Msgr. Cornelius F. O'Connor—Assignment Record

Summary of Case: Accused in 2008 of sexually abusing a boy at Our Lady of the Assumption in Carmichael CA, beginning in 1987 when the victim was 8 years old. Parents say diocese admitted there were other victims.

: 1946
Incardinated: Sacramento diocese 1946-89
Died: 7/14/89


Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes


Bishop Robert J. Armstrong (1929-57)

1947 St. John the Baptist Chico CA 2/2. Pastor was Rev. Patrick J. Cronin.

In Sacramento diocese.

School had 96 boys and 100 girls.

1946 1947 Station of St. John the Baptist Magalia CA   In Sacramento diocese.
1946 1947 Station of St. John the Baptist Paradise CA   In Sacramento diocese.
1946 1947 Station of St. John the Baptist Sterling City CA   In Sacramento diocese.
1947 1950 St. Bernard’s Eureka CA 3/4. Priests were Msgr. Cornelius H. Murphy, and Revs. James J. Corcoran, Cornelius O’Connor, and John Farrell. In 1949 John C. O’Reilly arrived.
Murphy was a dean, consultor, treasurer of the Priests’ Aid Society, and diocesan moderator of theological conferences.

Then in Sacramento diocese; now in Santa Rosa diocese.

School had 221 boys and 209 girls.

1947 1950 St. Joseph’s Eureka CA   Then in Sacramento diocese; now in Santa Rosa diocese. Mission of St. Bernard's.


Bishop Joseph T. McGucken (1957-62)


1961 Holy Cross Tulelake CA 1/1. In Sacramento diocese. No school.
1950 1961 Our Lady of Good Counsel Dorris CA   In Sacramento diocese.
1950 1957 Station of Holy Cross Tennant CA   In Sacramento diocese.


Bishop Alden J. Bell (1962-79)

1968 St. Patrick’s Placerville CA 2/2. Priests were Revs. Joseph Hanrahan and Cornelius F. O’Connor, administrator, with Sigmund F. Lica and Edward F. Boyle C.SS.R. for a year each. Then in 1965, O'Connor was made pastor with James McKnight as associate.
In Sacramento diocese.
1961 1968 St. James Georgetown CA   In Sacramento diocese.
1968 1972 St. Joseph's Marysville CA 1/3. Priests were Very Rev. Cornelius F. O’Connor, Dean; and Revs. Anthony Traynor and Oliver J. Deegan. Others who worked here under O'Connor were Revs. John M. O’Connor, Brendan Lawlor, John G. Cuffe, Patrick McGrath, and Michael G. Walsh.
In Sacramento diocese. The junior priest here also worked as chaplain of the Newman Club at Yuba College.
1968 1972 Sacred Heart Dobbins CA   In Sacramento diocese. Mission of St. Joseph's in Marysville.
1968 1972 Marysville Deanery Marysville CA Dean. In Sacramento diocese.
1972 1989 Our Lady of the Assumption


• Accused in 2008 of sexually abusing a boy here, beginning in 1987 when the victim was 8 years old. Parents say diocese admitted there were other victims. See article.

CA 1/3. Priests were Revs. Cornelius F. O'Connor, Michael J. O’Connor, Thomas P. O’Sullivan. Others who worked under O'Connor here were: Robert P. Walton (a deacon), John K. Hannan, Simon D. Twomey, William Feeser (a deacon, then a priest), Jonathon Mbah C.S.Sp. (Nigeria), Daniel Carroll S.D.S., Joseph McCarthy (Ireland), John Molumby, and Eduino Silveira.

In Sacramento diocese.

School had 130 boys and 139 girls in 1972-73.

School had 281 students in 1988-89.

1972 1986 Building Commission Sacramento CA Member.  
1972 1973 Priests' Senate Sacramento CA Member.  
1973 1980 Aid Society for Priests Sacramento CA Member.  
1978 1980 Personnel Board Sacramento CA Member.  


Bishop Bell retired 7/11/79.

Bishop Francis A. Quinn 1979-93.

  Made monsignor Carmichael CA    
7/14/89   Died

Carmichael CA    

Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1947-90); Carmichael Man Claims He Was Molested by Priest, by Rob McAllister, KFBK, January 31, 2008.

Cornelius F. O'Connor should not be confused with Cornelius S. O'Connor. The latter was a Sacramento priest 1928-91.

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 O'Connor's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations 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.

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 2/1/08.