Fr. James Ganahl – Diocese of San Diego

Father James Ganahl

Diocese of San Diego

James Ganahl Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Retired: 1987

Privileges removed: 1988

Died: 2010


Assigned as Follows:

  • 1956-1958     St. Vincent de Paul (San Diego, CA)
  • 1958-1959     St. Charles Borromeo (San Diego, CA)
  • 1958-1964      San Diego College for Men (San Diego, CA)
  • 1964-1967      Immaculate Heart Seminary (San Diego, CA)
  • 1967-1973      San Gorgonio (Beaumont, CA)
  • 1973-1981     St. Joan of Arc (Victorville, CA)
  • 1981-1987      St. Catherine’s (Temecula, CA)


Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Ganahl:

Father James Ganahl served in a number of parishes in San Diego and San Bernardino counties. According to media reports, Father Ganahl was accused of abusing four sisters from 1961 to 1963 in San Bernardino. The sisters allege that he fondled, kissed them inappropriately, and sexually touched them for a period of two years when they lived in Mission Hills. In 1999, they told the Diocese of San Bernardino. The Diocese of San Diego reported the incident to police in 2002, but the family chose not to pursue criminal charges. A financial settlement was ultimately reached. 

Father Ganahl has been named in at least one civil lawsuit. He retired in 1987, and was removed from ministry in November 1998. He died in February 2010.

In March 2007, his name was included in the Diocese of San Diego’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

In October 2010, as part of a settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse, the Diocese of San Diego released his personnel file.


Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at