GAYLORD, MICHIGAN – The Franciscan Province of the Sacred Heart, Order of Friars Minor (province) informed Bishop Walsh April 21, 2023 that the province had included the following individuals within its list of members who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct with minors:
Theophane (William) Goett – He served in what is now the Diocese of Gaylord during 1951. During this time, he assisted at Holy Childhood of Jesus Parish, Harbor Springs, and at St. Mary Parish (a predecessor to the now St. Mary-St. Charles Parish), Cheboygan. The province indicated that the alleged sexual misconduct did not take place in our diocese.
Denis (Joseph) Hall – He served in the Diocese of Gaylord from 1976 – 1978 as hospital chaplain out of the St. Francis Xavier Friary in Petoskey and as Associate Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Petoskey. The province indicated that the alleged sexual misconduct did not take place in our diocese.
Laurus (Raymond) Rhode – He served in the Diocese of Gaylord from 1984 – 1993 as Pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Cross Village; St. Ignatius Parish, Good Hart; and St. Nicholas Parish, Larks Lake. The province indicated that the alleged sexual misconduct took place in our diocese.
As a result of this notification by the province, the diocese has added Theophane (William) Goett and Denis (Joseph) Hall to its own list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. This list is on the diocesan website. The diocese had already included Laurus (Raymond) Rhode on its list. These individuals are deceased.
In 2021, the diocese added Wilbert (Norbert) Hegener from the province to its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. He served in the diocese from 1980 – 1998 as Associate Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish, Petoskey, and the Mission of St. Francis Solanus, Bay Shore. From 1998-1999, he served at Cross in the Woods Catholic Shrine, Indian River. The alleged sexual misconduct took place in our diocese. He is also deceased.
The diocese encourages anyone who wishes to report information about these individuals related to sexual abuse of minors to contact the local authorities, including the Michigan Department of Attorney General at 844.324.3374.
Please keep those involved in these situations in your prayers, especially anyone who is a victim.