Religious order releases list of members who allegedly abused kids, many with Dayton ties

By Josh Sweigart
June 24, 2020

Leaders of the Marianists — a Catholic religious order with a 170-year history in Dayton — released a list Wednesday of 46 priests and brothers they say were found to have sexually abused children since 1950 in the United States.

The list includes 19 men with ties to the Dayton area and Marianist institutions such as the University of Dayton and Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School. Sixteen Marianists on the list served in the Province of Cincinnati, which was headquartered in Dayton until it merged with the other Marianist provinces in 2002.

Chaminade Julienne President Daniel Meixner said in a statement Wednesday that allegations against one of the men, Bro. Francis Russell, stemmed from his assignment to the school during the 1965-1966 school year. He said the Marianists notified the school about Russell in November 2019 and letters were sent to alumni from that year.

Russell joined the order in 1939 and died in 1991, according to information released by the order. He worked at four schools in Ohio, including in Hamilton and Cincinnati.

Meixner said 13 men on the list released Wednesday worked at Chaminade Julienne or its predecessor, Chaminade High School, all prior to 1999, including six Marianists “not previously known to our school.” Russell is the only one with a credible claim of abuse while assigned at the school, Meixner said.

University of Dayton officials said eight men on the list worked at UD, all prior to 2012. UD President Eric Spina and the Rev. James Fitz, the university’s vice president for mission and rector, addressed the list in a letter to the campus Wednesday.

“None of those who served at UD were found to have a confirmed case of abuse of a minor in the context of their service here,” the letter says. “The university also is not aware of any credible allegations by University of Dayton students of sexual abuse against these men.”

The Rev. Oscar Vasquez, provincial of the Marianist Province of the United States, released a statement along with the list saying, in part: “In publishing this list, we hope and pray that survivors will be validated in their experiences, and that our commitment to transparency will help rebuild trust.

“We regret the suffering we may have caused both in previously not releasing these names and in doing so now. We also realize that some will be deeply troubled to find the name of a brother they knew personally and for whom they may have fond memories and deep respect.”

Vasquez wrote that the order initially intended to release the list in March, but that was pushed back because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Vasquez said he expects and encourages additional victims to step forward. He, as well as UD and Chaminade Julienne officials, said their institutions long ago put in extensive policies and practices to prevent the abuse of children.

“We are angered and saddened for those children and their families who have deeply suffered,” Meixner wrote. “We continue to pray for them and all who continue to experience pain, betrayal and loss … and we pray that this evil will never happen again.”

Dan Frondorf, local leader of the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, called the order’s statement released Wednesday “troublesome, and very self serving to the order.”

“They take great effort to let us all know they have undertaken ‘special penances’ and prayed a lot about their abusive priests, but they don’t say how they’ve made actual, meaningful, affirmative, and effective atonement to the actual victims of the abuse for which they apologize,” he said.

Accused Marianists who worked at Chaminade or Chaminade Julienne High School: 

Paul Botty 

Professed Vows: 1980 

Status: Removed from Public Ministry 1986. Withdrew from Society of Mary 1992. Died 2007. 

Bernard Joseph Hartman 

Professed Vows: 1958 

Status: Removed from Public Ministry 1997 

William Charles Hildebrand 

Professed Vows: 1922 

Status: Died 1979 

John Joseph Keegan 

Professed Vows: 1945 

Status: Withdrew from the Society of Mary 1962. Died 2007. 

Walter Anthony Klick 

Professed Vows: 1931 

Status: Died 1979 

Robert Aloysius Lindemann 

Professed Vows: 1941 

Status: Died 1995 

Frederick Francis Mathues 

Professed Vows: 1943 

Ordained: 1952 

Status: Died 1972 

Julius F. May 

Professed Vows: 1924 

Status: Died 1970 

Francis Paul Meder 

Professed Vows: 1911 

Status: Died 1976 

Francis Anthony Russell 

Professed Vows: 1939 

Status: Died 1991 

Lawrence William Sandman 

Professed Vows: 1944 

Status: Withdrew from Society of Mary 1959. Died 2009. 

Joseph Patrick Tedesco 

Professed Vows: 1971 

Ordained: 1983 

Status: Died 2016 

Daniel Albert Triulzi 

Professed Vows: 1966 

Ordained: 1981 

Status: Removed from Public Ministry 2006. Died 2017 

Accused Marianists who worked at the University of Dayton: 

Edward Joseph Dury 

Professed Vows: 1920 

Status: Died 1974 

John Joseph Finke 

Professed Vows: 1925 

Ordained: 1937 

Status: Died 1983 

Bernard Louis Horst 

Professed Vows: 1934 

Ordained: 1945 

Status: Died 2001 

Francis Paul Meder * 

Ralph August Mravintz 

Professed Vows: 1944 

Status: Died 2006 

Mario James Pariante 

Professed Vows: 1974 

Ordained: 1990 

Status: Withdrew from Society of Mary 2001. Laicized 2001 

Joseph Patrick Tedesco * 

Terrence Dennis Wong 

Professed Vows: 1958 

Status: Withdrew from the Society of Mary 1989. Died 1997


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