Assignment Record – Rev. Francis F. Hoefgen, O.S.B.

Summary of Case: Francis F. Hoefgen became a Benedictine monk in at St. John's Abbey in Collegeville, MN 1973 and was ordained a priest in 1979. He was then assigned to a St. Cloud parish, as an assistant priest. In 1984 he admitted to his superiors and to the local police chief - who was also one of Hoefger's parishioners - that he had sexually abused a 17-year-old boy. This was after the boy disclosed the abuse to a psychologist, who alerted authorities. Hoefgen was not charged; he was quietly sent to St. Luke's Institute in MD for six months of psychiatric treatment, then returned to ministry in a St. Paul-Minneapolis parish. He was removed from parish work and returned to St. John's Abbey after his victim sued, in 1992. Hoefger was allowed to work as St. John's guest master, and as a spiritual director and private retreat leader until July 2002, after the U.S. bishops established the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. He eventually left the priesthood, and was laicized in November 2011. In November 2013 Hoefgen was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy ages 11-13, from 1989-1992. He was charged in May 2014 with first degree criminal sexual conduct related to that case; a jury acquitted him in May 2015.

: 1979


Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes


St. Cloud bishop was George Henry Speltz (1968-1987).

1984 St. Boniface's

Cold Spring

Hoefgen admitted to his superiors in 1984 to sexual abusing a 17- year-old boy. The admission came after Hoegen's victim disclosed the abuse to a psychologist and authorities were notified. Hoefgen and the boy met when the boy was hospitalized for attempted suicide. The boy moved in with Hoefgen for a few weeks, after fighting with his parents. The abuse occurred at St. Boniface's parish center.

MN 2/2

St. Boniface's had a school with 270-223 students.

Hoefgen also admitted the abuse to the Cold Spring police chief, who was a St. Boniface parishioner. He met with Hoefgen privately - not at the police station or rectory - to avoid
"speculation". Hoefgen was not charged.

May 1984 Oct. 1984 St. Luke Institute Silver Spring MD in-patient

Hoefgen is not indexed in the 1985 Directory.

St. John's Abbott, Jerome Theisen, sent Hoegen to treatment for six months.

Oct. 1984   St. John's Abbey Collegeville MN    

July 1985

St. Paul-Minneapolis archbishop was John Robert Roach (1975-1995).

1987 St. Boniface's Hastings MN 2/2 St. Boniface merged with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in 1987.
1987 October 1992 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton


Hoefgen was accused in a November 2013 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy, ages 10-13, from 1989-1992.

MN 2/3

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton's had a school with 506-467 students, and a CCD program with 864-768 students.

Hoefgen was removed from public ministry in 1992 after he was sued by the young man he admitted to sexually abusing in 1984.

1985 1994 Villa Maria Center Frontenac MN spiritual director and individual retreat leader  


St. Cloud bishop was Jerome George Hanus, O.S.B. (1987-1994), followed by John Francis Kinney (1995-2013).

2011 St. John's Abbey Collegeville MN guest master; spiritual director

Hofgen "stepped down" from his positions in July 2002, after the U.S. bishops established the "Dallas Charter".

Hoegen issued a written apology in September 2002.

In April 2011 Hoefgen was known to be on leave from the Abbey, living in Columbia Heights and working at a funeral chapel.

Hoefgen was laicized in November 2011.

2011 2015   Columbia Heights MN   In November 2013 the law firm representing the young man accusing Hoefgen of sexually abusing him from 1989-1992 stated it knew of four alleged victims of Hoefgen. He was charged in May 2014 with first degree criminal sexual conduct. In May 2015 Hoefgen was acquitted by a jury.


Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1980-2012)

Suit Alleges Priest's Abuse of Boy in Cold Spring, By Martha Sawyer Allen, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 30, 1992
The Solace of St. John's, By Chris Welsch, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), October 19, 1997
Restricted Priests Still Travel
Abbot Says St. John's Will Tighten Its Policy, By Warren Wolfe; Pam Louwagie; Jackie Crosby, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), May 12, 2002
Priest Admitted to Abuse, but Was Never Prosecuted, Associated Press State & Local Wire, May 25, 2002
2 Abbey Priests Leave Jobs That Involved the Public, By Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), July 10, 2002
Behind the Pine Curtain, Decades of Abuse and Secrecy at St. John's Abbey, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), September 29, 2002
Monk Regrets Sexual Abuse, By Michelle Tan, St. Cloud Times, September 30, 2002
To Clergy Victims, Acknowledgment Proves Invaluable, By Kristin Gustafson, St. Cloud (MN) Times, October 2, 2002
Monks Suffer with Abusers in the Family, Last in a Two-Part Series, By Patricia Lefevere, National Catholic Reporter, December 27, 2002
The 11 abuse cases the P-I examined, By Michelle Nicolosi and Claudia Rowe, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 19, 2004
List of the 17 Monks, Star Tribune, March 30, 2011
Abbey Agrees to Mail Letter at Abuse Victims" Request, By David Unze, St. Cloud Times, April 1, 2011
Accused of Sexual Abuse: the Monks Living Next Door, By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV, April 29, 2011
Media Advisory : Saint Luke Institute, Father Francis Hoefgen Named in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit, Jeff Anderson & Associates, November 18, 2013
Lawsuit Expected against St. John's Abbey, Priest, By St. Cloud Times, David Unze, November 18, 2013
Saint Luke Institute, Priest Named in Sexual Abuse Lawsuit, By Jennie Olson, KAAL, November 19, 2013
Lawsuit: St. John's Priest Admitted Abuse, Returned to Ministry, KMSP, November 19, 2013
News Conference Part 1: Attorney Jeff Anderson Discusses Priest Abuse Lawsuit, By Leslie Dyste, KSTP, November 19, 2013
Lawsuit Says Ex-Hastings Priest Abused Boy after Undergoing Sex-Offender Treatment, By Emily Gurnon, The Pioneer Press, November 19, 2013
Lawsuit Accuses St. John's Abbey Priest of Sexually Abusing Hastings Boy, By David Unze, St. Cloud Times, November 19, 2013
Documents: Stearns Priest Investigation File Destroyed in Routine Purge, By David Unze, St. Cloud Times, November 19, 2013
Suit Says St. Luke Clergy Treatment Center Failed to Protect Victims, By Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, November 19, 2013
Statement Regarding Francis Hoefgen, By Jim Accurso, The Media and Public Relations Manager, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, November 19, 2013
Priest Admitted Abuse but Stayed Active, WCCO, November 19, 2013
Suit: Priest Admitted Abuse, Stayed Active, By Amy Forliti, Westport News, November 19, 2013
Clergy Misconduct Lawsuit Targets St. John's Abbey, By John Croman, KARE, November 20, 2013
New Court Cases about Clergy Abuse, SNAP, November 25, 2013
Former Hastings Priest Charged with Raping Altar Boy, By Emily Gurnon, Pioneer Press, May 21, 2014
Statement Regarding Francis Hoefgen, By Jim Accurso, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, May 22, 2014
Jury Finds Former Hastings Priest Not Guilty of Sex Abuse, MPR News Staff, May 26, 2015
Former Hastings Priest Acquitted of Abusing Altar Boy, Faribault County Register, May 27, 2015


Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Hoefgen's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on May 29, 2015.