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Trial of Former Monk Fran Hoefgen Concludes In Dakota County

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The trial of Former St Johns Monk Fran Hoefgen goes to closing arguments on Tuesday at the Dakota County courthouse.   The jury will then deliberate concerning allegations of a former alter boy.   A very interesting act in the trial happened last week when  An investigator from the Hastings Police Department served a search warrant last week at St. John’s Abbey in connection with the prosecution.

As the St Cloud Times  reported:

The warrant’s inventory receipt, which shows what investigators collected during the search, shows Nelson left with seven file folders. Five of the folders had Hoefgen’s name on them and were listed as personnel records and canonical and personal files.

Hoefgen was accused of abusing the altar boy when the boy was 9 to 12 years old.Hastings police were first notified in November 2013.

Hoefgen was laicized in December 2011. That is a process in which a cleric is made a layperson.

Hoefgen had been placed on restriction by St. John

There have been a couple of disclosures as a part of civil claims that have been made.   But,  this is the first time that the police have gone in looking for files.  Hopefully,  at the conclusion of the criminal trial a comparison can be done to see if items have not been disclosed in violation of court orders.

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 :

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

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


Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has released,  allbeit heavily  redacted, files concerning the time he was there.

This police action also clearly shows the difference in the way these claims should be handled as compared to authorities looking the other way or allowing the Church to handle matters.

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.