Rev. Thomas Cronin

Summary of Case: Cronin was suspended from active ministry in Oct. 2010, several weeks after Reno archdiocesan officials learned that he was named in a lawsuit as having sexually abused a 17 year-old girl in Missouri in 1979. Cronin was a priest of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese and was transferred to Reno in 1997. He retired in 2005 and was a fill-in priest for the Reno archdiocese until his removal. Cronin denies the claims.

Ordained: 1969
Retired: 2005


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Kansas City-St. Joseph bishop was Charles Herman Helmsing (1962-1977)

1970 St. Mary's Independence MO 3/3 St. Mary's had a schoo lwith 391 students.
1969 1970 Church of Sante Fe Buckner MO   This was a mission of St. Mary's in Independence.
1969 1970 St. Thomas the Apostle East Independence MO   This was a mission of St. Mary's in Independence.
1970 1973 Holy Cross Kansas City MO 3/3 Holy Cross had a school with 266-215 students.
1973 1974 St. Patrick's St. Joseph MO 2/2 St. Patrick's had a school with 266 students.


Helmsing was succeeded by John Joseph Sullivan (1977-1993)

1978 St. Bernadette's Kansas City MO 2/2 St. Bernadette's had a school with 277-256 students.
1978 1979 St. Gabriel the Archangel Kansas City MO 2/2 St. Gabriel's had a school with 173 students.
1979 1987 Sacred Heart


• In an Oct. 2010 lawsuit a woman accused Cronin of molesting her in 1979, when she was 17 years-old. The woman said she told Cronin during confession that a relative was sexually abusing her, and that Cronin told her she was "chosen by God". She said he proceeded to molest her, and that the abuse went on for a few years, including on a teen retreat. She also accused Rev. John R. Tulipana, saying the two priests abused her together.

MO 1/1

Tulipana left the priesthood in 1994 when allegations that he had a abused a 12 year-old boy surfaced publicly.

Cronin denies the claims against him.

1979 1987 Mary Immaculate Gallatin MO 1/1 This was a mission of Sacred Heart in Hamilton.
1987 1993 Our Lady of Sorrows Kansas City MO 2/2
In residence.
1987 1993 Children's Mercy, Truman Medical Center, Western Missouri Mental Health Center Charlotte Extended Care Center; Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City Dentistry School; Univ. School of Medicine Kansas City     These were chaplaincies of Our Lady of Sorrows.


Raymond James Boland followed Sullivan as Kansas City-St. Joseph archbishop (1993-2005)

1997 St. Robert Bellarmine Blue Springs MO 2/2
In residence

St. Robert Bellarmine had a religious education program with 326-537 students.

The 1996 Directory indexes Cronin twice, at Bellarmine, and as Special Assignment at 300 Alger, Blue Springs, MO. The 1997 Directory places him at St. Robert Bellarmine and as On Duty Outside the Diocese.


Reno bishop was Phillip Francis Straling (1995-2005)

1999 St. Therese Church of the Little Flower (St. Jude Shrine) Reno NV 5/5
In residence.
St. Therese had a school with 291-285 students, and a religious education program with 630 students.
1997 1999 Washoe Medical Center

Reno NV Chaplain  
1999 2004 St. Robert Bellarmine Fernley NV 1/1
Pastoral Administrator
St. Robert Bellarmine had a religious education program with 50-105 students.
1999 2004 St. Joseph the Worker Empire NV   This was a mission of St. Robert Bellarmine in Fernley.
2004 2005 On Duty Outside the Diocese   NV   Cronin is not listed in the Reno archdiocesan pages of the 2005 Directory.


Straling was succeeded as Reno bishop by Randolph Roque Calvo (2005-)

2011 Retired Fernley NV Cronin worked as a fill-in priest at various Reno diocese parishes.

Cronin is listed as Parish Administrator in the St. Mary of the Mountains in Virginia City, NV, Sept. 5, 2010 church bulletin. It is unclear how long he held that post.

Conin was placed on leave in Oct. 2010, several weeks after the diocese first learned of the allegations. Bishop Calvo defended the delay in suspending Cronin, saying he was waiting for the recommendation of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocesan review board.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1970-2011)

Leaflets Raise Alarm about Ex-Priest, By Robert Hite, The Examiner [Missuri], December 21, 2006
St. Mary of the Mountains church bulletin, Sept. 5, 2010
Woman Comes Forward Claiming Area Priests Molested Her, Fox 4, October 4, 2010
2 Priests with Kc Ties Named in Lawsuit, KCTV, October 4, 2010
Two Ex-priests Accused of Sexual Abuse, By James Hart, Kansas City Star, October 5, 2010
Kansas City Lawsuit Accuses Reno-area Priest of Sexual Assault, By Martha Bellisle, The Register-Journal, October 21, 2010
Bishop Responds to Allegations of Abuse by Priest, By Martha Bellisle, Reno Gazette-Journal, October 22, 2010
Bishop Says He Waited for Panel's Review before Suspending Priest, By Martha Bellisle, Reno Gazette-Journal, October 23, 2010

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 Cronin'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 March 16, 2012