Msgr. John J. O'Connor

Summary of Case: A prominent San Francisco priest, O'Connor was removed from active ministry in August 2002 after an allegation surfaced that he had had "improper contact" with a boy more than 30 years previously. O'Connor died March 15, 2013.

: 1960
Died: March 15, 2013


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961)

1961 St. Stephen's San Francisco CA 2/2 St. Stephen's had a school with 201 boys and 188 girls.


Washington DC archbishop was Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle (1947-1973)

1963 Catholic University Washington DC    


Joseph Thomas McGucken succeeded Mitty as San Francisco archbishop (1962-1977)

1964 Sacred Heart San Francisco CA


In residence.

Sacred Heart had a school with 151 boys and 215 girls.





Social Services/Catholic Charities

San Francisco

O'Connor was accused in 2002 of having "improper contact" with a boy more than 30 years previously.

CA Assistant Director

The 1972 and 1973 Directories do not list O'Connor in the San Francisco archdiocesan pages in a chancery position.

O'Connor had a master's degree in social work (M.S.W.).

1964 1971 St. Isabella San Rafael CA

3/3, 4/4

In residence.

St. Isabella's had a school with 159-122 boys and 195-138 girls.
1967 1971? St. Patrick's Seminary Menlo Park CA   O'Connor is indexed in the 1971 Directory as at St. Patrick's, but he is not listed as there in the San Francisco archdiocesan pages.
1971 1977 St. Kevin's San Francisco CA

3/3, 4/4

In residence.



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

1981 Sacred Heart San Francisco CA

3/4, 3/3

In residence.

Sacred Heart had a school with 259-241 students.
1979 1983 Catholic Charities San Francisco CA Director  
1983 1985 Archdiocesan Secretary of Social Ministry San Francisco CA    
1981 1983 St. Stephen's San Francisco CA


In residence.

St. Stephen's had a school with 266-269 students.


William Joseph Levada succeeded Quinn (1995-2005)

1997 Mission Dolores Basilica San Francisco CA

1/4, 1/3, 1/5, 1/2

O'Connor was elevated to Monsignor status in 1991.

Mission Dolores had a school with 195-290 students, and a religious education program with 75-81 students.
1986 1993 Dean of SF Mission Deanery San Francisco CA    
1987 1993 Diocesan Consultor

San Francisco CA    





Dean of Deanery 3 San Francisco CA    
1997 2002 Cathedral of St. Mary (Assumption) San Francisco CA 1/4, 1/5 O'Connor announced to his congregation on Aug. 18, 2002 that he would be going on a leave of absence for "health and personal reasons". What he didn't say was that he had been accused in a lawsuit that year of having had improper contact with a boy over 30 years before.
2002 2005         O'Connor is not indexed in the 2003, 2004 or 2005 Directories.


George Hugh Niederauer replaced Levada (2005-)

2013 Absent on Leave       O'Connor died March 15, 2013.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1961-2010)

S.F. Archdiocese Quietly Removing Accused Priests, By Jaxon Van Derbeken, San Francisco Chronicle, August 29, 2002
See No Evil, By Ron Russell, San Francisco Weekly, May 21, 2003
The Man Who Keeps the Secrets, By Jason Berry, San Francisco California [San Francisco CA], Downloaded September 22, 2005
John Joseph O'Connor, San Francisco Chronicle, March 30, 2013

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 as reported in the media. 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.

This assignment record was last updated on April 3, 2013.