Assignment Record – Rev. Robert F. Corrigal, s.j.

Summary of Case: Robert Corrigal was ordained a Jesuit of the Oregon Province in 1959. He was a native Alaskan, born to a Central Yup' ik Eskimo mother and an Irish father. Orphaned as a child, he was sent to boarding school at Holy Cross Mission. Cornelius K. Murphy, then a Jesuit seminarian at Holy Cross Mission, took "Bobby" Corrigal with him to Butte Montana, where Corrigal lived with the Murphy family and attended high school. Corrigal entered the Jesuit order as a seminarian in 1946. After ordination he returned to Alaska where he was assigned to remote Eskimo villages in the Fairbanks diocese. Corrigal was a teacher and counselor. By 1979 he took what appears to have been an unofficial leave from the priesthood, taking a job counseling Native Alaskans working on the Trans-Alaska pipeline, then another counseling job in his native Bethel, followed by a Housing Authority job in Anchorage. When Corrigal became terminally ill in 1984, he returned to the Jesuits. He died in May 1988. Fr. Neil Murphy died in 1982. Both priests were named in the Fairbanks diocese's bankruptcy reorganization documents in 2010 of having a single accusation of sexual abuse against them.

: June 13, 1959
Died: May 20, 1988


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


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

1960 Alma College Los Gatos CA 4th year theologian  


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

1961 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA tertian father  


Fairbanks bishop was Francis Doyle Gleeson, s.j. (1948-1968).

1963 St. Mary's Mission St. Mary's Mission AK


Taught English literature and social ethics and counseled at St. Mary's Mission high school.

Accused priest James Poole, s.j. is first priest listed.

St. Mary's had an elementary school with 48 day students and 125 boarders, and a high school with 15 day students and 22 boarders.
1963 1965 Pilot Station Mission Pilot Station AK pastor Corrigal is indexed as at St. Mary's Mission in the 1964 and 1965 Directories, but he is not listed as there in the Fairbanks diocesan pages. Per the diocese of Fairbanks, he was pastor at Pilot Station during these years. He also ministered in Marshall and Russian Mission.
1965 1966 St. Lawrence's

Mountain Village AK 2/2 Corrigal is noted in the 1966 Directory to have been at Pilot Station.
1965 1966   Fortuna Ledge (Marshall), Pilot Station, Pitkas Point, Russian Mission AK   These were stations of St. Lawrence's in Mountain Village.
1966 1968 Immaculate Conception Bethel AK 2/2, 1/1  
1966 1968   Akiak, Goodnews Bay, Kalskag, McGrath, Medfra, Nyac, Platinum AK   These were stations of Immaculate Conception in Bethel.


Gleeson was succeeded by Robert Louis Whelan, s.j. (1968-1985).

1970 St. Theresa's Aniak AK 1/1  
1968 1970   Kalskag     This was a station St. Theresa's in Aniak.
1970 1972 University of Nevada Las Vegas NV student Corrigal tried pre-med. studies, which didn't go well, per Renner's Alaskana Catholica: A History of the Catholic Church in Alaska.


Spokane bishop was Bernard Joseph Topel (1955-1978).

1973 Gonzaga University Spokane WA student Earned a Master's degree in guiding and counseling from Eastern WA State College.


Fairbanks diocese

1974 Immaculate Conception Fairbanks AK


Counselor of native students.



Anchorage archbishop was John Joseph Thomas Ryan (1966-1975), followed by Francis Thomas Hurley (1976-2001).

1978   Anchorage AK  

Corrigal is indexed in the 1975-1978 Directories as at Immaculate Conception in Fairbanks, but he is not listed as there in the Fairbanks diocesan pages. He is not indexed beyond the 1978 Directory

Per Renner, he moved to Anchorage where he "worked closely with Alaska Native people."

1978 1988     AK  

Corrigal is said to have "taken off [his] Roman collar" by 1979, starting a counseling program for Native Alaskans working on the Trans-Alaska pipeline, then back to Bethel to counsel Natives interested in higher education. In 1984 he returned to Anchorage to work for the Housing Authority. He became terminally ill and returned to the Jesuits.

Corrigal died in Anchorage May 20, 1988.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1960-1978)

Excerpt from Bankruptcy Reorganization Documents for Fairbanks Diocese, 1.25.10, p. 2.
Marshall - Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Diocese Of Fairbanks
Pilot Station - Saint Charles Spinola Catholic Church, Diocese Of Fairbanks
Alaskana Catholica: A History of the Catholic Church in Alaska, by Louis L. Renner, s.j.

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 Corrigal'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 February 8, 2015.