Rev. Msgr. John T. Donovan

Summary of Case: Donovan was accused in a 1992 lawsuit of sexual misconduct with a girl beginning when she was a Catholic high school student in 1959 and continuing until 1965. Donovan retired in 1993 and died in 2010.

: 1944

Retired: 1993

Died: June 2, 2010


Start Stop Parish Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Milwaukee archbishop was Moses Elias Kiley (1940-1953)

1945 St. Thomas Aquinas Milwaukee WI 2/3 Parish had a school with 68 students.


Baltimore archbishop was Michael Joseph Curley (1921-1947). The archdiocese split in 1947. Washington archbishop was Patrick Aloysius O'Boyle (1947-1973)

1948 Catholic University Washington DC    


Kiley was succeeded by Albert Gregory Meyer (1953-1958)

1956 St. Thomas Aquinas' Milwaukee WI 1/3, 2/3, 2/4 Parish had an elementary school with 714-785 students and a 9th grade with 41-24 students from 1948-1952, and a school with 842-813 students from from 1952-1956.


William Edward Cousins replaced Kiley (1958-1977)

1976 Archdiocesan Tribunal Milwaukee WI Defensores Vinculi (1952-1959), Secretary (1956-1963), Notary (1956-1976), Vice Officialis (1964-1976) Donovan is referred to as "Very Rev." beginning in the 1953 Directory. He was given the title "Monsignor" July 16, 1965 when he was appointed Domestic Prelate to Pope Paul VI. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
June 4, 2010)
1956 1957 St. Aemillan's Orphan Asylum Milwaukee WI In residence.

There were 24 boys living at the orphanage. The 1957 Directory entry notes the orphanage to also conduct Boys' Camp at Villa Jerome on Friess Lake in Hubertus, WI.


1957 1963 Chancery


Donovan was accused in a 1992 lawsuit of sexual misconduct with a high school girl, beginning in 1959 and continuing until 1965. (Wisconsin State Journal
June 28, 1995)

WI   The 1958-1963 Directories index Donovan as at 2000 W. Wisconsin Ave., which was the Archbishop's residence.
1963 1974 St. Mary's (German) Milwaukee WI 1/3


Rembert George Weakland, O.S.B. followed Cousins as archbishop (1977-2002)

1993 St. Monica's Whitefish Bay WI 1/3, 1/2, 1/4 Parish had a school with 476-368 students.
1993 2000 Retired St. Francis WI   Address is 3501 Lake St., which is that of the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
2000 2006 Retired Milwaukee WI   Address given is that of the John T. Cousins Center.


Weakland was replaced by Timothy Michael Dolan (2002-2009)

2009 Retired Milwaukee WI   Donovan was noted to be residing at the Milwaukee Catholic Home, which has Assisted Living, Continued Care Community, Senior Community, and Micro-Community.


Dolan was succeeded by Jerome Edward Listecki (2009-)

2010 Retired Milwaukee WI  

Address given is that of a Milwaukee law firm.

Donovan died June 2, 2010


Source: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1945-2010)

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 Donovan'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 28, 2011.

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