Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Timeline: Abuse Allegations Against Father McGuire

The following is a timeline of allegations of abuse against Father Donald McGuire, put together by lawyers for the plaintiffs. Not all of the alleged victims in the timeline are plaintiffs, and not all of the documents cited in the timeline have been made public.

July 9, 1930: Donald J. McGuire is born in Oak Park, IL.

Aug. 21, 1947: McGuire enters the Jesuit Order.

1961: McGuire is ordained as a Jesuit priest.

Early 1960s: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 1 in Europe.

1965: McGuire begins teaching at Loyola Academy, a high school in Chicago.

1966-1968: McGuire allegedly abuses Vic Bender (Victim 2) at Loyola Academy.

1968: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 3 at Loyola Academy.

1968-1969: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 4 at Loyola Academy.

Nov. 29, 1969: Father Charles Schlax, a Chicago Archdiocese priest and the pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes, writes to Father John Reinke, S.J., the president of Loyola Academy, to confirm their telephone conversation about the sexual abuse of Victim 4 (relayed to Father Schlax by Victim 4 earlier that day). The letter says that Victim 4 said McGuire is a "pervert."

1970: McGuire transferred to Loyola University, also in Chicago.

1983: Thirteen years after the Jesuits first learned of Victim 4's allegations of sexual abuse by McGuire, McGuire becomes the spiritual director for the Missionaries of Charity, Mother Teresa's order. He becomes Mother Teresa's confessor.

1986: Victim 9 is born. McGuire baptizes him and becomes his godfather.

1987-94: McGuire's alleged molestation of Victim 5 (then 8 or 9 years old) begins.

Oct. 24, 1987: Victim 10 (brother of Victim 5) is born. McGuire baptizes him. McGuire also baptized his younger siblings.

July 1993 – Jan. 1994: Several letters are exchanged between the father of Victim 6 and the Jesuits regarding what the father feels is McGuire's inappropriate contact with the teenager.

Summer 1999: Victim 9 goes to Chicago to "live" with McGuire at Canisius House. McGuire allegedly uses confessions as a means to begin fondling Victim 9, who alleges that McGuire sexually molested him hundreds of times between 1999 and 2004, including regular abuse during confession.

Oct. 25, 2000: The parents of Victim 7 (McGuire's assistant from June 1998 to August 1999) write the Jesuits (Father McGurn), alleging that McGuire had shown pornography to their child and saying their son's emotional state "alarmed" them.

Oct. 27, 2000: The parents of Victim 8 (another assistant to McGuire) write a detailed letter to McGurn following a September 2000 phone conversation outlining their concerns about McGuire's relationship with their son. They report that McGuire made their teenage son sleep in the same bed with him in 1999-2000.

Jan 10, 2001: McGurn writes back to the parents of Victim 8, refusing to share any details about how the allegations would be handled. "We hope you would trust us [Jesuits] to act appropriately." There is no record of the Jesuits doing anything to restrict McGuire at or around that time. In fact, at that time, Victim 9 continued to live with McGuire when he was not at school; he was allegedly sexually abused almost daily when he was with McGuire.

Fall 2001: McGuire allegedly abuses Victim 10 on at least two occasions.

November 2001: Victim 10 accompanies McGuire, who is directing an Ignatian retreat, to assist and serve McGuire. Victim 10 sleeps in McGuire's room.

March 2002: Victim 5 marries. McGuire witnesses the wedding. The family hosts a fundraiser for McGuire's missionary work the next day. McGuire allegedly sexually assaults Victim 10 (brother of Victim 5) again throughout the weekend.

July 2002: McGuire takes Victim 10 on an eight-day retreat.

Dec. 7, 2002: The parents of Victim 8 contact the Archdiocese of Chicago. They tell the Cardinal's delegate that they are frustrated that their complaint to the Jesuits has not been resolved and that McGuire is still working in ministry.

Aug. 17, 2003: Victim 4 sues the Jesuits over his alleged sexual abuse. McGuire tells the father of Victims 5 and 10 that the plaintiff is just after money and will be made "to look foolish."

Sept. 25, 2003: Vic Bender (Victim 2) files suit against McGuire and the Jesuits for alleged abuse while he was a student at Loyola Academy.

Oct. 1, 2003: Father Edward Schmidt calls the parents of Victim 8, who had first complained three years ago, advising them that McGuire's faculties had been removed. He suggests that the action is the result of the parents' reports. However, by that time, two civil lawsuits had been filed against the Jesuits and McGuire — by Bender and Victim 4 — and a criminal investigation was under way.

Summer 2004: McGuire allegedly sexually abuses Victim 9 for the last time, after the order told the parents of Victim 8 that McGuire had been disciplined.

Feb. 8, 2005: McGuire is arrested in Wisconsin and charged with sexually abusing Victim 4 and Bender.

February 2006: McGuire is convicted of five counts of sexual assault of a minor in Wisconsin. He remains free, pending appeal. He appears in court — and in his sex-offender registry photo-- in his Roman Catholic collar.

Aug. 21, 2007: Victim 9 files a lawsuit against the Jesuits and McGuire.

September 2007: McGuire continues to wear a Roman Catholic collar and "act" like a priest in public. Father Edward Schmidt, S.J., provincial of the Jesuits, says he cannot prevent McGuire from wearing the collar.

Oct. 8, 2007: The father of Victims 5 and 10 writes a letter retracting support for McGuire at his 2006 trial. (A correction to some of the details of the letter is dated Oct. 18, 2007.)

Oct. 12, 2007: Victims 5 and 10 report sexual abuse by McGuire to the Jesuits.

Oct. 23, 2007: Victims 5 and 10 file suit against the Jesuits and McGuire.

TODAY: McGuire remains free pending his appeal and has been seen on many occasions with young men. He lives in a private residence in Oak Lawn, Ill. The Jesuits have not indicated that they are monitoring him in any way. McGuire remains a Jesuit priest, and the Jesuits have not indicated any intention of removing him.

-- Based on a timeline released by plaintiffs' attorney Marc Pearlman.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit