- Candace Neff Director
News & Press Releases
In an effort to provide those who visit this site with up-to-date information regarding events or stories of interest happening within the diocese, the Secretariat for Communications researches and prepares articles and news releases.
Access to the most recent news is available under "News Headlines" on the home page. Copies of old stories are available by accessing the Archives at the end of the News and Press Release section.
Statement regarding search warrant from the Attorney General's office executed at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Gaylord
Officers from the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office arrived at our Pastoral Center at approximately 9:00 this morning to execute a search warrant relating to the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s investigation of past sexual abuse of minors in the Catholic Church.
Sixteen years ago the Diocese of Gaylord voluntarily reported all known allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving clergy of our diocese that had occurred since our establishment in 1971 to the appropriate prosecutor in each of our 21 counties. It then became, and remains, our protocol to report any allegations of sexual abuse of a minor involving clergy to civil authorities promptly, regardless of when the incident was alleged to have occurred or whether the accused is living or dead.
Over the years, we have strived to implement and improve our policies and procedures to best protect children and to compassionately respond to victim survivors. We remain committed to work with any agency or organization that shares our desire to do all we can to ensure no child is abused or neglected in the future and to help bring about healing for those who have been harmed in the past. We look forward to the final report of the Attorney General and are open to learning if there are additional measures we should adopt in our diocese for the protection of children or as to how we respond if an allegation surfaces. It is our deep hope that this investigation will also help in the healing process for victim survivors.
Previous statements from Bishop Steven J. Raica and additional information regarding the Diocese of Gaylord’s child protection efforts can be found at www.dioceseofgaylord.org. To report allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by clergy -- even if it is in the past -- individuals are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator Larry LaCross at 989.705.9010. The Diocese of Gaylord also strongly encourages anyone who has reason to suspect a child is being abused or neglected in any way by any person to report the matter to the Michigan Department of Human Services at 855.444.3911. That phone line is answered 24 hours a day.
The Attorney General’s office has also set up special phone line for people to share information that may be of help in their investigation. That number is 844.324.3374.
The Diocese of Gaylord was established by His Holiness Pope Paul VI on July 20, 1971. The territory encompasses 11,171 square miles and includes the 21 most northern counties of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. The region is home to more than 505,000 residents, of which more than 50,000 are Catholic, and is served by 75 parishes, 17 Catholic schools and several closely-related institutions.