Fr. Jerome Kucan – Diocese of Harrisburg

| Apr 17, 2020 | Abuser Profiles

Fr. Jerome Kucan

Diocese of Harrisburg 


Ordained: 1951

Died: 2010


Assigned as Follows:

  • 1952-1954 St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA)
  • 1954-1961 St. Joseph’s (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1961-1972 St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA)
  • 1972-1973 Our Lady of Peace Friary (Beaver Falls, PA)
  • 1973-1977 St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA)
  • 1977-1978 Sacred Heart (Milwaukee, WI)
  • 1978-1979 Beaver Falls Friary (Beaver Falls, PA)
  • 1979-1982 St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA)
  • 1982-1985 St. Jerome’s (Chicago, IL)
  • 1986-1988 St. Anthony’s (Chicago, IL)
  • 1988-1994 St. Augustine’s (West Allis, WI)
  • 1994-1995 Sacred Heart (Chicago, IL)
  • 1995-2005 St. Anthony’s Friary (Chicago, IL)


Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Jerome (John) Kucan:

In February of 2005, a man wrote a letter to the Diocese of Erie in which he stated that he had attended St. Anthony’s School in Sharon, PA and that in 1974 he began serving midnight mass. He stated that “Father Jerry” aka Jerome Kucan, began an inappropriate relationship with him at that time. He wrote that Kucan gave him a necklace as a gift and soon afterward is when the inappropriate behavior began. 

The victim claimed that he would be called out of class at times where he would meet Father Jerry and a Brother who wore a brown robe. These “meetings” would take place in a room on the second floor of the gym. The name of the Brother is unknown, but the victim claimed that both men would preform oral sex on him. The letter explained that Kucan told the victim that if he ever told anyone about their relationship, his mother would lose her job in the school kitchen, and he would be kicked out. He also claimed that he would go to confession weekly to confess his sins and Kucan would tell him that his slate was wiped clean. In the letter, the man asked if the Diocese had an assistance program available for those suffering from emotional difficulties due to the sexual abuse he had endured. 

In March of 2005, Bishop Donald Trautman wrote back to the victim and stated that Kucan was not a priest of the Erie Diocese and the resolution of the matter rested with the Croatian Franciscans. Jerome Kucan was a member of the order at the time of the alleged abuse. 

On January 8th, 2007, Monsignor Robert J. Smith received a letter from a woman who stated that her husband had been molested by a priest in the mid 1950’s when he served as an altar boy at St. Anthony’s in Sharon, Pennsylvania. The letter stated that her husband’s cousins were also victims of sexual abuse. The letter stated that her husband committed suicide in 1993, after a long struggle with depression. She had spoken to her husband’s therapist after his death, and the therapist told her that her husband’s severe depression was a direct result of being molested at St. Anthony’s as a child. She stated that she knew that the offending priest was now dead, but that the Catholic Church was not excused for the ongoing abuse. 

A file note showed that on July 31st, 2007, Vicar General Smith wrote that he spoke with Father Marko Puljic to get an update on Kucan and to determine when he was removed from the ministry. Puljic said that Kucan was taken out of ministry in March 2005, when the Order received its first complaint against him. The order settled with the first victim who filed the complaint. The file note also indicated that Kucan was then in his mid-eighties and in the early stages of dementia. He has since been listed as deceased since December 2010. 

Jerome Kucan has been included on the Erie diocese’s list as of April 2018, and the Harrisburg diocese’s list as of August 2018. In February 2020, the Diocese of Harrisburg filed for bankruptcy protection. As part of its bankruptcy, the Diocese of Harrisburg will be reviewing and paying claims for anyone sexually abused by diocesan priests and lay employees. This will likely include claims filed on behalf of anyone whose case may be beyond the statute of limitations. 

Jermone Kucan was one of the names involved in the bankruptcy proceeding; falling under the category of cases where abuse was alleged to have occurred in another diocese. Although no abuse was reported in the Harrisburg Diocese, he was included in the PA Grand Jury report in 2018 as well. 


Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania. The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your legal options today.