Fr. Kenneth F. O’Connell

Diocese: Archdiocese of New York

Summary of Assignments:

  • 1956: Ordained
  • 1956-1959:  St. Joseph’s; Manhattan, NY
  • 1959-1970:  Sacred Heart; Mt. Vernon, NY
  • 1970-1981:  St. Bernard’s; Manhattan, NY
  • 1973-1975:  National Catholic Committee on Scouting
    • National Chaplain
  • 1973-1975:  Archdiocesan Boy Scouts
  • 1973-1978:  Archdiocesan Catholic Youth Organizations
    • Executive Director
  • 1981-1984:  SS. John and Paul; Larchmont, NY
    • Pastor


A man publicly accused O’Connell of sodomizing him as a boy at Camp Spes Mundi in Hope Falls, NY during a two-week Boy Scout trip in July 1973. The boy had been prescribed muscle relaxers and was advised to sleep indoors after aggravating a rib injury at the camp. O’Connell suggested that the boy sleep on a fold-out sofa bed in his cabin so that he could “keep an eye on him one-on-one”. The boy woke up in the night to find O’Connell naked in the bed with him.

Msgr. O’Connell died on November 21, 1984 at age 54.

It was announced in May 2017 that the man received a settlement through the Archdiocese compensation program.

Sources: York Times Obituary 11.22.84; Journal News 05.30.17; Fios 1 05.31.17; New York Daily News Assignment Record

Note: Years in parentheses indicate editions of the Official Catholic Directory. Because of the publication schedule of the Directory, a priest listed at a parish in a given year was also likely at that parish for part of the previous year.