Former Chicopee priest faces accusation of sexual misconduct
By Jeanette Deforge
May 21, 2014
|The new St. Stanislaus Church is pictured in an old postcard in this historic picture.|
CHICOPEE — A Franciscan priest who served at St. Stanislaus Basilica and St. Anthony of Padua parishes during the 1990s has been suspended from active ministry in Pennsylvania after an allegation of sexual misconduct was filed against him.
Rev. Michael Lewandowski was removed from active ministry this weekend by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnson, Pa. He had been was serving as the pastor of St. Anne Parish in Davidsville, Pa., since 1997, according to officials for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.
Church officials did not reveal details about the allegation of sexual misconduct, except to say it happened in the 1980s. No location was given, but officials said it did not happen in Pennsylvania or Western Massachusetts.
Placing a priest on leave after allegations of sexual misconduct has become a standard practice while an investigation is conducted.
Anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse of a minor by Lewandowski, any member of the clergy or other church personnel is urged to contact the local district attorney's office and Patricia McManamy, a licensed social worker and victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Springfield, at 800-842-9055.
Lewandowski is the second former St. Stanislaus priest to be placed on leave after facing old allegations of sexual misconduct in a year.
In November 2013, Rev. Michael Kolodziej was suspended by the Order of Friars Minor Conventual after being accused of sexual abuse of a former student at a Baltimore high school in the 1970s. Kolodziej served as the rector, or pastor, of St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr Basilica in Chicopee from 1991 to 2001.