Letter Regarding Allegation of Child Abuse by Fr. Jerome Kaywell

Diocese of Venice [Venice FL]

January 26, 2024

By Bishop Frank J. Dewane

[See also a PDF of the Dewane letter.]

Dear Parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish:

The Diocese of Venice has received notification from a law firm of an allegation of sexual misconduct by Reverend Jerome Kaywell, with someone who was a minor at the time. The incident allegedly occurred in the Winter of 2013/2014. Father Kaywell denies that the allegation is true and maintains he is innocent.

In accordance with the Diocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, upon learning of the allegation, I have placed Father Kaywell on administrative leave pending a preliminary investigation.

Anyone who believes that he or she has been the victim of sexual misconduct by someone serving in ministry for the Diocese of Venice, or any organization, should contact law enforcement officials. The Diocese of Venice provides a Victim Assistance Coordinator, who can be reached at 941-416-6114. As your Bishop, I wish to again state that the Diocese of Venice remains committed to doing all that can reasonably be done to protect children and vulnerable adults.

We pray for the relief of the pain and suffering experienced by all victims. We pray that the Lord of Truth and Light will guide us all in His ways! Further, these are very painful times for Father Kaywell, all involved in the allegation and also for all of you, as well as the clergy and myself. Let us remain united in prayer.

Sincerely yours in Christ,


+ Frank J. Dewane

Bishop of the Diocese of Venice in Florida