Assignment Record – Rev. John A. Coughlin, s.j.

Summary of Case: Ordained in 1934, Coughlin was a Jesuit whose formation was in the California Province, and who went on to work in the Oregon Province dioceses of Spokane and Tacoma WA, the archdiocese of Seattle, and the Helena MT diocese. He died in 1965. Coughlin was included on a list released by the Spokane diocese in 2007 of admitted, proven or credibly accused perpetrators of sexual abuse. His name was also included on the Seattle archdiocese's list January 15, 2016 of clergy and religious with admitted, established or credible allegations against them of sexual abuse of a minor.

: 1934
Died: September 27, 1965


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


San Francisco archbishop was Edward Joseph Hannah (1915-1935), followed by John Joseph Mitty (1935-1961).

1938 Alma College Alma CA    
1938 1939         Coughlin is not indexed in the 1939 Directory.


Spokane bishop was Charles Daniel White (1926-1955).

1943 Mt. St. Michael's Scholasticate Spokane WA ethics professor  
1943 1948 Gonzaga University Spokane WA    


Helena bishop was Joseph Michael Gilmore (1935-1962).

1950 St. Francis Xavier's

Missoula MT 3/3 St. Francis Xavier's had a school with 144-148 boys, and 131-153 girls.
1950 1951 Gonzaga University Spokane WA    


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

1957 Seattle Prep. High School Seattle WA   Seattle Prep. had 417-430 students, all male.


White was succeeded as Spokane bishop by Bernard Joseph Topel (1955-1978).

1958 Gonzaga University Spokane WA    
1958 1963 Gonzaga Prep. High School Spokane WA   Gonzaga Prep. had 688-794 students, all male.
1963 1965 Bellarmine High School Tacoma WA  

Bellarmine High had 366-412 students, all male.

Coughlin died Sept. 27, 1965.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1935-1966)

Non-Monetary Undertakings of the Spokane Diocese, Diocese of Spokane, November 21, 2007
A Safe Environment for Children & Youth, Catholic Diocese of Spokane, November 3, 2009
The Jesuit Stories behind the Bankruptcy of the Oregon Province, Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit, November 12, 2009
Archdiocese of Seattle List, January 15, 2016
Here Are All the Seattle Catholic Priests Who Have Been Accused of Sexually Assaulting Children, By Sydney Brownstone, The Stranger, January 15, 2016

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 Coughlin'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 April 24, 2016.

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