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It looks like Tuesday will bring the closing arguments for both sides in the criminal trial of Francis Hoefgen. Last  week the jury got two very different stories.

The former altar boy, now 36, recounted the progression of Hoefgen’s alleged abuses when the man was in fourth, fifth and sixth grades at St. Boniface’s parochial school.  He explained  that Hoefgen’s abuse started as fondling and progressed to oral and anal penetration.   That  “Father Fran” abused him during the school year, usually after the two cleaned up after a funeral or midweek mass. He included a diagram of where the abuse took place.

The next Day, Hoefgran denied remembering the child, the room,  and claimed that one alter boy would have never been around that much.

It is expected the defense will question the time it took for the individual to come forward and also point out that a civil lawsuit has been commenced.   When asked,  he explained that he was threatened by Father Fran at the time and that when he later heard a claim had been brought under the Child Victim’s Act and as the Minneapolis Tribune reported decided that  “I wanted something done… I wanted him to pay. I want him to go to prison.”

Hoefgen  has been on a number of lists that have been disclosed in the state.   What is interesting is the difference in disclosures:

– The Diocese of St Cloud List:

Francis Hoefgen, OSB: St. Bonface, Cold Spring; St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph. Laicized. Address unknown

– St. John’s Abbey:

Just released a name.

Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis List:

Francis Hoefgen

Date of birth: 8/1/1950 (Age 63)

Date of ordination: 1979

Cleric’s prior assignments in archdiocese:

  • St. Boniface, Cold Spring, 1980-1984;
  • Associate priest, St. Boniface, Hastings, 1985-1992;
  • Confessor, Villa Maria Center, Frontenac, 1985-1994

Diocese or religious order: Order of St. Benedict, St. John’s Abbey

Date permanently removed from ministry: 2002

Current location: Columbia Heights, Minn.

Current status: Left order and laicized in 2012


Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.

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