Assignment Record – Rev. Michael Toulouse, s.j.

Summary of Case: Michael Toulouse was ordained in the late 1930s or early 1940s as a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Province officials stated concerns about Toulouse as early as 1938, writing "he does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience." Toulouse taught for six years at Gonzaga High School while living at St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Seattle University. That stint ended in late 1950 after a 14-year-old altar boy told his father that Toulouse had been sexually abusing him. The boy's father went looking for the priest with his handgun, but was stopped by another Jesuit. (Reportedly, Toulouse would have his altar boys awaken him at the rectory before mass, then sexually assault them; he would then give them money in exchange for their silence.) The Jesuits responded by transferring Toulouse to Seattle University, despite objections of Seattle U. officials. There he worked as a philosophy professor and spiritual counselor until his death in 1976. In the 2000s Toulouse was the subject of a number of lawsuits, as men came forward to report their abuse by him as children. By 2006 at least a dozen victims were identified. Documents show that the Jesuits were aware throughout Toulouse's career that he was a danger to children. The earliest known accusation is from 1947. In Seattle Toulouse is said to have ingratiated himself to the parents of boys in the various parishes where he was assisting, which allowed him the access to groom and sexually abuse the boys. In 2006 Seattle University's president stated that he had "no doubt" that Toulouse molested young boys.

Ordained: <1943
Died: June 13, 1976


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State/Country Position Notes
  1944         Documents show that in 1938 Jesuit leaders wanted Toulouse to leave the order because "he does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience."


Seattle bishop was Gerald Shaughnessy, s.m. (1933-1950).

1944 Manresa Hall Port Townsend WA  


St. Louis archbishop was John Joseph Glennon (1903-1946).

1945 St. Louis University St. Louis MO graduate student  


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

1951 Gonzaga High School


• Court documents show that Toulouse was accused of sexually abusing boys before mass at St. Aloysius; he would ask them to awaken him before mass, sexually assault them, then give them money to silence them.

• Toulouse was accused of the 1947 sexual abuse of a boy at Gonzaga Prep.

• One accuser said he told his father when he was 14-years-old in late 1950 that Toulouse sexually abused him. He said the abuse had gone on for two years. The man said his father grabbed a gun and went looking for Toulouse at St. Aloysius, but was stopped by another priest.


Toulouse was known to be a brilliant and unconventional teacher, and a psychologist. He lived at the Jesuit residence at St. Aloysius on Gonzaga University's campus.








Toulouse is said to have been sent to Seattle due to the allegations of sexual abuse against him in Spokane.


Seattle archbishop was Thomas Arthur Connolly (1950-1975), followed by Raymond Gerhardt Hunthausen (1975-1991).

1976 Seattle University


• Minutes from the a meeting of Oregon Province officials in the 1950s say that Toulouse "permitted a school boy to attempt intimacies" with him. Documents show that the Jesuits knew of Toulouse's sexual contact with a minor in at least 1951.

• Court filings in 2006 showed claims that Toulouse helped out at area parishes. Toulouse would befriend the parents of boys to groom the boys for sex. Three teen boys from a single family were said to have been victimized by the priest in the 1960s.

• In a 2007 lawsuit, which included eight plaintiffs, Toulouse was accused of of sexually abusing a Vancouver boy when his parents sent him to visit the priest for a week in Seattle, on Toulouse's invitation.

• Per court filings, a young widow told the Province in 1968 that Toulouse sexually abused her son the year before. She and a Jesuit priest wrote the Province requesting action against Toulouse. Toulouse was kept in ministry; the boy was promised a scholarship.

• Toulouse was accused in a 2005 lawsuit of molesting a 12-year-old boy at the Jesuit residence in 1968.

• By 2006 at least a dozen alleged victims were identified.

• In a 2008 lawsuit Toulouse was accused of sexually abusing an eighth grade boy in 1968 or 1969. Toulouse's accuser said he once encountered Toulouse at his home socializing with his parents, and the priest convinced his parents to allow the boy to accompany him on an errand. Toulouse's accuser said that is when the abuse occurred.

WA philosophy professor; spiritual counselor

Seattle University administrators objected to Toulouse's transfer to their campus. Seattle U. president, Rev. Albert A. Lemieux, wrote to Jesuit leaders with his concerns in 1950, again in 1960, and in 1963 wrote that Toulouse and several other priests were "a source of worry in the classroom and elsewhere for various reasons."

Toulouse died Jun 13, 1976.

In 2006, Seattle University President, Rev. Stephen Sunborg, said he had "no doubt" that Toulouse molested young boys.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1944-1947)

Jesuits Hid Sexual Abuse by Ex-Gonzaga President, By Janet I. Tu and David Bowermaster, The Seattle Times [Spokane WA], September 9, 2006
Cover-Up at Gonzaga;, Leary Left after '69 Police Ultimatum, By John Stucke and Benjamin Shors, Spokesman Review [Spokane WA],
September 9, 2006
Spokane Abuse Victims Demand Lie Detector Test of Jesuit Leader, By Nicholas K. Geranios, The Associated Press, carried in KGW, [Spokane WA], September 15, 2006
Court Papers Reveal Man Took Gun to Kill Priest for Abuse of Son, The Associated Press, carried in KGW [Spokane WA], September 27, 2006
Details in '50s Abuse Revealed;, Popular GU High Priest Relocated, By John Stucke, Spokesman Review [Spokane WA], September 27, 2006
Court Papers Detail Concerns about Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse, The Associated Press, carried in KGW [Seattle WA], September 28, 2006
Seattle U Leader Distances School from Actions of Late Priest, By Janet I. Tu and David Bowermaster, The Seattle Times, September 29, 2006
Abuse Victims Seek Release of Accused Priests' Names, By Janet I. Tu, Seattle Times, October 4, 2006
Seattle U. Official Quits As Sexual-Harassment Claims Surface, By Nick Perry, Seattle Times, October 13, 2006
Abuse Cases Put Focus on Jesuits, By Janet I. Tu, The Seattle Times, October 16, 2006
Archdiocese, Jesuits Settle Abuse Lawsuits, By Janet I. Tu, Seattle Times [Washington], November 23, 2006
8 Men Allege Abuse in Suit against Su, Jesuit Order, By Janet I. Tu, The Seattle Times [Seattle WA], July 12, 2007
Statement Concerning Civil Lawsuit, Seattle University [Seattle WA], July 12, 2007
Non-Monetary Undertakings of the Spokane Diocese, Diocese of Spokane , November 21, 2007
10th Man Claims Abuse by Late Priest
Seattle U, Jesuit Order Faces Lawsuit over Rev. Toulouse, By John Iwasaki, Post-Intelligencer, October 22, 2008
Jesuits" Northwest Accusers Detail Sex Abuse Claims, By Bryan Denson, The Oregonian, March 3, 2009
Jesuit Priest Who Abused Boys Casts Shadow in the Northwest Long after His Death, By Bryan Denson, The Oregonian, February 27, 2010
Northwest Jesuits Will Pay $166 Million to Sex Abuse Victims in Bankruptcy Settlement, By Bryan Denson, The Oregonian, March 25, 2011
Northwest Jesuits Agree to Landmark Settlement for Hundreds of Clergy Sexual Abuse Victims, March 25, 2011
Jesuits to Pay Victims of Abuse, By Kevin Graman, The Spokesman-Review, March 26, 2011

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 Toulouse'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 30, 2014.