Josephine Schmitz—Assignment Record

Also Known As: Sister Mary Philip

Summary of Case: Accused of abusing a boy in the early 1960s, starting at age 9. Schmitz aka Sister Mary Philip is accused of repeatedly keeping the boy after class at a Dubuque parish school, laying on top of him, and tongue-kissing him. She also worked in the Sioux City IA diocese and the Chicago IL archdiocese and is now retired. The Dubuque archdiocese found the allegation not sustained (choices were: unfounded, exonerated, not sustained, sustained) although the their investigator found it credible.

The Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family (www.osfdbq.org) were founded in Herford, Germany, in 1864. They emigrated to Iowa City IA in 1875 and moved to Dubuque in 1878. Their motherhouse is the Mount St. Francis Center in Dubuque, where 375 sisters lived as of 2006.

Took Vows
: 1943

   

Start Stop Parish Town State Position Notes
1943 1944

St. Joseph's

Granville IA Pastor was Rev. J.J. Dalhoff, one of three priests on the Diocesan Building Committee. Assistant was Rev. Clemens Knobbe.

In the Sioux City IA diocese, where Edmond Heelan was bishop.

The mother general of the order was Mother M. Theodore, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

Parish school was run by 7 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family, and there were 153 pupils.

1944 1951 St. Francis Xavier
Dyersville IA Pastor was Very Rev. John B. Herbers, who was one of 14 deans. Other priests were John P. Smith and John J. Pitzen. Very Rev. Mathias P. Hoffmann replaced Herbers as pastor and dean in 1945. Smith left in 1947 and Rev. David R. Voels arrived. Smith left in 1948 and Robert M. Hirsch arrived. Rev. Irvin H. Matt arrived in 1950.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where Francis J.L. Beckman was the archbishop and Henry P. Rohlman was the co-adjutor bishop, becoming archbishop in 1946.

The mother general of the order was Mother Irmina, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

Parish school was run by 20 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family in 1944-45, and had 480 pupils. In 1948-49 a high school was started with 129 students. In 1949 a catechetical summer school was started with121 pupils. In 1950-51, there were 2 priests and 20 sisters at the elementary school with 501 pupils. The high school had 129 pupils. The catechetical summer school had 94 pupils.

1951 1954 St. Mary's
Waterloo IA

Pastor was Rev. Raphael Grahl OFM. Other priests were Revs. Normand Bielicke OFM and Conrad Motola OFM.

In 1953 the Franciscans stopped staffing the church and 2 diocesan priests took over: Revs. Laurence W. Klassen and John M. Kissling.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where Henry P. Rohlman was archbishop.

The mother general of the order was Mother Ruth Mary, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1951-52 the parish elementary school was run by 3 priests, 19 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family, and 1 lay teacher, and had 476 pupils. The high school had 148 pupils. In 1953-54, there were 17 sisters, 536 pupils in the elementary school, and 196 pupils in the high school.

The parish also had a "colored" mission: St. Peter Claver.

1954 1957

Corpus Christi ("colored")

Chicago

4920 S. Parkway

IL Priests (all OFM) were Revs. Maurice Amann, Fabian Merz, Kilian Bowler, Theophane Goett, Loyola Knoblauch, Alcuin Kerberg, John B. Hass, Daniel J. O'Connell, Roy Hassett, Alexis Pruemer, Odo R. Reuter, Raphael Windolph, Stephen Horvath, and Miles Kowskie. In 1955, Brendan Wolf, Berwin Sikora, and Emmet Malone arrived. In 1956, Robert Kohl, Fidelis Smith, Michael Windolph, L. Joseph Hemmer, and Lloyd Keefner arrived. Malone was accused in 2004 of abusing a boy before he came to Corpus Christi; the order deemed the allegation credible and paid a settlement.

In the Chicago archdiocese, where Samual Stritch was the cardinal archbishop.

The mother general of the order was Mother Ruth Mary, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1954-55, the parish elementary school was run by 20 Sisters of St. Francis and had 932 pupils. The high school was run by 10 Franciscans, 4 Sisters of St. Francis, and 2 lay teachers. Rev. Fabian Merz was the principal. Pupils numbered 200 boys and 130 girls. In 1956-57, the elementary school had 1,004 pupils, and the high school had 245 boys and 120 girls.

1957 1959 Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Stacyville IA Priests were Revs. Joseph W. Bohr and John R. Hussmann. In 1958, Nicholas Cigrand replaced Hussman. Cigrand has been accused of abuse; the suit was dismissed and that decision is being appealed.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where Leo Binz had become archbishop in 1954.

The mother general of the order was Mother Ruth Mary, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1957-58, the parish school was run by 2 priests, 8 Sisters of St. Francis of the Family, and 2 lay teachers, and had 228 pupils. The high school had 102 pupils, and the catechetical summer school had 39.

The parish had a mission: St. Mel's in McIntire.

1959 1961 St. Michael's Sioux City IA Pastor was Rev. A.J. Huewe.

In the Sioux City IA diocese, where Joseph M. Mueller was the bishop.

The mother general of the order was Mother Ruth Mary, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1959-60, the parish school was run by 4 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family with 1 lay teacher, and had 249 pupils.

1961 1966

Sacred Heart

Dubuque

• Schmitz is accused of molesting 9-year-old Steve Theisen here. See article.

IA Priests were Msgr. J. Fred Kriebs and Revs. Harold J. Drexler and Gerald J. Wilwert. Kriebs was a diocesan consultor, director of the Holy Name Society, director of Unio Cleri pro Missionibus, and director of Men's Nocturnal Adoration Society. In 1965, Rev. Herbert L. Tegeler replaced Wilwert.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop.

The mother general of the order was Mother Ruth Mary, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1961-62, the parish school was run by 2 priests, 20 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family, and 5 lay teachers, and had 943 pupils. The catechetical school had 167 pupils. In 1965-66, those numbers had dropped to 880 and 72.

1966 1968 Holy Rosary La Motte IA Pastor was Rev. Joseph N. Schemmel

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop.

The superior general of the order was Mother Mary Matilda Adams OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

In 1966-67, the parish school was run by 1 priest, 3 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family, and 1 lay teacher, and had 170 pupils. The catechetical school had 24 pupils.

1968 1969 St. Mary's

Guttenberg IA Priests were Revs. Alfred J. Schmitz and Karl J. Manternach.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop.

The superior general of the order was Mother Mary Matilda Adams OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

The 1969 Directory lists 2 Sisters of Notre Dame at the school, but provides no other information, except that the parish is served by a "consolidated elementary school." The catechetical school had 150 pupils.

1969 1975

St. Christopher's

Midlothian IL

Priests (all OFM) were Revs. Bruno Savage (the superior), Thaddeus Woloszyk, Gale White, Richard Williams, and Severin Nelles.

In 1970-72, the OFM priests were Revs. Merald McCormick (superior), Woloszyk, William Barnickel, and John Bartz.

In 1972, diocesan priests replaced the Franciscans: Revs. George A. Brown and Daniel J. Collins. Rev. Raymond Novak was added in 1973.

In the Chicago archdiocese, where John Cody was cardinal archbishop.

The superior general of the order was Mother Mary Matilda Adams OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque. Associate superiors were Sr. Mary Claire Hoxmeier, Sr. Marilyn Gowans, and Sr. Kenneth Hemann.

The school was run by 19 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family with 19 lay teachers, and had 1,184 pupils. By 1974-75, those numbers had dropped to 11 sisters and 16 lay teachers for 791 pupils.

1975 1976 Visitation
Stacyville IA Pastor was Rev. Cletus J. Hawes.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop.

The major superior of the order was Sr. Margaret Clare Dreckman OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque. Associate superiors were Sr. Margaret O'Connor and Sr. Bernadine Cashen.

Parish school was run by 3 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family with 8 lay teachers and had 197 pupils. The catechetical school had 145 pupils.

1976 1981 St. Mary's
Dubuque IA Priests were Msgr. Anthony W. Sigwarth, Revs. Mark W. Moore and Karl L. Glovik. Sigwarth was a diocesan consultor. In 1977, Rev. Richard P. Krapfl replaced Sigwarth as pastor. In 1978, Rev. Donald Plamondon replaced Glovik. In 1979, Rev. Stephen A. Lundgren replaced Plamondon. Lundgren left in 1980.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop.

The major superior of the order was Sr. Margaret Clare Dreckman OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque. Associate superiors were Sr. Margaret O'Connor and Sr. Bernadine Cashen.

In 1976-77, the parish school was run by 6 Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family with 10 lay teachers and had 332 pupils. In 1980-81, there were 5 sisters and 214 pupils.

1981 1991 Alverno Apartments

Dubuque

3525 Windsor

IA  

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where James J. Byrne was archbishop. Daniel W. Kucera OSB was appoined in 1983 and installed in 1984.

The general superior of the order was Sr. Susan Seitz OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

1991   St. Mary's


Dubuque IA Retired. Pastor was Msgr. Paul T. Steimel.

In the Dubuque IA archdiocese, where Daniel W. Kucera OSB was archbishop.

The president of the order was Sr. Mary Clare O'Toole OSF, based at Mt. St. Francis in Dubuque.

The children of the parish went to the Downtown Catholic Consolidation, whose St. Mary's Attendance Center was at 1600 White St.

Source: Assignment record written by Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF, President, supplemented by a phone call from Steve Theisen to Heiderscheit. Theisen revised the list on the basis of that phone call, adding "Chicago" on the 1954 line, DBQ on the 1961 line, and "Chicago" on the 1969 line. See below for a copy of the Heiderscheit list. Information from the list was supplemented from the Official Catholic Directory (New York: Kenedy & Sons, 1944-2005). See also:
- Man Looking for Church Justice, by Mason Kerns, Daily Iowan (4/7/06)
- Nun Accused of Sexual Abuse, by Anthony Welsch, KIMT - NewsChannel 3 (4/12/06)
- Alleged Abuse Victim Wants Nun Punished, KWWL (4/12/06)

Assignment Record of Josephine Schmitz
by Sr. Dorothy Heiderscheit OSF, President of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Family
Summer 2003
Annotated by Steve Theisen on the basis of a phone conversation with Sr. Heiderscheit
Note: A phone number has been redacted from this document.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. It also provides some information on female religious. Our working assumption is that a priest or nun listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Schmitz' career history as it is represented in an order assignment record (supplemented by the Official Catholic Directory) with an allegation as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report. We remind our readers that in the U.S. judicial system, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty.

A Note on Nomenclature: We use the term "assignment record," instead of the more common "service record," because "service" is not an appropriate word for the activities of an abusive nun or priest.

This assignment record was last updated on 10/9/06.

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