Davenport Parishes Where Accused Priests Have Worked

The old St. Boniface church (pictured at left) was the center of Catholic life in Farmington, Iowa. The rectory next to it was allegedly the scene of orgies in which a ring of priests showed pornographic movies, abused young boys, and took photographs of their naked victims. St. Boniface was home to two accused priests. In the last 55 years, where else did priests work who have now been accused of abuse? See the list below and our map of parishes at risk.

Our analysis of assignment records reveals that in the last 55 years, accused priests have worked at 56 Davenport parishes (many of them with parochial schools), more than 10 hospitals, and 5 high schools and colleges. Accused priests have worked at over 40% of Davenport's parishes. This does not mean that the priests abused at each of these parishes. But it does mean that children were placed at risk. Often the bishop and his managers knew of the danger or should have known, but they never told the parishioners among whom they shuffled these priests.

The list below is a summary of assignment records that we have created from the Official Catholic Directory and other sources. Some of the parishes are large communities in towns and cities. Others are small rural communities, and some are "missions" where the priest did not live, but drove over to say Mass, hear confessions, and do all the work of the priest in a parish. A number of these parishes have closed, as Catholicism and Iowa change with the times. Churches are consolidating and being shut, and whole farming towns are vanishing. Priests die. But the harm done to the victims of abuse lives on.

The names of 13 priests accused of sexual abuse or possession of child pornography in the Davenport diocese are known. But the names of 7 more are being withheld by the diocese, and there are certainly others. The number of parishes that have been placed at risk is considerably higher than the list below indicates.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory lists 128 Davenport parishes in 1950; 118 in 1975; and 86 in 2004. Counting the four churches in Clinton's Prince of Peace parish, there are 89 churches listed in 2004. Using 130 as the number of total parishes since 1950, accused priests have worked in 43% of Davenport's parishes. In the lengths of assignment listed below, years in decimals (e.g., 2.0) are periods of work calculated by us from diocesan records; years in whole numbers (e.g., 23) are calculated from the Directory; years in red (e.g., 5.6) indicate an assignment during which an alleged abuse is actually reported to have occurred. What do black numbers like those for Clinton mean? We pray that some of the accused priests who worked in Clinton did not abuse children there. But later accusations against Janssen, Bass, Geerts, and Wiebler lead us to fear the worst. Please note that priests have allegedly abused children during very brief assignments (see Melcher and Holbrook). You may click on a priest's name and view his career assignments.


  1. St. Mary's (Redmond 3 years 1958-61, then 2 years 1965-67, then 3 years as pastor 1981-84; Kieffer 6 years 1963-69; another Benedictine priest has been accused, but his name has not been released and his assignment years are unknown, save that he worked at St. John's in the early to mid-1960s)

  2. St. Joseph's (Martinez for 0.2 years as pastor 1986-87)

  3. Our Lady of Lourdes (Wiebler for 8.8 years as pastor 1971-80)
  4. St. John Vianney (Poster for 0.4 years 1996)

  5. St. Mary's (Janssen for 6.4 years as pastor 1972-79)

  6. St. Peter's (Martinez for 0.9 years 1985-86)

  7. St. John's (Kieffer for 6 years 1963-69; Redmond for 3 years 1958-61, then 2 years 1965-67, then as pastor for 10 years 1974-84; another Benedictine priest has been accused, but his name has not been released and his assignment years are unknown, save that he worked at St. John's in the early to mid-1960s)
  8. St. Paul's (Janssen for 1.7 years 1948-50)
  9. St. Francis Continuation Care and Nursing Home (Martinez for 1 year as chaplain 1987-88)

Clear Creek
  10. Sts. Peter and Paul (Wiebler for 2.0 years 1955-57)

  11. Sacred Heart (Shafer for 1 year 1976-77)
  12. St. Irenaeus (Janssen for 3.1 years 1950-53)
  13. St. Mary's (Bass for 9.0 years 1948-57; Wiebler for 3.1 years 1964-67; Deyo for 2 years 1976-78)
  14. St. Patrick's (Geerts for 14 years 1948-62)
  15. St. Joseph's Mercy Hospital (Diamond for 2 years as chaplain 1946-48)
  16. Mt. Alverno Home for the Aged (Diamond for 1 year as chaplain 1948-49)

  17. St. Peter's (Deyo for 1 year 1996-97)

  18. Holy Family (Leu for 6.1 years 1971-77)
  19. Our Lady of Victory (Leu for 6.5 years 1978-85)
  20. Sacred Heart Cathedral (Martinez for 1.3 years 1982-84)
  21. St. Anthony (Janssen, for 1.0 years as co-pastor with Vicar General Thomas J. Feeney 1979-80)
  22. St. Joseph's (Bass for 9.0 years 1957-66)
  23. St. Mary's (Janssen for 2.0 years 1959-61; Deyo for 3 years as pastor 1988-91)
  24. Assumption High School (Wiebler for 6 years 1958-64; Deyo for 7 years as teacher, athletic director, and dean of students 1984-91)
  25. St. Ambrose Academy (Wiebler for 1 year 1957-58)
  26. St. Ambrose University (Shafer for 23 years as faculty, chaplain, and vice president, 1977-2000; Poster for 0.4 years 1996)
  27. Kahl Home for the Aged and Infirm (Leu for 1 year as chaplain 1988-89)
  28. St. Vincent Home (Wiebler for 0.1 year as chaplain 1957)

  29. St. Patrick's (Janssen for 0.4 years 1959; Bass for 11.2 years as pastor 1981-92)

  30. St. Mary's (Geerts for 1 year as pastor 1969-70)

East Pleasant Plain
  31. St. Joseph (Janssen for 0.1 year 1953; Bass for 5.9 years as pastor 1967-73)

  32. St. Mary's (Bass for 1.2 years as pastor 1966-67)

  33. St. Boniface (Geerts, for 7 years as pastor 1962-69; Wiebler for 2.1 years as pastor 1969-71)

Fort Madison
  34. St. Joseph's (Janssen for 5.6 years 1961-67)
  35. St. Mary's (Shafer, for 2 years as pastor then assistant 1973-75)

Grand Mound
  36. Sts. Philip and James (Janssen, for 9.8 years as pastor 1980-90)

  37. St. Elizabeth's (Diamond for 14 years as pastor 1949-63)

  38. St. Michael's (Janssen for 0.3 year as substitute pastor 1958)

Iowa City
  39. St. Mary of the Visitation (Wiebler for 2.0 years 1967-69; Poster for 2.6 years 1992-95)
  40. St. Patrick's (Bass, for 3.5 years as pastor 1978-81; Deyo for 6 years 1991-97)
  41. St. Wenceslaus (Deyo, for 3 years as pastor 1997-2000)
  42. Regina Junior Senior High School (Deyo for 9 years 1991-2000)
  43. Mercy Hospital, St. Joseph's Sanitarium for Insane Weak Minded, and Nurses' Training School (Diamond for 6 years as chaplain 1932-38)
  44. State Hospitals and Oakdale Sanitarium (Diamond for 6 years as chaplain 1932-38)

  45. All Saints (Poster for 0.9 years 1995-96); a consolidated parish that includes the former St. Peter's (see next entry)
  46. St. Peter's (Diamond for 2 years 1930-32, and then for 14 years as pastor 1963-78); now part of St. Peter's (see previous entry)

  47. St. Mary's (Geerts for 1 year as pastor 1969-70)

Lone Tree
  48. St. Mary's (Leu for 3.6 years as pastor 1985-88)

Lost Nation
  49. Sacred Heart (Martinez for 1.7 years as pastor 1984-85; Poster for 4.6 years as pastor 1996-2001)

  50. Sacred Heart (Martinez, for 0.2 year as pastor 1986-87)

  51. St. Mary's (Diamond for 2 years 1930-32)

  52. St. Mary's (Diamond for 3 years as pastor 1938-41)

  53. St. Francis (Telegdy for 5 years as pastor 1956-61)

  54. Sacred Heart (Janssen for 2.9 years 1953-56; Bass, for 4.6 years as pastor 1973-78; Leu for 1.2 years 1977-78)

  55. St. Mary's (Leu for 0.3 year as pastor 1988)

Nolan Settlement
  56. St. Bridget's (Diamond for 3 years as pastor 1938-41)

  57. St. Mary of the Visitation (Wiebler, for 4.5 years as pastor 1980-85)
  58. Ottumwa Heights College (Bass for 1.2 years as chaplain 1966-67)

  59. St. Mary's (Deyo for 1 year 1996-97)

  60. Immaculate Conception (Janssen for 0.1 year 1953; Bass for 1 year as pastor 1967-68)

  61. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (Janssen for 0.1 year 1953)

  62. St. Mary's (Diamond for 1 year as pastor 1941-42)
  63. Sts. Peter and Paul (Diamond for 1 year as pastor 1941-42)

String Prairie
  64. St. Mary's (Geerts for 7 years as pastor 1962-69; Wiebler for 2 years as pastor 1969-71)

Sugar Creek
  65. St. Joseph (Janssen for 12.7 years as pastor 1967-79)

  66. St. James (Martinez for 1.5 years as pastor 1984-85; Poster for 4.6 years as pastor 1996-2001)

  67. St. Bridget's (Janssen for 0.4 year 1948)

  68. St. Anne's (Bass for 8.0 years as pastor 1984-92)


Some accused Davenport priests worked in other dioceses during their careers. Janssen and Wiebler did so after accusations, whereas Poster's assignment seems unrelated to his subsequent arrest and conviction on child pornography charges. In allowing Geerts to work in Nevada, Bishop O'Keefe was responding to a request from Janssen, whom O'Keefe had just suspended after gathering numerous allegations of sexual abuse. It is not clear why Deyo was assigned to a high school in the Sioux City diocese after his time at Regina in Iowa City, but he is now accused of abuse that occurred in 1998, during his time at Regina.
  1. Oxford Junction - Sacred Heart (Poster for 4.6 years as pastor 1996-2001) [Dubuque archdiocese, Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus]
  2. Sioux City - Bishop Heelan High School (Deyo for 3 years 2000-2003) [Sioux City diocese, Bishop Daniel N. DiNardo]

  3. Hinsdale - St. Isaac Jogues (Janssen for 1.6 years 1956-58) [Joliet diocese, Bishop Martin D. McNamara]
  4. Decatur - St. Mary Hospital (Martinez for 0.1 years as chaplain 1985) [Springfield diocese, Bishop Daniel L. Ryan]

  5. St. Petersburg Beach - Cruise ship chaplain (Wiebler for 5 years 1995-2000) [St. Petersburg diocese, Bishops John C. Favalora and Robert M. Lynch]

  6. Walls - Sacred Heart League (Wiebler for 8 years 1985-93) [Jackson diocese, Bishop William R. Houck]

  7. Las Vegas - St. Bridget (Geerts for 1.0 1991-92) [Reno-Las Vegas diocese, Bishop Daniel F. Walsh]

New York
  8. Rochester - St. Mary's (Martinez for 2 years 1988-90) [Rochester diocese, Bishop Matthew H. Clark]


With the exception of Janssen, the following assignments seem unrelated to abuse or pornography allegations. Janssen studied for a master's degree while suspended for sexual abuse allegations. During the same period, he was under psychiatric care, and he is alleged to have continued his abusive behavior while suspended. He was sent to New Melleray Abbey for counseling after being confronted by Bishop Hayes with another allegation of sexual abuse. Janssen confessed to Hayes, and after a few months at the abbey, was named administrator of St. Partick's in Delmar IA.
  1. Chicago IL - Loyola University (Janssen for 1.6 years as student for master's degree 1956-58)
  2. Chicago IL - Loyola Center for Guidance and Psychological Service (Janssen, for 1.6 years of psychotherapy and psychological testing 1956-58)
  3. Dubuque IA - Abbey of Our Lady of New Melleray (Janssen for 0.3 year in counselling 1958-59)
  4. Louvain, Belgium - American College (Shafer for 1 year as student 1975-76)
  5. Rome - Notre Dame International School (Deyo for 6 years as student 1978-84)
  6. Chicago IL - Catholic Theological Union, (Poster for 1 year as student 2001-2002)

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