10 with Minnesota ties on Catholic group's list of accused child sex abusers
By Raya Zimmerman
Duluth News Tribune
March 9, 2014
ST. PAUL -- Ten men who worked at Minnesota churches and religious organizations were on a list that an international Roman Catholic community released of members facing child sex abuse allegations.
Crosier Province, which has a community of brothers and priests in Onamia, Minn., voluntarily released the list Friday, according to St. Paul-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates.
The list included eight members previously disclosed following a third-party investigation in 2002 and 11 current, former and deceased members who have allegations against them.
Crosiers work in education, chaplain service, pastoral ministry, campus ministry, jail ministry, immigration services and elder care, according to Crosier Province.
Anderson & Associates has won settlements from Catholic archdioceses nationwide for victims of clergy sexual abuse.
"The voluntary release of names is a positive step forward in child protection, and abuse survivors, who are suffering in secrecy, silence and shame, now know they can come forward to get help, and that they are not alone," attorney Jeff Anderson said in a statement.
The accused served at various locations in several states, including Minnesota, Arizona, Indiana, Michigan and New York. There also is a Crosier community in Phoenix.
The accused brothers and priests with Minnesota ties are:
Urban Schmitt, a pastor at Holy Family in Barnum and Holy Trinity in Moose Lake from 1964 to 1966 and a parochial vicar at St. Odilia in Shoreview from 1966 to 1973. He died in 1999.
Michael Paquet, who served in various roles at St. Odilia Parish in Shoreview and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1977 to 2002. He lives in Canada.
Cornelius DeVenster, who attended Crosier Seminary in Onamia, Minn., from 1947 to 1960 and provided "weekend assistance" to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1983 until his death in 1988.
Wendell Mohs, who was a member of the Crosier Seminary from 1974 to 1980, served with Epiphany Parish in Coon Rapids from 1980 to 1982 and was a member of the Crosier Community of Onamia for a time in 1982 before he left the order. He lives in Minnesota.
Gerald Funcheon, an assistant pastor and teacher at St. Odilia Church in Shoreview from 1970 to 1973, a teacher at Crosier Seminary in Onamia from 1979 to 1980, a teacher at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud from 1980 to 1982 and a parochial vicar at St. Stephen in Anoka from 1985 to 1986. He lives in Missouri.
Ron Melancon, who attended the Crosier Seminary in Onamia from 1972 to 1975 and was a member of the Crosier community there from 1978 to 1980. He lives in Louisiana.
Roger Vaughn, a member of the Crosier Seminary from 1977 to 1980, a weekend priest for the Central Minnesota TEC Program from 1979 to 1984 and a parochial vicar at St. Peter in St. Cloud from 1980 to 1984. He lives in New York.
Eugene Hambrock, who belonged to the Crosier Seminary in Onamia from 1964 to 1967 and was a member of the Crosier community there from 1985 to 1987. He died in 1999.
Joseph Lendacky, who attended the Crosier Seminary in Onamia from 1946 to 1948 and was a member of the Crosier community there from 1950 until his death in 1989.
Anton Schik, who was a member of the Crosier Seminary and Community from 1932 to 1948. He died in 1971.