Assignment Record– Rev. John Louis Bonn, s.j.

Summary of Case: A priest of the New England Province of the Society of Jesus ordained in 1936, Bonn was a poet and a teacher of English at Boston College in Massachusetts, Fairfield University in Connecticut and Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa. Additionally, he served as a Navy chaplain during World War II. Bon died in 1975. In 2011 an Iowa woman reported to the Davenport diocese that Bonn and two other priests sexually abused her beginning when she was four years-old, in 1969. She said the priests were her father's best friends. The woman received a settlement from the diocese.

Ordained: 1936
Died: Jan. 17, 1975



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Hartford bishop was Maurice Francis McAuliffe (1934-1944).

1937 St. Robert's Hall Pomfret CT tertianship  


Boston archbishop was William Henry O'Connell (1907-1944).

1943 Boston College Newton MA instructor  
1943 1946 U.S. Navy     chaplain  


Richard James Cushing succeeded O'Connell as Boston archbishop (1944-1970).

1951 Boston College Newton MA    


Hartford bishop was Henry Joseph O'Brien (1945-1968).

1953 St. Robert's Hall Pomfret CT    


Bridgeport bishop was Lawrence Joseph Shehan (1953-1961), followed by Walter William Curtis (1961-1988).

1969 Fairfield University Fairfield CT    


Davenport bishop was Gerald Francis O'Keefe (1966-1993).

1972 Marycrest College


Bonn was accused in 2011, along with two other priests, of sexually abusing an Iowa girl over a five-year period beginning in 1969, when the girl was four-years-old. Bonn's accuser said the three priests were her dad's best friends. The diocese settled with the woman.

1972 1975   Davenport IA  

Address indexed is 928 W. 6th St., Davenport, IA

Bonn died Jan. 17, 1975. He is indexed in the Necrology section of the 1976 Directory as from Franklin Park, IL (Chicago archdiocese).


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1937-1976)

Bankruptcy Motion: Woman Alleges Davenport Priests Abused Her, By Brian Wellner, The Quad-City Times, July 19, 2012
IA - SNAP Applauds Judge Forcing Diocese to List Accused Priests, By David Clohessy, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, August 22, 2012
Judge Grants Clear Lake Woman's Request to Add Priest to Abuse List, By Brian Wellner, Globe Gazette, August 23, 2012
Woman Shares Story of Alleged Abuse by Priests, By Brian Wellner, The Quad-City Times, August 27, 201


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 Bonn'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 Oct. 15. 2014.

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