Assignment Record– Rev. James G. Gaynor

Summary of Case: James G. Gaynor was a priest of the diocese of Rockford IL, ordained in 1960. He assisted at several parishes and taught high school religion before becoming a hospital chaplain in 1967. In 1979 he was appointed pastor of a McHenry IL parish, a position he held until his death in 1991. In 2000 Gaynor was accused of having sexually abused a 4- to 5-year-old boy in the early 1960s in Aurora IL. The diocese said Gaynor died of AIDS in 1991 and offered Gaynor's accuser money for counseling if he agreed to release the diocese from damages and liability. The man refused, saying he was seeking acknowledgement of the truth rather than financial gain.

Ordained: 1960
Died: June 1, 1991



Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


Rockford bishop was Lora Thomas Lane (1956-1968).

1963 St. Rita of Cascia


A man went to the diocese in 2000 with accusations that Gaynor repeatedly sexually abused him when he was a 4- to 5-year-old boy in the early 1960s. Gaynor's accuser said his family attended St. Rita's.

IL 2/2

St. Rita's had a school with 235-275 boys and 255-282 girls.

The diocese told Gaynor's accuser that the priest had died of AIDS. They offered the man money for counseling with the agreement that the diocese would be released from damages and liability. He refused.

    Madonna High School Aurora IL Religion teacher  
    Marian Central Woodstock IL Religion teacher  
1963 1965 St. Margaret's



IL 2/2 St. Margaret's had a school with 156-148 boys and 169-150 girls.
1965 1966 St. Mary's Elgin IL 2/2 St. Mary's had a school with 149 boy sand 150 girls.
1966 1967 Christ the King Wonder Lake IL 2/2  


Lane was succeeded by Arthur Joseph O'Neill (1968-1994).

1979 St. Joseph's Hospital Belvidere IL


From the Belvidere Daily Republican, March 26, 1968:

From From the Belvidere Daily Republican, Nov. 17, 1970:

1970s 1970s Boone County Ministerial Association     Treasurer; Delegate for Jail Ministry  
1970s 1970s 4-H Extension Youth Committee     member  
1970s 1970s Rockford Area Chaplain's Association     member  
1970s 1970s Boone County Cancer Society     Executive Committee member  
1979 1991 St. Mary of the Assumption McHenry IL 1/2, 1/1

St. Mary's had a school with 282-214 students.

Gaynor died June 1, 1991.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1961-1992)

Belvidere Daily Republican, March 26, 1968, p. 3
Belvidere Daily Republican, Nov. 17, 1970, p. 10
Abuse Victim Says Policy Doesn't Go Far Enough, by Edith C. Webster, Rockford Register Star, August 23, 2002
2 New Priest-Abuse Claims Filed, by Edith C Webster, Rockford Register Star, July 1, 2004
Rev. James G. Gaynor,

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 Gaynor'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 8, 2015.

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