Father Jan Olowin
Diocese of Erie
Withdrawn from active ministry: 2016
Assigned as follows:
- 6/16/1968 – 9/02/1970: St. Patrick (Erie, PA)
- 6/16/1968 – 9/02/1970: Cathedral Preparatory (Erie, PA)
- 9/02/1970 – 3/09/1984: St. Patrick (Erie, PA)
- 8/16/1971 – 1/31/1983: Soldiers and Sailors Home
- 3/09/1984 – 8/25/1986: St. Adalbert (Sharon, PA
- 8/25/1986 – 11/07/1992: St. Joseph (Oil City, PA
- 11/07/1992 – 6/28/1998: St. George (Erie, PA)
- 6/28/1998 – 12/21/1998: Sabbatical, American College of Louvain
- 12/21/1998 – 6/05/1999: St. Joseph (Sharon, PA
- 6/06/1999 – 12/31/2007: FCI McKean (Bradford, PA
- 1/01/2008 – 8/21/2008: Sabbatical
- 8/22/2008 – 8/31/2012: St. Michael (Emlenton, PA
- 8/22/2008 – 8/31/2012: Clarion University of Pennsylvania, (Clarion, PA)
- 10/21/2016 – 11/04/2016: St. Elizabeth Seton (Sun City, AZ)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Jan Olowin:
Fr. Jan Olowin was ordained a priest in 1968, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. According to media reports, in 2018, he was named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report. It revealed the Diocese of Erie personnel file for Fr. Olowin contains a 1993 document entitled “Summary of Phone Conversation.” A man contacted the Diocese of Erie to report that a friend was sexually abused by Olowin, who had recently been appointed pastor at St. George. The promotion had left the man “disillusioned” given Olowin’s alleged misconduct. The caller also discussed the abuse of a second friend on a trip to Mexico. According to the caller, the second friend was able to “fight off Olowin’s sexual advances.”
In November 2016, Bishop Lawrence Persico reportedly wrote a letter to Olowin, now retired in Peoria, Arizona, indicating that he had learned of an allegation of clerical misconduct made several decades ago against Olowin. Persico’s letter did not mention details, but it referenced a phone call that Persico and Olowin had the day before. Per the grand jury report, “the Grand Jury can infer that Persico outlined Olowin’s offenses in this call and articulated the reason for the letter in greater detail. This letter officially restricted Olowin from public exercise of all priestly ministry until further notice.” Simply put: Persico did not want to outline the allegations in writing but did catalog them during the earlier phone call. Whatever they were, they were serious enough for Bishop Persico to restrict all of Olowin’s faculties indefinitely.
A subsequent letter from the Bishop of Phoenix reportedly confirmed that Olowin would not be allowed to exercise any public ministry “until the matter of the alleged abuse was resolved.” It is unknown if the investigation of Olowin is continuing or if law enforcement was ever notified. It is also unclear if the 2016 investigation regarded the 1993 allegations or a new allegation received in 2016.
Olowin currently resides in Peoria, Arizona. His name is not included on the Diocese of Erie’s list of credibly accused priests.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.