Mar 24

March 24, 2019 Message from Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J.


The below was emailed on Sunday, March 24, 2019


Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Community,

I write to you today with a heavy heart as I have just read the article released by the IndyStar titled, “Lawsuits claim sex abuse by priest at Brebeuf High, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church” that identifies a former Lafayette, Indiana Diocese Priest, James Grear as accused of assaulting three boys ages 12 or 13 years at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The three men have filed lawsuits naming Grear, the Diocese of Lafayette, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church as defendants.  Brebeuf Jesuit was not named in the lawsuits. Grear served at Brebeuf Jesuit from 1973-1975 as an English teacher and the Dean of Students. At this time, neither Brebeuf Jesuit nor the USA Midwest Jesuit Province has received a notice of any allegation against Grear during his service to Brebeuf. Grear was not a member of the Society of Jesus (The Jesuits). 

Numerous Dioceses and Jesuit Provinces across the country recently released formal announcements of priests, brothers and scholastics, under the various jurisdictions, who were the subjects of credible allegations of sexual abuse against minors. The lists were released in an effort to be transparent about the past, to precipitate victims who desire assistance and make the intent to protect youth unmistakable.

I once again state, that we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding incidents of inappropriate conduct with minors or vulnerable adults. If a student at Brebeuf Jesuit should ever make a sexual abuse claim, we would swiftly and immediately report the incident to law enforcement, the appropriate child protective agency, and the U.S. Midwest Province. We would fully cooperate with the investigation and would also provide pastoral, ministerial care to the victim.

If you know of anyone who has felt victimized by a Jesuit or any Brebeuf Jesuit employee, please contact law enforcement, child protection, and me directly at bverbryke@brebeuf.org to assist in any way necessary. In addition, victims may contact Ms. Marjorie O’Dea, the Province Director of the Office of Safe Environment at 773.975.6876 or by mail at the USA Midwest Province, 1010 North Hooker Street, Chicago, Illinois 60642.

We pray for healing for those who have suffered so much and for their families. Let us pray also for the Church and the Brebeuf Jesuit community. 

God’s blessings,

Fr. Bill Verbryke, S.J.
President