Assignment Record – Rev. Jerome C. Kern

Summary of Case: Kern was accused in 1993 of having molested a 15-year-old boy in a swimming pool in 1977. Church officials told Kern's accuser that there were allegations against Kern dating back to 1969. The man sued and received a settlement; he claimed he was promised that Kern would never work in another parish or be around children. It came to light in 2002 that, since 1995, Kern was in active parish ministry; the parish had a school and a religious education program. He went on medical disability leave. In a 2014 deposition Kern admitted to "horseplay" with children; he denied his behavior was abuse.

: December 17, 1966
Incardinated: St. Paul-Minneapolis


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


St. Paul-Minneapolis archbishop was Leo Binz (1971-1975)

1969 St. Mark's

St. Paul

Kern was transferred out of St. Mark's after complaints surfaced that he he had molested two boys from the parish.

MN 4/4 St. Mark's had a school with 1,348-1,261 students.


Binz was succeeded by John Robert Roach (1975-1995)

1976 Our Lady of Grace Edina MN 2/2, 2/3 Our Lady of Grace had a school with 374-388 students.
1976 1994 Immaculate Heart of Mary


In 1993 a man reported to the archdiocese that in 1977 Kern fondled him in a St. Paul seminary swimming pool. Kern's accuser said he was 15 years-old at the time and was visiting the seminary with the Boy Scouts. Archdiocesan officials admitted to the man that there were reports of Kern molesting boys going back to 1969. The man said in 2002 that, as part of a settlement he had received from the archdiocese, he was promised that Kern would never be in another parish and would never be around children. It was in 2002 that he learned Kern was, indeed, in a parish; the parish had a school and a religious education program.

MN 2/2 IHM had a school with 291-365 students, and a religious education program with 620-560 students.
1994 1995         Kern is not indexed in the 1995 Directory, nor is he listed a his previous or next assignments.


Harry Joseph Flynn replaced Roach (1995-2008)

2002 St. Peter's Forest Lake MN 2/2

St. Peter's had a school with 260-386 students, and a religious education program with 1,000-664 students.

Kern is not indexed beyond the 2002 Directory. He reportedly went on medical disability leave.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1968-2002)

Accused Minnesota Priests Still Working, By Rick Linsk and Charles Laszewski, Pioneer Press, May 26, 2002
Sexual Abuse Victims Question Archbishop, By Berk Brown, Forest Lake Times, October 16, 2002
Priest List, Jerome C. Kern,, accessed May 26, 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 Kern'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 May 26, 2016.