My Dear Parishioners,
I'm writing this article on Friday, which is three days after I learned of the arrest of Fr. Michael Zacharias by the FBI. As you know, I lived and served with him as his associate pastor at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Findlay for two years, just prior to my coming to Bellevue. I have experienced a wide range of emotions this week: betrayal, shock, profound anger, numbness, among many others. It has always been so difficult for me to deal with news of a priest involved in sexual misconduct, abuse, and coverup; however, given my personal connection to Fr. Zacharias this one has completely shaken me to my core.
Never once did I ever notice ANY red flags during my time in Findlay. Never in a million years did I ever think this would happen. There is much more I could write, but I will simply leave it at that.
The answer: pray. Pray for the Church. Pray for the Diocese of Toledo. Pray for St. Michael's in Findlay, as well as all the other parishes where he served. Pray for the victims whose trust has been betrayed. And...pray for Fr. Zacharias.
It's times like this that I wonder how much more the Church can take. We've been so wracked by scandals but I truly trust in the Lord's promise that the gates of hell will never prevail.
If this has affected you personally I would love to meet with you...my door is always open. If you personally have been abused by a priest, deacon, or anyone employed by the Church please do not hesitate to contact the Diocese of Toledo's hotline for such matters: 419-244-6711 ext 4880. Sexual abuse of ANY nature will never be tolerated.
Immaculate Mary, pray for us!
Father Gase« Back to Blog