Assignment Record – Rev. Paul Cornelius O'Connor, s.j.

Summary of Case: Paul C. O'Connor was ordained a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus in August 1929. He went on to spend the better part of 50 years living and working in Alaska, mostly in remote villages. From 1959-65 he was Oregon and then Seattle- based, traveling the lower 48 states lecturing and fundraising as Procurator for Alaska Missions. He lived in Gonzaga University's Jesuit community from 1977 until his death in March 1979. O'Connor's name appeared on the Fairbanks diocese's list in 2009 of "individuals against whom one person has brought a complaint of sexual abuse."

: August 25, 1929
Died: March 8, 1979


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes
1929 1930 St. Augustin College Enghein Belgium theology student  


Vicariate Apostolic of Alaska was Joseph Raphael John Crimont, s.j. (1904-1945).

1931 Holy Cross Mission Holy Cross AK 2/4  
1931 1933 St. Lawrence Mountain Village AK 1/1 St. Lawrence had a school with 23 students.
1931 1933   Chukartuli, Annok, Pitka's Point, FIsh Village. Mountain Village Andreafsky AK   These were stations of St. Lawrence in Mountain Village.
1931 1933 St. Charles' Mission   AK   This was a mission of St. Lawrence in Mountain Village.
Seattle bishop was Gerlad Shaughnessy, s.j. (1933-1950).
1934 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA Jesuit tertianship  


Vicariate Apostolic of Alaska

1941 St. Mary's Akulurak AK

2.2, 1/3, 1/2

Superior 1935-1941

St. Mary's had a boarding school for boys with 43-30 students, and St. Mary's Industrial Training School and Orphanage for Eskimo girls, with 85-60 students.
1934 1941   Alaranak, Panreuvik, Kwiguk and others. AK   These were missions of St. Mary's in Akulurak.
1934 1941   over 50 villages or hamlets of Ykon Delta AK   These were stations of St. Mary's in Akulurak.


Crimont was succeeded by Watler James Fitzgerald, s.j. (1945-1947).

1946 St. Francis Xavier's Kotzebue AK 1/1  
1941 1946   Candle, Deering, Kewalik AK   These were missions of St. Francis Xavier's in Kotzbue.


Francis Doyle Gleeson, s.j. replaced Fitzgerald (1948-1968). The Fairbanks diocese was established Aug. 8, 1962.

1949 St. Theresa of the Child Jesus

Hooper Bay

O'Connor's name appeared on the Fairbanks diocese's list in 2009 of "individuals against whom one person has brought a complaint of sexual abuse."

AK 1/2, 1/1  
1946 1949   Scammon Bay AK   This was a station of St. Theresa's in Hooper Bay.
Bishop's Council

Fairbanks AK    
1949 1953 Little Flower of Jesus Hooper Bay AK 1/2, 1/1 Per Louis Renner, s.j. in his book, Alaskana Catholica: A History of the Catholic Church in Alaska, O'Connor took an interest in the youngsters..."
1949 1953   Scammon Bay, Chevak, Kashunak, Keyaluvik     These were stations of Little Flower of Jesus in Hooper Bay.
1950   National Guard   AK chaplain  
1953 1959 St. Mary's Mission St. Mary's (Andreafski) AK

1/1, 1/2 ; Superior

St. Mary's is shown to have had a day and boarding elementary school with 126-167 students (mostly boarders), and a day and boarding high school beginning in 1955 with 12-20 students (mostly boarders).
1959 1965 Procurator for Alaska Missions       Per Renner, O'Conner traveled across the U.S. on "lecturing and begging tours."


Seattle archbishop was Thomas Arthur Connolly (1950-1975).

1960 Seattle University Seattle WA    
Portland in Oregon archbishop was Edward Daniel Howard (1926-1966).
1965 Jesuit Provincial Residence Portland OR Alaska Missions treasurer  
1959 1965 Procurator for Alaska Missions        


The Anchorage archdiocese was established Feb. 9, 1966. Its bishop was John Joseph Thomas Ryan (1966-1975).

1966 Holy Family Glennallen AK

1/3; Superior

1965 1966   Chitina, Tok AK   These were stations of Holy Family in Glennallen.


Ryan was succeeded as Anchorage archbishop by Francis Thomas Hurley (1976-2001).

1976 Providence Hospital Anchorage AK chaplain O'Connor was said to have "Found a particular satisfaction in delighting the children in pediatrics."


Baker bishop was Thomas Joseph Connolly (1971-1999).

  St. Elizabeth Hospital Baker OR chaplain O'Connor spent "some months" at St. Elizabeth's.


Spokane bisho pwas Bernard Joseph Topel (1955-1978).

1978 Ecumenical Center Spokane WA    


Topel was succeeded by Lawrence Harold Welsh (1978-1990).

1979 Gonzaga University Jesuit Community Spokane WA   O'Connor died March 8, 1979.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1930-1980)

Alaskana Catholica: A History of the Catholic Church in Alaska, by Louis L. Renner, s.j., pp. 480-485.
Our Lady of the Snows Parish, Hooper Bay, Alaska: 1928-2003, Editors Note: This Article Is Indebted to a Considerable Extent to Writings by Father Louis L. Renner, S.J., Alaskan Shepherd, June-July 2003
Pilot Station - Saint Charles Spinola Catholic Church, Diocese Of Fairbanks
Reorganization Documents for Fairbanks Diocese, Jan. 5, 2010, p. 2

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 Sept. 6, 2014.