Statement Regarding Francis Hoefgen

From Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens

Francis Hoefgen was charged today with first degree criminal sexual conduct in Dakota County Court. Court documents indicate the reported abuse occurred from the spring of 1989 to the fall of 1991. Hoefgen is a former Benedictine religious order priest of St. John’s Abbey (OSB) who was assigned at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Hastings until 1992, when he left parish ministry. St. John’s Abbey permanently removed him from ministry in 2002. Hoefgen left the priesthood when he was laicized in December 2011. In accord with our new policies, the archdiocese had disclosed his name and ministry assignments on its website in 2013.

We have notified leaders at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish of the charges. They, in turn, have notified their school and office staff. The parish community had already been made aware of the abuse accusation against Hoefgen.

I am deeply saddened and angered whenever I hear about the crime of a priest abusing a child. I hope the victim will find help and healing, and justice will be served in our court system.

The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis encourages anyone who has been abused to contact law enforcement.