Jesuit High School Office of the President’s statement upon Jesuits West Province’s release of names
Jesuit High School is committed to transparency
December 7, 2018
Dear Parents, Alumni, Alumni Parents, Faculty and Staff, Members of the Board of Trustees, Benefactors, and Friends of Jesuit High School:
The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report from last August details a terrible tragedy for those who have been hurt by sexual abuse in the Catholic Church in the United States, and I welcome efforts by the leaders of the Church to fully reveal the extent of abuse committed by clergy, and the cover-up by some Bishops.
I stand in solidarity with all victims of abuse.
My heart aches as a result of this situation, but I am resolute in the belief that the way to truly move forward is through open communication and concrete action to demonstrate that we are doing everything possible to prevent future abuse of any kind.
That is why I’m writing to you today. The trust you place in Jesuit High School to nurture, enrich and be a positive influence on our students and the community is something we will never minimize or take for granted.
Fr. Scott Santarosa, S.J., the Provincial of the Jesuits West Province, has released a list of names of all Jesuits who have served in the former Oregon and California Provinces that have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.
The Province, and all of us Jesuits, hope that this act of accountability and reconciliation will help victims and their families in the healing process. The Province, and all Jesuits, continue to seek forgiveness from all those who have been hurt by this profound betrayal of pastoral care.
The majority of the cases related to the list date back decades. As far back as the 1990s, the Province has had strict protocols in place to protect minors. To us, even one abuse case is abhorrent, so it is important to share that the safeguards that Jesuits West has put in place have helped to create safe environments.
Jesuits West has both a zero-tolerance policy for credible allegations made against a Jesuit involving a minor or a vulnerable adult, and strict procedures to ensure the safety of minors. No Jesuit who has a credible allegation of sexually abusing a minor is allowed to remain in public ministry. Jesuit High School also has a zero-tolerance policy. In fact, all employees go through a Department of Justice background check and ongoing professional development to insure a safe environment.
While the Province has attempted to be as thorough and accurate as possible in compiling the list, Jesuits West will undergo a review of personnel files to be conducted by former FBI Executive Assistant Director, Dr. Kathleen McChesney, of Kinsale Management Consulting. We expect that Dr. McChesney’s independent investigation will conclude in the spring of 2019.
In the same spirit of transparency, I share with you today the names of Jesuits on that Province list, with credible allegations, who have lived and/or worked at Jesuit High School.
One Jesuit, Br. William Farrington, S.J., served at Jesuit High School from 1976-1987. Br. Farrington has several allegations of sexual abuse made against him during the years he worked here. The alleged abuse was reported to the Province in 2003, and Br. Farrington was permanently removed from ministry and lives confined under a supervised safety plan in a Jesuit Community that does not serve minors. This plan is reviewed regularly by an Independent Review Board, comprised of all non-Jesuit members. Other Presidents of Jesuit High School have written to our community previously about Br. Farrington when allegations from his years at Jesuit High School have been reported.
There are two other living Jesuits on the list, but the reported allegations (one for each of these Jesuits) of abuse took place elsewhere, after they worked at Jesuit High School:
Br. Charles Onorato, S.J., served at Jesuit High School from 1970-1980 and 1987-2003. Br. Onorato was removed from ministry in 2003.
Fr. Carlton Whitten, S.J., served at Jesuit High School from 1963-1965; 1980-1987; 1990-1999. Fr. Whitten was removed from ministry in 2008.
There are two deceased Jesuits on the list who lived/worked at Jesuit High School, but the reported allegations of abuse took place elsewhere, after they lived/worked at Jesuit High School:
Fr. William Wood, S.J., lived in the Jesuit community residence at Jesuit High School from 1984-1991, but worked at the California Catholic Conference. Fr. Wood was removed from ministry in 2002, and died in 2014.
Fr. Arthur Falvey, S.J., served at Jesuit High School from 1964-1965. He died in 1966. The alleged abuse was reported in 2002.
There are four former Jesuits (no longer members of the Jesuit Order) on the list who served at Jesuit High School, but the reported allegations of abuse took place elsewhere, after they worked at Jesuit High School:
Mr. Gunter Klingenbrunner served at Jesuit High School from 1984-1985. He was dismissed from the Jesuits in 1986, and the alleged abuse was reported in 2006.
Mr. James Kuntz served at Jesuit High School from 2000-2002. He pled guilty to internet child pornography while working in New York, after he left Jesuit High School. Mr. Kuntz was dismissed from the Jesuits in 2012. (Mr. Kuntz is not included on the Jesuits West province list because he is from a different province, and the abuse took place in that province. Jesuit High School of Sacramento has decided to include his name because he worked at Jesuit High School)
Mr. Stephen Speciale served at Jesuit High School from 1979-1982. He was dismissed from the Jesuits in 1989, and the allegation of abuse was reported in 1991.
Mr. Phillip Sunseri served at Jesuit High School from 1973 to 1975, and was dismissed from the Jesuits in 1988. The alleged abuse was reported in 2018.
The Jesuits West Province, and Jesuit High School, encourage
anyone who has been sexually abused by a Jesuit to contact both
appropriate law enforcement and the Advocacy Coordinator for the
Jesuits West Province, Mary Pat Panighetti, at 408.893.8398
Below you will find three links to pertinent information: The Jesuits West Letter and List, some frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and responses regarding sexual abuse in the Church, and the Employee Code of Conduct for Jesuit High School, which is also always available on our school website: www.jesuithighschool.org.
I assure you that I am personally dedicated to the education and formation of our students at Jesuit High School. Along with all my fellow educators at the school, we will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards, doing everything we can to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of all the students entrusted to our care.
In this season of Advent hope, please join me in praying for the healing of those who have suffered abuse. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at 916.480.2110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
God bless you and your families. I am so grateful for the community of Jesuit High School and all the people who give of themselves to support the mission of Jesuit education.
Rev. John P. McGarry, S.J.
Click here to read Fr. Santarosa’s statement
Click here to read the FAQ’s and responses
Click here to read Jesuit High School’s employee code of conduct