• Accused by parents in 9/25/00 call to the Jesuits of abusing Victim 8. See 10/27/00 letter by father.
• Accused in 8/21/07 complaint of sexually abusing John Doe 116 hundreds of times during 1999-2003 here and in 11 other states and 6 other countries. See complaint. and affidavit in federal case.
• Accused of sexually abusing a John Doe 118 2001-2002, beginning at age 13 at the boy's house in Phoenix. See father's letter, 10/23/07 complaint, and article.

IL   This was McGuire's Directory entry during some of the previous assignments.
1990 Fall 1996 National Federation of Catholic Physicians Guild
aka Catholic Physicians Guild
2003 2005 Clark Street Jesuit Residence Chicago IL    


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1966-2006); and the articles and documents linked below.

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 McGuire's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory and other sources with the allegations against him as described in a legal filing and reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty. McGuire was convicted on 2/23/06 of molesting two boys in the late 1960s. He is free on probation pending the outcome of his appeal.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive priest. Dioceses are often less than forthcoming about the activities of retired priests, but when we can determine those activities, we list them in these assignment records, particularly if they involve ministry. Retired priests remain under obedience to their bishop, and even the activities of laicized priests should be a concern to the diocese.

This assignment record was last updated on 8/24/07.


Articles Relating to Rev. Donald J. McGuire, S.J.

- Biographical Data, from Mission FIDES Web site (12/31/99)

- Chicago Archdiocese: Guidelines to Protect Children: Alleged Victim Talks about Abuse, by Kevin Roy, ABC 7 (9/17/03)
- Loyola Abuse Victim Speaks, by Ken Goze, Wilmette Life (9/18/03)

- Jesuit Order Settles 3 Sex Assault Suits, in Chicago Tribune (10/22/05)

- 40 Years Later, Legal Twist Puts Priest on Trial, by Josh Noel, Chicago Tribune (2/17/06)
- Witness Testifies Loyola Teen Told Him Priest Touched Him, by M. Daniel Gibbard, Chicago Tribune (2/23/06)
- Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse, by M. Daniel Gibbard, Chicago Tribune (2/24/06)
- Sex-Abuse Policies Toughened, by Michelle Martin, Catholic New World (3/5/06)
- Convicted Priest Turns in Passport, by Mike Heine, Janesville Gazette (3/7/06)
- Priest Sentenced for Sex Abuse, TMJ-TV4 (7/18/06)
- Priest Gets 7 Years for Abuse, by Courtney Flynn, Chicago Tribune (7/19/06)
- Priest May Face Prison, by Mike Heine, Janesville Gazette (7/19/06)
- Chicago Priest Jailed for Breaking Probation, by Chris Schultz, Janesville Gazette (9/30/06)
- Molester Priest Is Jailed Twice: Probation Violated, Authorities Say, by Andrew L. Wang and Deborah Horan, Chicago Tribune (10/3/06)
- Suit Alleges Jesuits Sat on Sex Abuse Information, CBS 2 (10/3/06)
- Judge: Convicted Abusive Priest Can Stay Mum during Appeals, by Andrew Wang, Chicago Tribune (10/10/06)

- Complaint: John Doe 116 v. Jesuits and McGuire (8/21/07)
- New Accusations against Priest Convicted of Sexual Abuse, by Libby Sander, Tuscaloosa News (8/22/07)
- Abuse Suit Names Priest, a Convicted Child Molester, by Susan Hogan, Chicago Sun-Times (8/22/07)
- Priest Faces Suit in Abuse Claims, by Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune (8/22/07)
- Convicted Priest Avoids Return to Jail, by Susan Hogan/Albach, Chicago Sun-Times (9/7/07)
- Complaint, Victor Bender, Brian Wolff, and Diane Ruhl v. Chicago Province of the Jesuits, Loyola University, and Loyola Academy (10/3/06)
- Complaint, John Doe 117 and John Doe 118 v. Ccago Province of the Jesuits and Fr. Donald J. McGuire, S.J. (10/23/07)
- More Accusations Emerge against Convicted Sex Offender Priest, by Bernie Tafoya and John Cody, WBBM (10/23/07)
- New Sex-Abuse Allegations against Convicted Priest, by Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune (10/24/07)
- 'He Did Horrid Things', by Susan Hogan, Chicago Sun-Times (10/24/07)
- Jesuit Leader Is Sorry for Abuse, by Margaret Ramirez, Chicago Tribune (10/26/07)
- Jesuits 'Sorry' for Clergy Abuse, Critics Say It's All Talk, by Susan Hogan, Chicago Sun-Times (10/26/07)
- Papers: Jesuits Were Warned about Abusive Priest, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR (10/29/07)
- Decades-Old Letters Told of Concerns about Priest Abuse: Doubts Expressed about McGuire in 1969, by Maureen O'Donnell, Chicago Sun-Times (10/30/07)
- Community Notification Statement, by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix (10/30/07)
- Lack of Action in Jesuit Sexual Abuse Case Speaks Louder Than Words, by Eric Lombardi, Marquette Tribune (10/30/07)
- Affidavit, by Jennifer Sapper, Special Agent, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (11/1/07)
- Bishop Sought Help for Alleged Sex-Abuse Victim, by Dana Clark Felty, Savannah Morning News (11/1/07)
- Priest Jailed after Appeal Motion Denied, by Mike Heine, Janesville Gazette (11/1/07)
- Convicted Priest Jailed on Probation Violation, by Paul Meincke, ABC 7 (11/1/07)
- 'Most Dangerous Priest in America' Is Arrested, by Shamus Toomey, Chicago Sun-Times (11/2/07)
- Jesuit Priest Convicted of Abuse Is Jailed Again, by Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune (11/2/07)
- Jesuit Priest McGuire Now Faces Federal Charges, by Chris Hack, Chicago Southtown (11/2/07)
- Convicted Priest Now Facing Federal Charge, by Mike Heine, Walworth County Week (11/2/07)
- Prominent Jesuit Priest Charged with Molesting Boys, by Mike Robinson, Belleville News-Democrat (11/2/07)
- Jesuits Release Statement Regarding McGuire, by Rev. Edward Schmidt SJ, reprinted in Janesville Gazette (11/2/07)
- Feds Charge Chicago Priest with Abuse, by Manya Brachear and Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune (11/2/07)
- Priest Called Serial Molester, by Manya A. Brachear and Jeff Coen, Chicago Tribune (11/3/07)
- Prominent Jesuit Is Target of New Federal Charges, by Laurie Goodstein and Susan Saulny, New York Times (11/3/07)


Legal Documents Relating to Rev. Donald J. McGuire, S.J.

- Complaint, John Doe 116 v. Jesuits and McGuire (8/21/07)
- Complaint, John Doe 117 and John Doe 118 v. Ccago Province of the Jesuits and Fr. Donald J. McGuire, S.J. (10/23/07)
- More Accusations Emerge against Convicted Sex Offender Priest, by Bernie Tafoya and John Cody, WBBM (10/23/07)
- Affidavit, by Jennifer Sapper, Special Agent, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (11/1/07)

Jesuit Documents Relating to Rev. Donald McGuire, S.J.

Doc Description Victim Name Victim Number Date From To
1 Letter confirming Schlax's 11/28/69 call to Reinke. Schlax described a 11/28/69 visit from a distressed John Doe 84, who said he had been staying overnight in McGuire's Loyola Academy room and that McGuire was a "pervert." John Doe 84 4 11-29-69 Rev. Charles Schlax,
Pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes
Rev. John H. Reinke SJ,
President of Loyola Academy
2 Letter notifying McGuire that he won't be teaching in the second semester, "so that you can have the time free for your other responsibilities," such as scholarly work and family problems - "not the entire background of the arrangement, as I am sure you know." John Doe 84 4 01-08-70 Reinke McGuire
2A Letter taking McGuire's non-response to the previous letter as indicating approval; Reinke has asked Diehl "to confirm the situation." John Doe 84 4 01-16-70 Reinke McGuire
3 Letter telling McGuire that the sabbatical is not "a sabbatical in the usual sense." McGuire cannot continue living at Loyola Academy during the sabbatical nor return there afterward. The letter also mentions that Reinke first discussed this "change in your status" "at the beginning of the school year." John Doe 84 4 01-21-70 Thomas Diehl SJ
Vice Provincial
4 Letter acknowledging a 9/25/00 phone call from the parent of Victim 8 and a concern about "one of the members of our province." McGurn asks the parents to write "what transpired so that we may take care of this matter, whether such would entail appropriate therapy, transfer of assignment, or otherwise."   8 10-17-00 Rev. Richard H. McGurn SJ
Executive Assistant and Assistant for Formation of Chicago Province
Parent of Victim 8
5 Letter from the parents of Victim 7, who was McGuire's assistant 1998-99. The boy had told his parents in a phone call that he "couldn't take it anymore!" because McGuire was "overwhelming him with pornographic pictures and talking to him about sexual matters at every waking moment." Parents and son worry about another boy (Victim 8?), whose parents came to them "with concerns about their son."   7 10-25-00 Parents of Victim 7 McGurn
6 Letter providing the details that McGurn requested on 10/17/00 (see Doc 4). Victim 8 was McGuire's assistant beginning 8/99 (after Victim 7). McGuire controlled the boy's life, had him sleep in his bed, and was hostile when confronted by the parents.   8 10-27-00 Father of Victim 8 McGurn
7 Letter expressing concern that McGuire has been invited to give a vocations retreat in the Savannah diocese. The letter encloses info sent to the Jesuit provincial about improprieties with their son and another boy (Victim 7?), and asks that McGuire not be invited.   8 12-03-00 Parents of Victim 8 J. Kevin Boland
Bishop of Savannah
8 Letter asking why McGurn has not responded to their 10/27/00 letter (Doc 6) or their 11/00 phone call. Their son is "under the influence" of McGuire and "is not protecting himself from a dangerous situation." They assure McGurn that Victim 7's porn allegations are true.   8 01-05-01 Parents of Victim 8 McGurn
9 Letter replying to the 1/5/01 letter (Doc 8) from Victim 8's parents. "We do not feel at liberty to discuss in detail personal matters as they relate to Fr. McGuire, because of his right to privacy. But, we would hope that you would trust us to act appropriately." So too with the parents of Victim 7.   8 01-10-01 McGurn Parents of Victim 8
10 Letter stating that fundraising mailings from McGuire's Mission Fides speak of his "unfortunate leave of absence" and his "time of exile from my beloved priesthood." They asked McGurn what was happening, and were told that the provincial was removing McGuire from his retreat ministry and reassigning him. Mission FIDES need only stay open until 4/03. The parents ask "what is really happening with this Fr. McGuire," so that they can "persuade our son to disassociate himself" from McGuire.   8 12-07-02 Parents of Victim 8 Ralph Bonaccorsi
Archdiocese of Chicago, Executive Director, Office of Conciliation
11 Letter summarizing their communication with Bonaccorsi and his promise of help. Brannen is "our sole connection the the [Savannah] diocese concerning this issue." They worry that their son is "very actively involved with Fr. McGuire."   8 12-08-02 Parents of Victim 8 Rev. Brett A. Brannen
Pastor of St. Peter Claver, Macon GA
12 Letter saying the parents are "very concerned about any type of abuse our son may have received from Fr. McGuire" and ask Boland's help. The Jesuits "have not been forthcoming with information" to them or Bonaccorsi. They found an article in the 9/11/03 diocesan Southern Cross about McGuire "quite disturbing" and also read a 8/22/03 Chicago Tribune article about John Doe 84's suit alleging abuse in the late 1960s.   8 09-16-03 Parents of Victim 8 Bishop Boland
13 Letter expressing concern about McGuire on behalf of the parents of Victim 8, and also because McGuire gave at least three retreats to potential seminarians in the Savannah diocese.   8 09-24-03 Boland Very Rev. Richard J. Bauman SJ
Provincial of Chicago Province
14 Note about a call from Rev. Edward Schmidt SJ, who "apologized for the treatment we have received from the Jesuits." Because of the parents of Victim 8, he said, Rev. Richard J. Baumann SJ (the Chicago provincial) had "called the Archdiocese to have Fr. McGuire's faculties taken away."   8 10-01-03 Parents of Victim 8  
15 Letter thanking Bishop Boland for his support and summarizing a 10/1/03 call from Rev. Edward Schmidt SJ, which is also summarized in Doc 14. The parents intend to seek help from the Jesuits for their son.   8 10-13-03 Parents of Victim 8 Boland
16 Letter summarizing the exchange with Schmidt (see Doc 14) and a conversation with Rev. James P. Gschwend SJ about their son, whom McGuire had gotten involved with Alleluia Community. News articles were enclosed with the letters.   8 10-16-03 Parents of Victim 8 Parents of other boys who had worked for McGuire
17 Letter recanting a 7/18/06 letter in which the father asserted McGuire's innocence to the judge at sentencing. This second letter describes how the father learned that McGuire had sexually abused his two sons during retreats in arranged . The elder boy, John Doe 117, was abused 1988-1994, beginning s about age 9. His brother, John Doe 118, was abused 2001-2002, beginning at age 13. John Doe 117 and
John Doe 118
  10-08-07 Father of John Does 117 and 118 Judge James L. Carlson
18 Letter correcting several details of Doc 17. John Doe 117 and
John Doe 118
  10-18-07 Father of John Does 117 and 118 Judge James L. Carlson