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Regarding the resignation of Sister Mary Finn, HVM

The Department of Communications of the Archdiocese of Detroit shares the following message from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, regarding the resignation of Sister Mary Finn, HVM, from the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary.

"It is only in recent days that I have come to know new and additional details and context regarding Sr. Mary’s misconduct. Based on this information, the current rector, Msgr. Lajiness, accepted Sister Finn’s resignation. I endorse this action.”


Statement from Sr. Mary Finn, HVM

January 16, 2019
 
It is with resolve, sadness and great hope in Jesus that I am announcing my departure from Sacred Heart Major Seminary and resigning from my duties effective today.

More than fifty years ago, I misused my position of authority as a director of novices in the Home Visitors of Mary (HVM) Order, engaging in inappropriate conduct with two adult novices. I regret that behavior, have repented of my actions, and sincerely apologize for the harm I have caused.

I recently was asked about this situation and upon reflection and prayer, it became clear to me that in order to support the seminary's culture of transparency and trust, I wanted to  be forthcoming about these past actions.  Putting all of this in the hands of Jesus and trusting in Him,  I willingly resign my position at Sacred Heart.

Please know of my great love for our Eucharistic Jesus, our Church, the Home Visitors and the Sacred Heart Major Seminary community.
 
With love, sorrow and humility,
 
Sr. Mary Finn, HVM

Regarding the funeral at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Temperance

The Archdiocese of Detroit regrets that one of its parish priests was unable to bring comfort to a grieving family at the recent funeral of their beloved son. Our hope is always to bring comfort to situations of great pain, through funeral services centered on the love and healing power of Christ.

Unfortunately, that did not happen in this case. We understand that an unbearable situation was made even more difficult, and we are sorry.

In light of recent reports, and in an effort to clarify misunderstanding, we are sharing a copy of the prepared homily Father LaCuesta read during the funeral. Names have been redacted to protect the family’s privacy.

In the homily, Father LaCuesta attempted to offer a message of confidence in salvation, affirming that “nothing – not even suicide – can separate us from the unconditional love of God.” Father LaCuesta also shared that because of God’s mercy, “he makes allowance for the spiritual, mental and emotional despair that leads to suicide.”

Referring to the individual for whom the funeral was offered, he affirmed: “We remind ourselves that he is not lost to God who seeks to save all of his children.”

We acknowledge, however, that the family expected a homily based on how their loved one lived, not one addressing how he passed away. We also know the family was hurt further by Father’s choice to share Church teaching on suicide, when the emphasis should have been placed more on God’s closeness to those who mourn.

Father LaCuesta agrees that the family was not served as they should have been served. For the foreseeable future, he will not be preaching at funerals and he will have all other homilies reviewed by a priest mentor. In addition, he has agreed to pursue the assistance he needs in order to become a more effective minister in these difficult situations. This assistance will involve getting help from professionals – on human, spiritual and pastoral levels – to probe how and why he failed to effectively address the grief of the family in crisis.

Father LaCuesta also expressed his regret in a message to parishioners following Masses at Our Lady of Mount Carmel this weekend.

In a continuing effort to offer comfort, the family has received calls from our Vicar for Clergy and the Auxiliary Bishop for the South Region of the archdiocese. In addition, Archbishop Vigneron spoke with the family to apologize and to offer an in-person meeting in the near future. They have accepted his offer.

We ask all to please join in praying for the family.

Summer Feeding Program

The Archdiocese of Detroit School Foods Program will be sponsoring the USDA funded Summer Meals programs this summer in locations throughout the city.   Everyone wins with the Summer Meal program!

Meals are available beginning June. This is a great opportunity for families to stretch their food dollars during the summer months.  Children, 18 years of age or younger may participate at no charge!  Many sites also have exciting summer activities scheduled for your child as well!!

Contact Bob Nelson for more information

Nelson.Bob@aod.org

Phone# 313-883-8755


Reverend John Riccardo

Reverend John Riccardo is being released to create and lead a new non-profit organization, Acts XXIX, a pastoral initiative aimed at supporting the movement to Unleash the Gospel. The team, composed of clergy and laity, will concentrate on two primary areas of focus: first, to work with pastors and parishes to create a culture of evangelization and discipleship; and second, in support of parishes, especially in the City of Detroit to offer direct evangelization efforts that foster encounters with Christ. This position will become effective July 1, 2019 until June 30, 2023. Father Riccardo is currently serving as Pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Plymouth.

Reverend Anthony Richter

Reverend Anthony Richter appointed Pastor of Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson, effective November 26, 2018.  Father Richer is currently serving as Administrator of Guardian Angels Parish, Clawson.

Reverend Gregory Piatt

Reverend Gregory Piatt appointed Administrator of St. John XXIII Parish, Redford, effective December 2, 2018.  Father Piatt is currently serving as Associate Pastor of St. John XXIII Parish, Redford.

Regarding Monsignor Thadddeus Ozog

Msgr Thaddeus Ozog

Monsignor Thaddeus Ozog (1930-1994). Ordained in 1956. An allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor was brought forward to the Archdiocesan Review Board, considered, and has been deemed credible.

The Detroit Archdiocese – as is its practice – shared the complaint against him with civil authorities.The Review Board also commissioned an independent investigation of the allegation. When presented to the Review Board, the findings from that investigation were found to be credible, that is, having a “semblance of truth.”

The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been abused to contact civil authorities. Individuals may also call the victim assistance coordinator at (866) 343-8055 or visit protect.aod.org. This website also contains information on removed clergy, reporting protocols, and Archdiocesan policies and practices. There are no deadlines on reporting the sexual abuse of minors by priests, deacons, and other church representatives.

Biographical Information:

Education: Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, Orchard Lake; University of Detroit, Detroit.

1956: Ordained

1994: Deceased

Assignments:

1956 – 1958: Associate Pastor, Our Lady Help of Christians, Detroit

1958: Associate Pastor, St. Columban, Birmingham

1958: Associate Pastor, Our Lady of the Lakes, Waterford

1959 – 1975: Instructor (1959); Registrar (1962); Dean (1968); Rector (1970), Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit

1975: Associate Pastor, St. Hillary, Detroit

1975: Associate Pastor, St. Mary, Wayne

1976 – 1978: Pastor, St. Roch, Flat Rock

1978 – 1994: Pastor, St. Florian, Hamtramck

Archbishop Allen Vigneron on preparations for USCCB Fall General Assembly

The Department of Communications shares the following message from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron as he enters a seven-day period of prayer and reparation leading up to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) 2018 Fall General Assembly, which takes place November 12-14 in Baltimore, Maryland.
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The U.S. bishops are joining together in a commitment of prayer and reparation leading up to the bishops’ general assembly, where we will be making critical decisions in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. With my brother bishops across the nation, I will be dedicating myself to seven days of intensified prayer and fasting, from Monday, November 5, through Sunday, November 11. The intentions for this period of prayer and sacrifice are three-fold:

·        For the healing and support of all victims of clergy sexual abuse.

·        For the conversion and just punishment of perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse.

·        For the strength of the bishops to be holy shepherds in protecting and leading our sheep from all harm.

If you feel called to do so, you are welcome to join me in praying for these intentions. 

I would also be grateful for any prayers for me and my brother bishops during our general assembly, that we may follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in responding to the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse in the Church.

In sending you this letter, these words of St. Paul come to mind: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:20). It is my solemn duty as Archbishop to assume in prayer the burdens of our wounded Church. Thank you for your willingness to consider praying with me and for me as I join my brother bishops in this nationwide effort of prayer and reparation. Please be assured of my prayers for you, as well.


Sincerely yours in Christ,

The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron

Archbishop of Detroit

Archbishop Allen Vigneron statement on the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue

The Department of Communications shares the following statement from Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, in response to the October 27 shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania:

I am deeply saddened to hear of the terrible tragedy which occurred Saturday morning at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. As Catholic Christians, we stand with faith communities around the country – and the world – in condemning the actions of anyone who commits a crime of hatred and bigotry. In particular, it is especially heinous when that crime targets people in their place of worship. I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to my Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh, as well as here in Metro Detroit. My prayers are with the victims and their families during this time of senseless tragedy.

Regarding Archbishop John Nienstedt

In response to media inquiries concerning Archbishop John Nienstedt, the Archdiocese of Detroit released the following statement:

This summer, Archbishop Nienstedt announced his intention to move back to southeast Michigan to live in a house he owns. At that time, Archbishop Vigneron asked Archbishop Nienstedt – and he agreed – to abstain from public ministry in the Archdiocese of Detroit. That agreement remains in effect.