Assignment Record – Rev. Thomas J. Sullivan, s.j.

Summary of Case: Thomas J. Sullivan was ordained a Jesuit priest of the California Province in 1944. His assignments took him to Jesuit Universities in Los Angeles and San Francisco CA, as well as to Japan, Rome and Hawaii. In Los Angeles he directed a retreat center while residing at a high school. Sullivan died in 1992. He was accused in 2002 of abuse in Los Angeles in 1953. In a 2003 lawsuit he was accused of sexually abusing a male high school student, also in Los Angeles,1956-1958. A 2004 archdiocesan report shows that three people had thus far come forward with reports of abuse said to have occurred 1952-1958.

Ordained: June 17, 1944
Died: Feb. 2, 1992


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes


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

1945 Alma College Alma CA  


Seattle bishop was Gerald Shaughnessy, s.m. (1933-1950).

1946 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA Jesuit tertianship  


Los Angeles archbishop was John Joseph Cantwell (1922-1947).

1947 Loyola University Los Angeles CA lecturer  


Cantwell was succeeded by James Francis Aloysius McIntyre (1948-1970).

1955 Manresa Retreat House


• In 2002 Sullivan was accused of abuse said to have occurred in 1953.


4/4, 3/5

retreat director

The Directories show that Sullivan resided at Loyola High School 1953-1955.
1955 1960 Loyola High School

Los Angeles

• Sullivan was accused in a 2003 lawsuit of sexually abusing a Loyola High student from 1956-1958.


Loyola High had 880-930 students, all male.

The Directories show Sullivan as at Loyola High 1955-1960. The 2005 LA archdiocesan report shows him in Japan, and that he established Hiroshima Gakuin High School.


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

1963 University of Santa Clara Santa Clara CA chaplain  



1966 University of San Francisco San Francisco CA director of alumni relations  
1966 1969 Jesuit Curia Rome Italy public relations; editor of "Jesuit International"; established Jesuit Guest Bureau  


Honolulu bishop was John Joseph Scanlan (1968-1981).

1978 University of Hawaii Newman Center Oahu HI   The 2005 LA archdiocesan report shows Sullivan at the University of Hawaii Newman Center from 1969-1978. The Directories during this time period index but do not list him in the San Francisco archdiocesan pages as in the USF Jesuit Community. The Honolulu diocesan pages do not list the University of Hawaii Newman Center or Sullivan's name. However, per the Newman Center's website in 2014,
" In December 1970, Fr. Thomas Sullivan, S.J. of the California Province (CAL) of the Jesuits came to Hawaii at the invitation of Bishop John J. Scanlan." The site goes on to say, among other things, that Sullivan was succeeded by another Jesuit in 1978.


Los Angeles archbishop was Timothy Manning (1970-1985).

1992 Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles CA  

Sullivan died Feb. 2, 1992.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1945-1993)

LA Archdiocesan Report, February 7, 2004, page 6
LA Archdiocesan Report Addendum , November 15, 2005
LA Times Database April 20, 2006
Church to Pay $60 Million, L.A. Archdiocese Settles Abuse Cases, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, December 2, 2006
History,, August 2014

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 Sullivan'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 Aug. 12, 2014.