Statement about August 27th Associated Press Article

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Province of the Franciscan Friars

August 28, 2019

[Response to AP article]

An article came out yesterday, August 27th, from the Associated Press about credible sexual abuse allegations against two men who had served at St. Francis in the mid to late 1990s. The two men’s names are Paul West and Donald Lucas. Paul left Greenwood in November 1998 and subsequently left the Franciscan community in 2002. Donald died in August 1999, an apparent suicide.

The sexual abuse involved three men, all related, whose names appear in the article. It is a very graphic article about the sexual abuse that took place and what these men experienced when they were children. All three men attended St. Francis Grade School at the time of the abuse. Paul West had been a teacher and then principal of the school.

It is awful what happened; it is reprehensible; it is painful for the survivors. We, friars, are broken-hearted about the abuse which took place. All of our friars at St. Francis and of the Assumption BVM Province want to help these men as we are able. We have provided assistance to two of the men that is not discussed in the article. While the actions of the two former friars took place over two decades ago, they are still very painful in the lives of these men who suffered so much.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.