Priest Who Served in Chicopee Facing Abuse Allegations

Print Story | Email Story

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield has released the following statement regarding allegations of sexual abuse by the Rev. Michael Kolodziej, who was assigned to St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee between 1991 and 2001. The diocese is urging anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse of a minor by any member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Patricia McManamy, LSW, victim assistance coordinator for the Diocese of Springfield at 1-800-842-9055.

Statement Regarding Father Michael Kolodziej

The Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, and Archbishop Curley High School have received an allegation of the sexual abuse of a minor by Father Michael Kolodziej (kuh-low-jay), OFM Conv. Kolodziej is a member and former Minister Provincial of the Order, which has staffed Archbishop Curley High School since its founding.

Kolodziej, age 69, was a teacher at Archbishop Curley High School from 1975-79. A former student from this time period has alleged that he was abused on several occasions while Kolodziej wrestled him. Archbishop Curley High School reported the allegation immediately to authorities, and the police were promptly informed; the School, the Order, and the Archdiocese, which owns Archbishop Curley High School, are cooperating fully with authorities. The Order has suspended Kolodziej from all public ministry and the Archbishop has withdrawn Kolodziej’s faculties to function as a priest in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.



The Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Order, and Archbishop Curley High School are unaware of any other allegations of misconduct against Kolodziej during his time at Archbishop Curley High School.

Kolodziej was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Buffalo in 1970 and served in Buffalo as a hospital chaplain (1970), associate pastor and school director at St. Mary of Sorrows Church (1970-71), and teacher at Bishop Turner High School and Villa Maria College (1971-74) until he entered the Franciscan Order in 1974.  After serving at Archbishop Curley High School, Kolodziej served as teacher and assistant principal at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, N.Y., (1979-82), principal at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Tonawanda, N.Y., (1982-88), pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in Lawrence (1988-91), rector at St. Stanislaus Basilica in Chicopee (1991-2001), Minister Provincial of the Order in Ellicott City, Md., (2001-2010), and parochial vicar at St. Philip Benizi Parish in Jonesboro, Ga., from 2010 until his recent suspension.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Franciscan Order, and Archbishop Curley High School are committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse.  Anyone who has any knowledge of child sexual abuse is urged to come forward, and to report it immediately to the police. If clergy or other Church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, please also call the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Office of Child and Youth Protection at 410-547-5348.


Tags: sex abuse,   

1 Comments
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to info@iberkshires.com.

Authorities Investigating Bomb Threat at Bard College at Simon's Rock

Staff Reports
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Bard College at Simon's Rock was on lockdown Thursday after an anonymous bomb threat was emailed to the campus. 
 
The all-clear was given at 1:30 p.m. after the grounds were searched by local first responders and the state police bomb squad.
 
According to Police Chief Paul Storti, the college notified police shortly after 7:15 a.m. of the threat and the college campus was locked down. Great Barrington Police also posted a notification on its Facebook page alerting the community of the situation, stating "appropriate emergency and investigative personnel are on scene. Further information will be released at a later time."
 
"The school immediately initiated their safety protocols while the Great Barrington Police Department investigated the threat," according to a release from the Police Department. "Great Barrington Fire Department, Officers from Egremont and Sheffield, Massachusetts State Police, MSP Detectives assigned to the District Attorney's Office, as well as the Massachusetts State Police Bomb Unit assisted on scene. The campus was thoroughly searched and deemed safe."
View Full Story

More South Berkshire Stories