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Saint Ignatius High School

Allegations

Allegations of sexual abuse against the late Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J., occurred at Saint Ignatius High School in the 2011-2012 academic year.
Contact: Saint Ignatius High School
Jeff McCormick, Vice President of Communications
office: 216.281.4377
mobile: 216.375.4841
email: jmccormick@ignatius.edu

April 5, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Allegations of Sexual Abuse Against the late Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J., Occurred at Saint Ignatius High School in the 2011-2012 Academic Year. 

Cleveland – April 5, 2024 – The President and Chief Mission Officer of Saint Ignatius High School, Rev. Raymond P. Guiao, S.J., today distributed a letter to alumni who attended the school from 2007 to 2017, informing them of an incident of sexual abuse that occurred at the school in the  2011-2012 academic year.

The abuse involved the late Fr. Frank Canfield, SJ, who served at the school from 2006 to 2014. The incident was deemed credible by the Midwest Province Jesuits, which sponsors Jesuit institutions throughout a seven-state region, in March 2024, following an investigation that began in December 2023 when the victim first reported the incident.

In 2022, Fr. Canfield was also accused of sexual abuse occurring in 2000 at Saint John’s Jesuit High School in Toledo, Ohio. When that claim was deemed credible, Fr. Guiao proactively reached out to alumni at Saint Ignatius, prompting the former student to come forward in December 2023.

With a commitment to honesty and transparency, and to the ongoing safety and well-being of Saint Ignatius students past, present, and future, Fr. Guiao is making the situation public through this statement. The full text of the letter is below.

Dear Saint Ignatius Alumni from the Classes of 2007-2017,

You may recall that I wrote you last October to inform you of an allegation of sexual abuse of a former student of Saint John’s Jesuit High School (Toledo, Ohio) against the late Fr. Frank Canfield, S.J., that occurred in 2000.

The allegation was investigated and deemed credible by the Jesuit's Midwest Province. As a result, Fr. Canfield’s name was added to the list of Midwest Province Jesuits with an established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. In my letter, I asked if any of you had experienced a similar incident during Fr. Canfield’s time at Saint Ignatius (2006–2014). 

Today, I must let you know that a Saint Ignatius alumnus did reach out to me in December 2023, alleging sexual abuse by Fr. Canfield while the alumnus was a student at our school. According to the alumnus, the abuse occurred in the 2011-2012 academic year. I encouraged the alumnus to contact the Midwest Province, which he did. Following an investigation that concluded in March 2024, the Midwest Province also deemed the allegation to be credible, meaning there is reasonable certainty that it occurred. 
The safety and well-being of our students are among our highest priorities and most sacred obligations, and we are deeply saddened to learn of sexual abuse that occurred at Saint Ignatius High School. We cooperated with investigators with full transparency. I reached out to the individual involved to offer him pastoral counsel and to express my most sincere apologies on behalf of the school. 

Further, we are continually working to examine and further bolster the many safeguards we have in place to prevent sexual abuse at Saint Ignatius High School. We maintain some of the strictest background checks in the country, conduct comprehensive annual training, have established a zero-tolerance policy for any type of abusive behavior, and offer a mobile phone app that empowers students to report an incident while protecting their confidentiality and anonymity. We believe that these current safeguards are both appropriate and effective.

I strongly encourage anyone who has been abused at Saint Ignatius High School to report it to law enforcement and to me personally. Additionally, you may reach out to Ms. Marjorie H. O’Dea, Director of the Office of Safe Environment at the Midwest Provincial office (phone: 773-975-6876; email: UMISafeMinistry@jesuits.org). Other questions regarding Fr. Canfield should be directed to Quentin Maguire, Director of Communications at the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus at qmaguire@jesuits.org.

I invite you to join me in prayer for our alumnus, for all victims of clerical sexual abuse, and for all of those impacted in the wake of such a tragedy. Should anyone wish to discuss this or any other situation with me personally, my door is always open.

Yours ever in Christ,

Rev. Raymond P. Guiao, S.J., ’82

President and Chief Mission Officer
Saint Ignatius High School
 

For further questions, please contact Jeff McCormick, Vice President of Communications at Saint Ignatius High School.

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