Sexual abuse allegations brought against retired Diocesan Priest

Courtesy: Catholic Diocese of Marquette

MARQUETTE — Officials of the Catholic Diocese of Marquette have deemed credible allegations of sexual abuse of male minors against Father James Menapace.

The reported incidents occurred in the late 1990s after Father Menapace had retired from active ministry.

After consultation with the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, Bishop John Doerfler determined that a public announcement of the allegations should be made.

Father Menapace has been removed from all public priestly ministry and prohibited from presenting himself as a priest in accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  The diocesan attorney has reported the allegations to the appropriate civil authorities.

“To all victims of clergy sexual abuse, let me say that my heart is open to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am willing to journey with you to find Christ’s peace and healing,” Bishop Doerfler said.

To bring a complaint to the attention of the diocese, please call one of the Victim’s Assistance Coordinators, Stephen Lynott at 844-495-4330 or Diane Tryan at 844-694-4362.  Both phone numbers are toll-free.

Those who wish to put their complaint in writing can direct their correspondence to: Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, c/o Catholic Social Services of the U.P., 1100 Ludington St., Suite 401, Escanaba, MI 49829. The letter should be marked “Personal and Confidential” and indicate whether a response is desired by phone or by letter.

The diocese always encourages those bringing a complaint to report the incident to local civil authorities. The diocese reports all allegations to the appropriate civil authorities.

Father Menapace’s biographical information:

  • 1963: Ordination to the priesthood
  • 1963: Assistant Pastor, St. Michael Parish, Marquette
  • 1965: Assistant Pastor, Holy Name of Mary Parish, Sault Ste. Marie
    • Summer School, Northern Michigan College, Marquette
    • Chaplain, Newman Club, Lake Superior State College, Sault Ste. Marie
  • 1967: Full-time Chaplain, Newman Center, Lake Superior State College, Sault Ste. Marie
    • Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Brimley
  • 1971: Co-chaplain, Newman Apostolate, Northern Michigan University, Marquette
  • 1979: Pastor, St. Francis de Sales Parish, Manistique and Divine Infant of Prague Mission, Gulliver
  • 1996: Senior Priest Status (Retirement from active ministry)