Weather Forecast


Four priests with ties to Hastings among those named by archdiocese in sexual abuse case

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
news Hastings, 55033
Hastings Star Gazette
651-437-5911 customer support
Hastings Minnesota 745 Spiral Boulevard 55033

Four former priests who served in Hastings were among those named by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis as having credible claims of sexual abuse of a minor against them.


Their names were released on Thursday. The four are among 32 who were named. The 32 people named have had civil and/or criminal lawsuits brought against them.

The four are:

• Francis Hoefgen, who was the associate priest at St. Boniface in Hastings from 1985 to 1992.

He was permanently removed from ministry in 2002 and is living in Columbia Heights.

• Thomas Stitts, who served as an associate priest at Guardian Angels from 1966 to 1970.

He died in 1985.

• Clarence Vavra, who served as associate priest at Guardian Angels from 1971 to 1972.

He was removed from the ministry in 2003 and is living in New Prague.

• Patrick Ryan, who was the pastor at Guardian Angels from 1943 to 1965. He died in 1965.

After his death he was accused of sexually abusing a minor in 1961.

The claim was never substantiated.

Chad Richardson
Chad Richardson is the publisher and editor at the Hastings Star Gazette. He was the general manager of the Farmington Independent and Rosemount Town Pages from 2000 to 2007. He previously worked at the Star Gazette from 1996 to 2000 as a photographer and reporter. He also worked as a photographer and writer at the Pope County Tribune in Glenwood.
(651) 319-4500