Local priests among 17 named as having abused minors

GENESEE COUNTY — Two former Davison and Burton priests are among 17 priests whose names were released by the Catholic Diocese of Lansing last week as being “credibly accused of abusing a minor.”

According to David Kerr, director of communications for the Diocese of Lansing, Joseph Emile Aubin served as pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Davison from 1977 to 1983. The diocese list states he was ordained in 1961 and achieved senior priest status in 2002. He was removed from public ministry in 2018.

Kerr also said Chester Vincent Tomaszewski served as parochial vicar at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Burton from 1959 to 1962 and at St. John the Evangelist from 1963 to 1966. The diocese list states he was ordained in 1959, went on sick leave in January 1987 and died Oct. 21, 1987.

Diocese officials said in the Sept. 27 statement that the 17 priests on the list are now either dead or no longer in active ministry. The list of priests is published on the diocesan website, dioceseoflansing.org.

Tomaszewski is the second priest accused of abuse to have served at Holy Redeemer in Burton. Vincent DeLorenzo, 80, faces four counts of firstdegree sexual conduct and three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is accused of abusing a boy beginning in 1995 when the boy was 5 or 6 years old and a student at Holy Redeemer school and continuing until 2000. DeLorenzo began his position at Holy Redeemer in June 1988 and resigned in January 2002. He also is accused of sexually assaulting a 5-year-old boy in 1987 after a funeral service he conducted for the boy’s family.

DeLorenzo also was accused of molesting an 8-year-old boy over a five-year period in the late 1970s at St. Pius X Catholic Church in Flint Township and of sexually abusing a 5-year-old boy in 1987 when he was a priest at St. Bellarmine Roman Catholic Church in Flushing. No charges were ever filed in the Flint Township incident, and it is unclear whether the most recent charge against him is connected with the second incident in Flushing. The diocese list states DeLorenzo was ordained in 1965, removed from the ministry in January 2002, and laicization is pending.

Diocese officials said the 17 priests recently listed represent about 2.8 percent of all 1,654 priests who have served in the diocese during its 82-year history. Diocese officials said there have been a total of 73 allegations against the 17 priests, with victims including 66 boys, four girls and three other victims whose genders were not reported. The diocese said more than 90 percent of the allegations come from a 30-year period beginning in the 1960s.