Rev. Donald L. Ryan

Summary of Case: Ryan was accused by two men in April 2003 of having sexually abused them in the 1960s when they were altar boys and students at a parish school where Ryan was serving. Ryan was removed from active ministry, after being cleared by the archdiocesan review board. The review board claimed the accusers were uncooperative, but the accusers claimed they could not participate because of a pending lawsuit with which they were involved. The two men challenged the decision and indicated willingness to tell their stories to the review board.

: 1963


Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Louisville archbishop was John Alexander Floersh (1924-1967)

1964 Holy Cross


Accused in 2003 of having sexually abused an altar boy in the 1960s in the church rectory of Holy Cross. (Associated Press State & Local Wire
April 21, 2003) The accuser said he had been a student at Holy Cross and St. Columba schools, and the abuse occurred while he helped Ryan with odd jobs at the church. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
April 22, 2003)




Parish had a school with 389 students.
1964 1965 St. Catherine's New Haven KY 2/2 Parish had a grade school with 240 students and a high school with 170 students.


Floersh was succeeded by Thomas Joseph McDonough (1967-1981)

1971 St. Columba's


• Ryan was accused by a second man in 2003 of having sexually abused him when he was a St. Columba's student and altar boy in the 1960s. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
October 28, 2003)

KY 3/3, 2/2 Parish had a school with 675-369 students.
1971 1972 Guardian Angels Louisville KY 2/2 Parish had a school with 283 students.
1973 1976 St. Ignatius Louisville KY



Parish had a school with 224-259 students.
1976 1978 Jefferson County Home Anchorage KY   Ryan is indexed but not listed in the Louisville Diocesan pages in the 1977 and 1978 Directories. Also, there is no listing for "Jefferson County Home" in the Directories. There is the St. Thomas-St. Vincent orphanage in Anchorage, but Ryan is not listed there.
1978 1979 St. Brigid Vine Grove KY  

Parish had a school with 190 students.

Ryan is indexed at St. Brigid but is not listed there in the 1979 Directory's Louisville diocesan pages

1979 1981 St. Ann's Louisville KY 2/2 Parish had a school with 165-150 students.


Following McDonough was Thomas Cajetan Kelly, O.P. (1981-2007)

1984 St. Gregory's Samuel's KY 1/1 Parish had a school with 129-104 students.
1984 1989 SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital Louisville KY Chaplain  
1989 1990 Brooklawn Treatment Center Louisville KY Chaplain  
1989 2001 St. Michael's Fairfield KY 2/2, 1/1  
1989 2001 All Saints Taylorsville KY   This was a mission of St. Michael's in Fairfield.


Joseph Edward Kurtz replaced Kelly
(2007- )

2008 St. Denis' Louisville KY 1/1

Parish had a school with 171-159 students until 2004, then a CCD program with 15-26 students from 2004-2008.

Ryan was suspended from ministry in April 2003, due to an accusation that he had sexually abused a boy in the 1960s. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
April 22, 2003) Ryan was reinstated in Oct. 2003, after the archdiocersan review board cleared him. Two people had come forward with accusations of having been molested as children by Ryan. (Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
October 28, 2003)

2008 2009 Retired

Louisville KY    

: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1964-2009)

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 Ryan'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 Jan. 15, 2010