Kenneth Gansmann, OFM: Substantiated Claims of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Kenneth Gansmann, OFM

Father Kenneth Gansmann, OFM was ordained on June 24, 1935 as a priest of the Springfield, Illinois based Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart. He ministered three dioceses in Illinois, Chicago, Springfield and Joliet until 1948, at which time he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. He was the Pastor of St. John the Baptist in Jordan (Union Hill), Minnesota for 10 years before returning to Chicago for a year and then transferring to Nashville, Tennessee where he pastored until he died in 1974.

In 2007, a man reported to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis that he had been sexually abused by Father Gansmann in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s at St. John the Baptist parish. In 2008, then Vicar General Kevin McDonough wrote a letter to three priests in the New Prague/Jordan area noting that he suspected that the gentleman that came forward in 2007 was not the only survivor of abuse by Father Gansmann. Despite this information, Father Gansmann’s name was not released to the public until February 17, 2014 as part of a court-ordered disclosure requiring the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis (“Archdiocese”) to publicly name priests with credible accusations of child sexual abuse. Father Gansmann’s priest file maintained by the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis was released to the public on November 5, 2014 by Jeff Anderson and Associates.

According to the Official Catholic Directory and archdiocesan officials, Father Gansmann in the following parishes:

  • 1935-1936: St. Joseph’s Seminary, Teutopolis, IL (Diocese of Springfield)
  • 1936-1944: Assistant Pastor, St. Augustine’s, Chicago, IL (Archdiocese of Chicago)
  • 1944-1945: Corpus Christi, Chicago, IL
  • 1945-1948: Chaplain, College of St. Francis, Joliet, IL (Diocese of Joliet)
  • 1945-1948: St. John Friary, Joliet, IL
  • 1949-1959: Pastor, St. John’s the Baptist, Jordan (Union Hill), MN (Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis)
  • 1959-1960: St. Peter’s Church in the Loop, Chicago, IL (Archdiocese of Chicago)
  • 1960-1974: St. Vincent De Paul, Nashville, TN (Diocese of Nashville)
  • 1974: Dead