Msgr. Patrick J. O'Shea

Summary of Case: O'Shea was a prominent figure in the San Francisco archdiocese. In January 1995 he was criminally charged for the sexual abuse of at least nine boys in the 1960s and 1970s, some as young as age nine. More men came forward in subsequent years. O'Shea was the subject of multiple lawsuits and settlements. The criminal charges were dropped and refiled, then dropped again, due to statutes of limitation. Much of the abuse is reported to have taken place at O'Shea's trailer at Lake Berryessa, where he would take the boys waterskiing, then ply them with alcohol. He was laicized in 1994. In 2004 O'Shea was convicted of grand theft and tax fraud and put on probation. 

Ordained: 1958
Laicized: 1994


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961), followed by Joseph Thomas McGucken (1962-1977)

1969 Mission Dolores Basilica

San Francisco

Accused in a 1994 lawsuit of fondling a boy on a camping trip in 1969. (San Francisco Chronicle
January 24, 1995)

A man reported in 2002 that he had been sexually abused by O'Shea beginning in 1968, when he was an 11-year-old altar boy and student at Mission Dolores. (San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2003)


4/5, 3/4, 2/5, 2/4

Parish had a school with 377-342 boys.
1969 1970 On duty outside the diocese.       Although the 1970 Directory indicates he was in the Stockton diocese, he is not listed there in the Stockton diocesan pages.


McGucken was replaced as archbishop by John Raphael Quinn (1977-1995)

1978 Most Holy Redeemer

San Francisco

Two men came forward in 2003 to report that O'Shea molested them at Lake Berryessa in the 1970s, when they were 11-13 years old. (San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2003)


3/3, 4/4

In residence.


Parish had a school with 274-192 students.O'Shea
is referred to as "Monsignor" beginning with the 1972 Directory.

1970 1994 Holy Childhood Pontifical Association San Francisco CA Director


1972 1982 Assistant Director for Vocations San Francisco      





San Francisco Society for the Propogation of the Faith San Francisco CA Director  
1989 1992 Serra Club of West San Francisco Area (Golden Gate) San Francisco CA    
1978 1990 Holy Name of Jesus San Francisco CA 1/4, 1/5, 1/6 Parish has a school with 640-493 students.
1990 1994 St. Cecilia

San Francisco

Placed on administrative leave in March 1994 due to allegations of sexual abuse of boys. (San Francisco Chronicle
May 24, 1994) hen abused.

CA 1/6, 1/5 Parish had a school with 590-567 students.
1994 1995         O'Shea is not indexed in the 1995 Directory.


William Joseph Levada replaced Quinn as archbishop (1995-2005)

2003 Absent on Leave

Arrested in January 1995 for having molested nine boys between January 1964 and August 1980. The abuse is said to have taken place in San Francisco, Napa, Placer and Riverside counties, and mostly at O'Shea's trailer at Lake Berryessa. One man alleged he was abused as a boy on a trip to Rome with O'Shea, where the two met the pope. O'Shea would typically ply the boys with alcohol. Most victims were altar boys, some as young as nine years old when abused. (San Francisco Chronicle
January 24, 1995) O'Shea was subsequently defrocked. The charges were dismissed in July 1995 and refiled in 1998 but the case couldn't go to trial until a change in CA in 1999 extended the statute of limitations. (San Francisco Chronicle
June 16, 2000) The case was again dismissed in 2002, due to a judge's ruling that prosecutors waited too long to file. (San Francisco Chronicle
March 15, 2002)

Charged in 1996 with embezzling over $260,000 from parishioners and from the archdiocese. (San Francisco Chronicle
June 6, 1996)

Two more men came forward in 2003 with allegations that they had been sexually abused by O'Shea in the 1970s, when they were ages 11-13. Another man had come forward in 2002. (San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2003)


The 2003 Directory is the last in which O'Shea's name appears.

O'Shea was sentenced to four years in jail in Feb. 2004 for grand theft and tax fraud charges. He was given four years credit for years already served in jail while he had been awaiting trial on molestation charges. Those charges were ultimately dropped due to statutes of limation. He was released and put on parole. (San Francisco Chronicle
February 3, 2004)

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1959-2003).

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.


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