Franciscans confirm death of credibly accused Gallup priest
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Gallup Independent correspondent
May 11, 2019
GALLUP – The local Franciscan province has confirmed that a former Gallup priest, now listed as a credibly accused abuser by the state’s three Catholic dioceses, died in late 2018.
The Rev. Jack Clark Robinson, OFM, the provincial minister of Our Lady of Guadalupe Franciscan Province in Albuquerque, confirmed Wednesday that the Rev. Diego Mazon, OFM died Nov. 15, 2018 in Albuquerque. According to Robinson, Mazon was buried in Albuquerque’s Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
The Franciscan province did not issue a public announcement about Mazon’s death since both the Diocese of Gallup and the Diocese of Las Cruces continue to list Mazon as a living credibly accused abuser. However the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s recently updated credibly accused list noted Mazon as being deceased.
Removed from ministry
Mazon, originally from Gallup, worked in the Diocese of Gallup for many years. He was removed from ministry at Gallup’s St. Francis Parish after an adult woman leveled a clergy sex abuse complaint against Mazon, alleging the Franciscan friar sexually abused her when she was a child in Roswell.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Franciscan Province of St. John the Baptist of Cincinnati, Ohio, Mazon’s original religious order, settled with the woman in 2006. Diocese of Gallup officials, however, did not tell local parishioners about the woman’s legal complaint and settlement. Instead, diocesan officials said Mazon stepped down because of health issues.
The Diocese of Gallup added Mazon to its list of credibly accused clergy in April 2017. Mazon is included under the category of credibly accused outside the diocese. In addition to working at St. Francis in Gallup, Mazon worked at St. Joseph Church in San Fidel, St. Michael’s Mission in St. Michaels and Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance.
Spent time on Navajo
According to Robinson, the only other credibly accused member of Our Lady of Guadalupe Franciscan Province who is still living is the Rev. Lawrence “Larry” Schreiber, OFM. The Diocese of Gallup lists Schreiber as being credibly accused of sexual abuse within the diocese’s territory.
During the 30 years Schreiber worked in the Gallup Diocese, most of his time was spent on the Navajo Nation. The diocese lists him working at St. Isabel Parish in Lukachukai, St. Michael’s Parish in St. Michaels, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Fort Defiance, Christ the King Parish in Shiprock, St. Jude Parish in Tuba City, and Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington. “Fr. Larry is living in a friary of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province under professional medical observation and care, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week,” Robinson said in an email.
“There are no other friars of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province who have been credible (sic) accused, nor are there any other friars who have been credibly accused living in a friary or other facility of Our Lady of Guadalupe Province,” Robinson added.