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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.

Diocese of Gaylord's List of Clergy Credibly Accused of Abuse

11/15/2018

In 2002, the Diocese of Gaylord completed a review of all of our priests’ files dating back to the establishment of the diocese in 1971. The results of that effort were then reported to the prosecutors in each of our 21 counties. At that time, we pledged to report any future allegations of sexual abuse of a minor involving clergy of our diocese to them, regardless of when the incident was alleged to have occurred, or whether the accused was living or dead. This has been, and will remain, our practice.

Over the past 16 years, we have worked diligently to learn from the past, to compassionately assist victims on a path to healing, and to do all we can to prevent any child from being abused in the future. The Diocese of Gaylord has fully implemented the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and Essential Norms established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 and updated in 2005 and again in 2018. The Charter and Norms contain a comprehensive set of procedures for addressing allegations of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy along with preventive measures designed to help keep minors safe from harm. Among them are mandatory background checks for employees and volunteers who work with minors as well as training for adults and children to help identify warning signs, maintain appropriate boundaries and what to do should abuse be suspected.  Also included are guidelines for reconciliation and healing for victim-survivors and for accountability. An independent annual audit is completed each year which specifically evaluates the diocese’s compliance with the Charter and Norms. The Diocese of Gaylord has been found in compliance every year since the Charter was established in 2002.

Though we have publicly released information regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving clergy of our diocese previously, we understand that it may be helpful to the healing process for victim-survivors, and to our continued efforts for increased transparency, to publish and maintain a list of those clergy who are known to have had credible and substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor made against them in the Diocese of Gaylord.

For purposes of this list, a “credible and substantiated allegation” against a priest or deacon who has served in the Diocese of Gaylord is an accusation that, after an investigation and review of available information, appears more likely true than not and has been accepted as credible by the bishop. The most recent credible incident of sexual abuse of a minor involving clergy in the Diocese of Gaylord is alleged to have occurred three decades ago.

The list is below. Under each name is the individual’s current clerical status. This list will be updated if additional information comes forward or if there are future determinations of credible allegations.

 

Diocese of Gaylord ordained or incardinated priests against whom credible and substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor in the diocese have been made:


Patrick Barrett
Permanently removed from public ministry 2002
Deceased 2006


Ronald Gronowski
Permanently removed from public ministry 2002


Lionel Harnish
Removed from ministry 1986
Deceased 2011


James Holtz
Permanently removed from public ministry 2002


Benedict Marciulionis
Removed from ministry 1981
Deceased 2000


Raymond Pilarski
Permanently removed from public ministry 2006
Deceased  2017


Terrence Raymond
Left priesthood 1985
Deceased 1986


Robert Gordon Smith
Deceased 1990

 

Priests from Religious Orders against whom credible and substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor have been made while they served in the Diocese of Gaylord:


Laurus Rhode, OFM
Removed from diocese and returned to Religious Order 1993
​Deceased 1995


Leo Olschaysken, O. Praem
Removed from diocese and returned to Religious Order 1974
Deceased

 

The Diocese of Gaylord is committed to continuing our efforts to work in partnership with local agencies to prevent any child from being abused or neglected and to bring about healing where abuse has occurred.

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 Health and Human Services at 855.444.3911. That phone line is answered 24 hours a day. 

The Michigan 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.

 

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