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Charter Compliance and Diocesan Review Board


DATE: November 20, 2020

TO: Priests, Pastoral Administrators, Deacons, Diocesan Staff

FROM: Most Reverend Walter A. Hurley

RE: Charter Compliance and Diocesan Review Board


Charter Compliance

An annual audit is performed each year to review the compliance of the Diocese with the provisions of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. Stonebridge Business Partners audits the compliance of all dioceses throughout the United States. Two auditors were here in late October for an on-site visit to examine the records of the compliance of the Diocese of Gaylord with the Charter. We have been advised that “based on the results of our recently performed on-site audit of the Diocese of Gaylord, the Diocese has been found compliant with all the articles within the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People in the 2019/2020 audit period. The conclusions reached as to the compliance of your Diocese are based on inquiry, observations and the review of specifically requested documentation furnished to Stonebridge Business Partners during the course of this audit.” (See attached letter.)

We are grateful to the parishes, their staff and membership for their cooperation and commitment in creating and maintaining a safe environment for children and our people.


Diocesan Review Board

I have recently appointed three new members to the Diocesan Review Board whose role is to assist the bishop in determining the credibility of allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and other parish personnel brought forward in the Diocese. The Board also plays a role in reviewing the policies and practices of the Diocese and making recommendations to the bishop. The board is currently working on a revision and update of our current policies. 

The newly appointed members of the Board are: 

Michael Buell

Michael Buell lives in Traverse City and is married to his wife, Mindy. They have three children. Mike has been the superintendent of the Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools (GTACS) since 1999. He also has served as part-time and interim superintendent for the Diocese of Gaylord office of Catholic Schools over a 3 year period in the past. Mike is currently working on his PhD through the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Honorable Thomas J. LaCross

Tom has been married to Mary Ann since 1981, and they have three sons and twelve grandchildren. Tom is the Alpena County Probate Court judge and the 88th District Court judge for Alpena, graduating from Madonna College (now university), and Wayne State University Law School in 1984. Tom was the eastern regional director of Catholic Human Services, and on the Diocesan Pastoral Council for Bishop Patrick Cooney. He is a life-long member of St. Bernard Parish (now All Saints Parish) in Alpena.

Deacon Michael P. Roy

Michael is married to Diane and they have 3 children. They currently reside in Presque Isle. Deacon Roy is a former Alpena police officer and has taught criminal justice courses for 26 years. Michael and Diane owned and operated the Royal Knight Theater in Alpena. Michael was ordained a Deacon on October 17, 2020.

These new members [above] join those who have been serving on the board for some time:

Betsy Hardy

Born and raised Catholic, Betsy has been a member of the Diocese of Gaylord since birth. She attended Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools for 12 years and received all of her sacraments at St. Francis Catholic Church in Traverse City, Michigan. Betsy is an active member at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Traverse City. As a Registered Nurse, she deeply values health and wellness in a spiritual context and has practiced in the area of Maternal Child Nursing for 20 years. She and her husband Tom have five children, Olivia, Julia, Thomas, Andrew and Sophia.

Dave Martin

Dave resides in Traverse City with his wife Helen. They have four grown children, of which two are married, and they have five grandchildren. He retired from Catholic Human Services in June of 2016 where he served as the CEO for 18 years as well as serving an additional 21 years as the regional administrator, program manager and caseworker. Dave and his wife both serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at St. Francis in Traverse City and he serves on the Pastoral Council. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Central Michigan University.

Rev. Joseph Muszkiewicz

Fr. Joe was ordained at 53 years of age. He attended Sacred Heart School of Theology in Hales Corners, Wisconsin. Prior to his ordination to the priesthood, Fr. Joe worked as a respiratory therapist for 16 years and 6 years in Polysomnography (sleep study) in Grand Rapids. He is the father of three adult children. Fr. Joe is currently the Pastor of a cluster of churches as well as the Catholic school in Alpena, Michigan.

Mary O’Connor

Mary is married, a mother of four grown children, and lives in Frankfort. She has a Master’s Degree in Social Work, Master of Arts in Early Childhood Development and a Graduate Certificate in Addiction Studies. She is the Executive Director of Overlook Resources, Inc. Mary is an experienced behavioral health therapist and private practice clinician. She is a former Sister of Saint Joseph of Nazareth, having taught at Catholic schools in both the Diocese of Lansing and the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Carl Stellin

Carl is married and a member of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish in Bellaire, where he is the president of the ushers. He and his wife relocated from Troy, Michigan. They have three grown children. Carl holds a degree in economics and is currently employed as a real estate broker.

Kristy Torsky

Kristy served as the K-12 School Counselor at St. Mary Cathedral School. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Social Science from the University of Michigan, Flint and her Master’s Degree in Counseling from Western Michigan University. She has completed post Master’s studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, is a Certified Solution-Focused Counseling practitioner and a National Certified Counselor. Kristy is married to Nick and they have two children, Nick and Anna. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, yoga, kayaking and watching her kids play sports.

Kim Walters

Kim is married and a mother of four. She is a member of St. Francis Parish in Traverse City. Kim is a Scheduling Manager for Hospitalist Medicine Physicians and has worked as Scheduling Consultant for Emergency Medicine Physicians for 10 years. She is trained as a cosmetologist and in the past, has donated several years as a Girl Scout leader.


I am grateful for the willingness of these members who bring experience and competence to addressing these important matters. 




File: Charter Compliance and Diocesan Review Board

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