Rev. Oliver Francis O'Grady

Summary of Case: A native of Ireland, O'Grady spent many years in active priesthood in California. He was convicted there in 1993 of child sexual abuse and sentenced to fourteen years in prison. He served seven years, after which he was deported to Ireland. O'Grady admitted in a 2005 deposition to abusing at least twenty-five children in California, boys and girls. He is estimated to have abused hundreds of children over his thirty-year career, including infants. O'Grady was at some point laicized, and has been the subject of multiple settlements. In 2006 O'Grady fled Ireland after the release of the documentary film, Deliver Us from Evil, which explores his life, priesthood and pedophilia. In 2010 it was reported that O'Grady had been living and working in the Netherlands, and that he returned in October of that year to Ireland. He was arrested in December 2010 on child pornography charges, convicted, and sentenced in January 2012 to three years in jail. He was released in April 2014. Again wanted on child pornography charges in Ireland, O'Grady was arrested in October 2019 in Portugal. He was convicted, and sentenced to twenty-two months in jail. He was releaed in March 2021.     

Ordained: 1971
Laicized: 1990s?




Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Stockton Bishop was Merlin Joseph Guilfoyle (1969-1979)

1977 St. Anne's


Sexually abused an 11-year-old girl  , who attended St. Anne's, in 1976. Her parents went to the bishop, and O'Grady wrote a letter of apology to them. (Los Angeles Times April 7, 2002) Later known to have sexually abused a 5-year-old girl,  also a St. Anne's parishioner. (Sacramento Bee [California] October 18, 2006). Eventually admitted to abusing at least 25 children (News-Sentinel
December 20, 2007). A plaintiff's attorney in 11/2008 stated O'Grady "molested hundreds and hundreds of children" over almost 30 years. (The Record
November 20, 2008)


4/4, 3/3,2/2,2/3

Msgr. Patrick J. Morris, Pastor Emeritus is listed first 1971-1974, replaced in that spot 1974-1975 by Rev. Robert E. Dreher, and 1975-1977 Rev. Cornelius P. DeGroot was Pastor. Listed second 1971-1972 was Rev. Thomas P. Hannon. Rev. Michael Newman S.D.S., was listed second 1972-1973, dropping to third priest the following year, 1973-1974, then back to second 1974-1975. Rev. Robert E. Dreher was in the third spot 1972-1973 , and moved up to second 1973-1974. O'Grady was listed last each of these years, except for 1976-1977 when the fourth spot went to Rev. John J. Hillenbrand.

St. Anne's had a school with 318-270 students.
1971 1973 Acampo Center       This was a mission of St. Anne's.
1971 1977

St. Joachim's

Lockeford CA   This was a mission of St. Anne's.
1971 1977 Mater Ecclesiae Thorton CA


This was a mission of St. Anne's.


Roger Michael Mahony replaced Guilfoyle as Bishop (1980-1985)


Sacred Heart






O'Grady assisted Msgr. Manuel V. Alvernaz. Third priests were Msgr. Manuel da Costa Nunes (Portugal) 1977-1978, Revs. Joseph K. Guratana 1979-1980, John E. Fitzgerald (Canberra) 1981-1982.

Sacred Heart had a school with 196-235 students.

1982 1984 Presentation of Blessed Virgin Mary


Admitted to molesting a 9-year-old boy to police during an investigation of child abuse. He had been abusing this boy and his brother since they were toddlers. The police dropped the investigation and the abuse continued into the boys' late teens. (Los Angeles Times
April 7, 2002) Another brother and a sister from that family were also molested by O'Grady. [Los Angeles] New Times
April 18, 2002)



Pastor was Rev. John M. Pruett.

Parish had a school with 288-274 students.


Donald William Montrose replaced Mahony as Bishop (1985-1999)

1992 St. Andrew's

San Andreas

Sexually abused a baby girl, the daughter of St. Andrew's parishioners, beginning when she was 9-months-old, as well as her grade school-aged brother. ([Los Angeles] New Times
April 18, 2002)



O'Grady is listed as Administrator. Msgr. Martin Starc was Pastor Emeritus. In residence 1984-1985 was Rev. George Marenco.

1984 1992 St. Thomas Aquinas Mokelumne Hill CA   This was a mission of St. Andrew's.
1984 1992 Our Lady of Fatima West Point CA   This was a mission of St. Andrew's.
1986 1988   Railroad Flat CA   This was a station of St. Andrew's.
1986 1992   Valley Springs CA   This was a station of St. Andrew's.
1992 1993

St. Anthony's


Hughson CA


Working under O'Grady was Rev. Nicolas Garcia.

1992 1993

St. Louis



La Grange CA   This was a mission of St. Anthony's.





Absent on Leave



O'Grady does not appear in the Directories after 1995.

He was convicted in 1993 of molesting two brothers, including the 9-year-old boy he had admitted to abusing in the mid-1980s. He was sentenced to fourteen years in prison, but was released after seven in 2000, and deported to Ireland. (Los Angeles Times [California] June 26, 2006) O'Grady fled Ireland in 2006, after the release there of the film, Deliver Us From Evil. (Sacramento Bee [California] October 18, 2006)

In 2010 returned to Ireland from the Netherlands, where he had been living and working. Arrested in December 2010 on child porn charges, convicted and sentenced in January 2012 to three years in prison. (The Record, January 31, 2012). Released in April 2014. Again wanted in Ireland for child pornography; arrested in Portugal in October 2019. Convicted and sentenced  in October 2020 to 22 months in jail. (Independent, October 27, 2020)  Released in March 2021. (Sunday World, March 5, 2021   

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1972-1995).

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 & 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 was last updated March 9, 2021.

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