Former St. John’s teacher added to list of priests with ‘established allegations’ of abuse

WTOL11 [Toledo, OH]

October 31, 2023

By WTOL newsroom

Father Francis Canfield, who died in May, was accused last year by a former student who said the abuse happened during the 1999-2000 school year.

A priest who taught at St. John’s High School in the 1990s and early 2000s has been added to the list of Jesuits with “established allegations” of sexual abuse of a minor, according to a letter from the school.

St. John’s officials said Father Francis E. Canfield, who died in May, was accused by a former student who said the abuse happened during the 1999-2000 school year.

The former student reported the abuse in 2022, the school’s letter said. School officials then notified civil authorities, the letter said.

While no criminal charges were filed the Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus conducted its own investigation.

“Following required ecclesiastical procedures, the Midwest Jesuits engaged the services of an independent firm to investigate the allegation,” the letter said. “After receiving the completed independent investigation report, and consulting with the Province’s Review Board, the Provincial of the Midwest Province determined the allegation to be ‘established.”

Canfield was a faculty member at St. John’s from 1990 to 2005. 

School authorities included information in the letter with information to help other sex abuse victims report incidents and seek help:

“No matter the length of time, anyone who has been the victim of abuse by an employee or member of our staff while at St. John’s Jesuit is asked to report the incident to the Toledo Diocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator at 419- 244-6711, the St. John’s Jesuit President’s Office, or to local law enforcement,” the letter said. “If the abuse or inappropriate behavior involved a Jesuit priest, you are urged to contact Ms. Marjorie O’Dea, Director of the Office of Safe Environment, for the Midwest Province of Jesuits at 773-975-6876 or at”