Francis F. Hoefgen: Substantiated Claims of Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Francis F. Hoefgen

On May 19, 2014 the priest file of Father Francis Hoefgen was publicly released. Two days later, Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom charged Francis Hoefgen with two counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree. The charges stem from Hoefgen’s sexual abuse of an altar boy at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings, Minnesota from 1989-1991 when the boy was 12 years old.

Father Francis F. Hoefgen, OSB was born in Menominee, Michigan, on August 29, 1950. Father Hoefgen entered St. John’s Seminary and professed vows as a monk on July 11, 1973. After studying theology at St. John’s University, Father Hoefgen was ordained a Roman Catholic priest on June 22, 1979.

Father Hoefgen worked in various parishes throughout Minnesota and is included on three official lists of clergy members who have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

According to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis list (released 12/02/2013), the St. John’s Abbey list (released 12/19/2013), and the Diocese of St. Cloud list (released 1/03/2014), Father Hoefgen worked in the following parishes:

  • 1980-1984: St. Boniface, Cold Spring, MN
  • 1985-1992: Associate priest, St. Boniface, Hastings, MN
  • 1985-1994: Confessor, Villa Maria Center, Frontenac, MN
  • 1988-1993: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Hastings, MN
  • 1994-2012: St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, MN

Father Hoefgan admitted sexually abusing at least one minor in 1984. St. John’s then sent Hoefgen to Saint Luke Institute. After his visit to St. Luke, Father Hoefgen was returned to ministry.

Father Hoefgen was transferred to Guardian Angels parish and Saint Boniface parish in Hastings, Minnesota, which later merged to become Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Father Hoefgen was removed from Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton in 1992 when civil actions were filed alleging sexual abuse of minors. Hoefgen returned to the St. John’s campus to work as porter and guest house master. In 2002, Father Hoefgen was placed on St. John’s list of credibly accused monks and later in the year wrote a letter of apology.

Ministerial Status: Father Hoefgen was permanently removed from ministry in 2002 and served as a monk at the St. John’s Abbey until 2012 at which time he left the order and was laicized.

Current Location: Father Hoefgen currently lives in Columbia Heights, Minnesota.