Dear parishioners of St. Aloysius church and parents of St. Aloysius Gonzaga grade school,
This past weekend an investigative report entitled “Sins of the Fathers” was aired on the radio and subsequently local news outlets have been reporting on it. The story concerns Jesuits from the former Oregon Province with credible claims of sexual abuse of minors, who had been removed from ministry, and who lived monitored and restricted under Safety Plans, in a Jesuit-owned building, Bea House, across the street from the church.
In 2016, all Jesuits on Safety Plans at Bea House were moved to Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, California. Jesuits West has also released a statement regarding the reports, which can be found here. The report is difficult to take because of the scandalous damage the actions of perpetrators did to innocent people. No Jesuit, if they had been removed from ministry, ever worked or helped out at St. Aloysius. I personally abhor the actions of James Poole, who was prominently featured in the story, and any others who abuse anyone.
St. Aloysius Gonzaga church and grade school are committed to the protection of our children and all who are part of our learning and worshiping community. No Jesuit who has any credible accusation of sexual abuse or misconduct of a minor or vulnerable adult will work or help out at the grade school nor the parish. Our continued commitment is to protect our children by creating and maintaining a safe environment for them and for all. This environment for the protection of children and the prevention of abuse by any employee or volunteer is established and maintained by clear policies and procedures in conjunction with the Diocese of Spokane and the Jesuits West Province.
As a parish we know there is a need for community conversation around so many issues including this one. To that end the parish staff and council is in the early planning stages for a series of listening and feedback sessions. We hope to begin them in Lent.
We continue to hold victims, their families, and all who are injured by abuse in our prayers. The road of healing is never easy but calls for us to continue to turn to Jesus who was and is born into our world because of his great love for us. He always walks the road with us which draws us together. When one in the community is injured the community is injured as well and Jesus responds by drawing closer. Let us take our lead from the Christmas narrative in Matthew’s and Luke’s Gospels. Continue to say yes to God’s grace which calls us to purge what is not of God and grow in our knowledge, love, and service.
Fr. Tom Lamanna, S.J.