Protecting God’s Children

Hope for Healing

St. Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Friars, held all creation in high regard and with great respect, especially children. He worked with both rich and poor to address the ills and divisions in the society of his day. In the same spirit, Franciscans today work to eliminate the crime of child abuse in society and in our Order, with an emphasis on prevention and safety – and with a commitment to education, healing and reconciliation.

Although we are unable to undo the past, we have come to understand the profound and complex wounds suffered by victims of abuse and their families. The Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province are committed to responding with compassion and justice for those who have been affected. On these pages we explain how to report abuse and what happens after abuse is reported. We define the terms associated with this process, and we make additional resources available to those who need help. The Policies and Procedures section describes the measures we take to ensure safety, prevention, transparency and accountability. The Letter from our Provincial Minister outlines the steps we followed in assembling the List of Friars with substantiated child sex abuse allegations against them that is part of this website.

We encourage anyone who has been abused by a friar from this Province to contact us through one of the ways provided in the section, How to Report Abuse. Whatever means you choose to reach out, it is our genuine hope to help support you in your healing.

How to Report Abuse

If you have been sexually abused by a friar, employee, or volunteer of the Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, or if you have information about sexual abuse and misconduct against children and vulnerable adults, the Province urges that you contact:

  1. Your local law enforcement authorities: www.usacops.com.
  2. The Victim Assistance Office of your local Archdiocese or Diocese.
  3. The Office for the Protection of Children of the Province of St. John the Baptist:

Fr. Michael Chowning, OFM
Director, Office for the Protection of Children
Special Delegate for Child Protection
St. John the Baptist Province
1615 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202-6400
(513) 721-4700 Ext. 3214
childprotection@franciscan.org

Reporting abuse is difficult and painful. Rest assured, this process is safe, confidential, and compassionate.  We are hopeful that it begins the healing process for you and your family and brings some measure of peace and resolution.  Our Province delegate will take your report and respond with the utmost compassion and respect. He will also explain the Province’s supportive services available to you and your family. Your call and the information you provide will be confidential to the extent that civil law allows.  The Province is mandated under its zero-tolerance policies and procedures to report allegations and claims of sexual abuse to law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies in the county where the abuse occurred. 

You are never alone in this process.  Finding peace and healing is possible.