At least seven of the Capuchin friars named Thursday for alleged sexual abuse were known to have taught or worked at Thomas More Prep at one time.
It isn’t known if any of the alleged abuse, other than one case, occurred at the school.
School yearbooks from the 1970s and 1980s confirm that at least seven on the list were teaching or working at the school, interacting with students through classes or extra-curricular activities, many of them spiritual or religious in nature.
Of the alleged abusers, those confirmed to have been at the school at one time were Gregory Beyer, Ron Gilardi, David Gottschalk, Julian Haas, Benignus Scarry, Daniel Schartz and Charles Wolfe.
Another on the list, Matthew Gross, who was assigned at one time to St. Joseph Friary at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hays, is also shown in one photo concelebrating a back-to-school Mass in 1982.
Those eight are among 13 friars named by the Capuchin Franciscan Province with credible allegations of sexual abuse against them. None of the 13 are in active ministry. Two are deceased and five have left the order, according to the Capuchins.
Five of the friars are listed as having been removed from the ministry and under supervision.
Mentions of those on the list in the TMP yearbooks include:
• Fr. Greg Beyer, in 1977, is identified as a teacher of Latin 1 and 2, and mini-English. A 1973 photo says he taught American literature, Latin I and 2, mythology and composition.
• In a 1971 yearbook, Fr. David Gottschalk is identified as co-director of the student group known as the Third Order of St. Francis, “which attempts to show genuine concern for others.”
“During regularly scheduled meetings, the members discuss ways in which they, as Fransiscans, can fulfill the needs of fraternity and especially the needs of the school,” the yearbook says. “Newly professed and invested members have joined older members to participate in this Christian spiritual growth.”
• Fr. Julian Haas in the 1977 yearbook is identified as being with the Capuchin Youth Center, but also as an enrollment officer aiding with acceptance of many new students. Students from Denver, Kansas City, St. Louis and other parts of the Midwest came for several days to observe the school in action, the yearbook says, noting there were more than 300 visitors to the school.
In a 1973 entry, Haas is identified as a seminarian recruiter for the vocational team. “Armed with movies, slides, and tapes, Fr. Julian … conducted Christian Leadership Clubs, Weekends, and Experiences in a five-state area with the assistance of TMP students in an attempt to help junior high students hear their call by Christ.”
• In a 1982 photo, Br. Benignus Scarry helps with locker assignments for two female students. Also about the same time, Scarry is identified as head custodian at the school.
• A 1977 photo of Fr. Daniel Schartz says he taught Religion 1, and Psychology 1 and 2. A photo from earlier in the 1970s identifies Schartz as spiritual director. As a member of the Student Life Team, it says he was one of several who acted as a liaison between students and the administration.
• In the 1981 yearbook, Fr. Charles Wolfe is identified as spiritual director, religion chairman, freshman class sponsor, and a member of the Student Life Team. It also describes him as assisting the Priesthood/Brotherhood program, directing students throughout the year. “Fr. Chuck, in his first year as a director of the program, assumed most of the duties of the program,” the cutline says. “Special activities for the students included works of mercy for the senior citizens at Canterbury Villa, prayer and group meetings, and special celebrations of the Mass.”
Wolfe is quoted as saying “These are the key to Christian life.”
“Seniors seeking to discern their vocations were actively involved in the program. A retreat to Conception Seminary College, Conception, MO., was made by eight seniors.”
Another cutline for a photo of Wolfe with a student says “Fr. Chuck, left, discusses morality with a freshman.”
The yearbook also notes that Wolfe was director of the religion department, and in one photo he’s identified as testing one male student’s knowledge of the Old Testament book of Isaiah.”