Rev. Eugene J. O'Brien, S.J.

Description of the Case: On January 30, 1997 the Jesuits, the NY Archdiocese, and Fordham Prep settled for $25K a suit alleging that O'Brien sexually abused a boy in the early 1970s. O'Brien was principal of Fordham Prep 1960-80 and of Fairfield Prep in the Bridgeport diocese 1983-85. He also worked at St. Peter's Prep in the Newark archdiocese 1959-60, and in 1995-2002 was president of the fundraising foundation for the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. His name was included on the Northeast Jesuits list of credibly accused January 1, 2019. It notes that O'Brien admitted to allegations reported in 1993 of abuse of minors beginning in the 1960s. He was "impeded" in 2002. O'Brien died in 2019.

Ordained: 1956
Died: 2019

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1950 1953 Fordham Preparatory School Bronx NY Instructor As per 1991 oral history.
1956 1957 College of the Sacred Heart Woodstock MD    
1957 1958 St. Robert's Hall Pomfret CT   Tertianship of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus
1958 1959 Cardinal Spellman Hall at Fordham University New York NY Graduate student


1959 1960 St. Peter's Preparatory School Jersey City NJ   St. Peter's was a Jesuit high school with 980 students, all male.
1960 1980 Fordham Preparatory School


• In 1997 the Jesuits settled a suit alleging that O'Brien sexually abused a boy here in the early 1970s. See the settlement and an article about it. See also this article, which dates the alleged abuse to 1964-1966. O'Brien is alleged to have abused the boy numerous times, including during a European trip with O'Brien and five other Prep students.



O'Brien was the superior of Fr Roy A Drake SJ and Mr Fernand Beck during this period.

Fordham Prep was a Jesuit high school with 746-882 students.

1980 1983 Leonard Neale House Washington DC    
1983 1985 Fairfield College Preparatory School Fairfield CT Principal Fairfield Prep was a high school with 969-948 students, all male.
1985 1994 Jesuit Community at Fordham University Bronx NY    
1987 1991 Fordham University Bronx   Vice President for University Relations  
1995 2002 The Gregorian University Foundation New York NY President  
1994 2008 America Magazine New York NY   Residence and publication office of the America Press.
    Jogues Retreat Center Cornwall NY   Reportedly residing here as of 2013 and died in 2019.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1957-2008).

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 collates O'Brien's career history with a publicly reported allegation. 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.



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