Former Marquette priest accused of sexual misconduct

MARQUETTE — The Diocese of Lansing released a list today of clergy that it has determined to be credibly accused of abusing a minor. One of those listed, Terrence M. Healy, was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Marquette in 1968.

Healy served as a priest of the diocese until receiving a leave of absence in 1978. He applied for incardination into the Diocese of Lansing in 1982, which was granted in 1985, making him a priest of that diocese.

Healy was removed from ministry by the Diocese of Lansing in 1987 and dismissed from the clerical state in 1992. No instances of sexual abuse perpetrated by Healy during his tenure in Marquette were known to the Diocese of Marquette until 1996, four years after Healy’s dismissal from the clerical state.

The incidents reported in 1996 allegedly occurred between 1968 and 1972, while Healy was assigned to Sacred Heart Church in L’Anse from 1968-69, and to St. Joseph’s Church in Sault Ste. Marie from 1969-74.

To those who have been harmed by clergy sexual abuse, Bishop John Doerfler issued this statement: “On behalf of the Church, I apologize to all those who have been harmed by Terrence Healy, or any bishop, priest or deacon, and renew my commitment to reach out and bring Christ’s peace and healing.

“There is no excuse for what happened to you. You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I am willing to journey with you to find Christ’s peace and healing.”

Doerfler encourages anyone who has been abused in the diocese to contact Michigan’s Attorney General to report the abuse. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office can be contacted at its toll-free reporting hotline at 844-324-3374 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by email at aginvestigations@michigan.gov.

The diocese’s Victims Assistance Coordinators are also available to help those harmed receive pastoral care leading toward healing.

To bring a complaint regarding the sexual abuse of minors to the attention of the diocese, call one of the victims’ assistance coordinators: Stephen Lynott at 844-495-4330 or Diane Tryan at 844-694-4362.

Those who wish to put their complaint in writing may direct their correspondence to: Victims 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 will also help anyone bring their concerns to church officials outside the diocese if the sexual abuse occurred elsewhere and the person now resides in the Diocese of Marquette. If you are unsure about bringing a complaint or would like further information, contact Lynott or Tryan at the numbers above.

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.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.