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Megan Bernard, Contributing Editor
2:48 pm CST December 18, 2018

Six former priests missioned at Loyola Academy are among a list of Jesuits with established allegations of sexual abuse of minors released by Midwest Jesuits on Monday, Dec. 17.

The report, USA Midwest Province Jesuits with Established Allegation(s) of Sexual Abuse of a Minor, included 18 Chicagoland Jesuits who are or were members of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, or its predecessor entities, since 1955.

“As we look back at our history, the failures of the Society of Jesus and the Church to protect those entrusted to its care fill our hearts with outrage, sorrow and shame,” Provincial of the Midwest Province Rev. Brian G. Paulson says in the release. “On behalf of the Midwest Jesuits, I apologize to victim-survivors and their families for the harm and suffering you have endured. Many of you have suffered in silence for decades. Our concern and prayers are with you and we hope and pray that this step will strengthen the trust of those we serve.”

These established allegations are based on “the facts and circumstances of each case,” the release says, wherein there is a reasonable certainty that the sexual abuse of a minor occurred.  

Between 1954-1957, there were reported cases of abuse by Rev. Donald J. McGuire at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Several other reports involving McGuire are listed spanning through 2005 at various institutions. McGuire died in federal prison in January 2017.

Rev. Wilton L. Skiffington, who died in 1988, and Gerald A. Streeter, who died in 1996, both have incidents listed between 1963-1964 at Loyola, as well. 

In 1977, there was a report of sexual abuse by Rev. Ignatius M. Burrill at Loyola. Another report was filed previously in the 1950s at St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Burrill died in 1987. 

Also in the 1970s, there were sexual abuse incidents at Loyola listed with Rev. Donald J. O’Shaughnessy, who died in 2013. 

The last case involving the academy was listed between 1986-1988 and involved former Loyola Academy President Rev. M. Lawrence Reuter, who was permanently removed from public ministry.

The names on this list are based on a process of consultation and not a legal judgment, the release says. This list will be updated as necessary.

In response to the allegations, Loyola Academy President Rev. Patrick McGrath sent a letter to the school’s community and alumni.

“If you have been abused by an adult while at Loyola Academy, no matter how long ago, we strongly urge you to report this to law enforcement authorities,” McGrath says in the letter. “The safety, security and well-being of our students are our highest priorities. Our teachers, counselors, coaches, campus ministers and staff members are committed to creating a supportive and loving community where our students feel safe and thrive.”

All Loyola personnel have annual criminal background checks and are processed through the state child abuse and neglect tracking system, McGrath added. 

“I am deeply saddened and outraged by the abuses of power and trust by clergy that have caused grave harm to the victims and their families,” he says. “Anger and frustration continue to resonate throughout the community, and this shameful history has alienated many of the faithful.”

If any abuse involved a Jesuit, victims are also urged to contact Marjorie O’Dea, the Midwest Province’s director of the office of safe environment, at (773) 975-6876 or UMISafeMinistry@jesuits.org.

The Midwest Province was formed in June 2017 from the former Chicago, Chicago-Detroit, Detroit and Wisconsin provinces, and encompasses Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The Midwest Province currently has 510 Jesuit members; approximately 4,000 Jesuits have served in the province since 1955.