Father Jerome Kucan
Diocese of Erie
Assigned as follows:
- 1952-1954: St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA)
- 1954-1961: St. Joseph’s (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1961-1972: St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA)
- 1972-1973: Our Lady of Peace Friary (Beaver Falls, PA)
- 1973-1977: St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA)
- 1977-1978: Sacred Heart (Milwaukee, WI)
- 1978-1979: Beaver Falls Friary (Beaver Falls, PA)
- 1979-1982: St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA)
- 1982-1985: St. Jerome’s (Chicago, IL)
- 1985-1986: Sacred Heart (Milwaukee, WI)
- 1986-1988: St. Anthony’s (Chicago, IL)
- 1988-1994: St. Augustine’s (West Allis, WI)
- 1994-1995: Sacred Heart (Chicago, IL)
- 1995-2005: St. Anthony’s Friary (Chicago, IL)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Jerome Kucan:
Fr. Jerome Kucan joined the Croatian Franciscans in 1944. He was ordained a priest in 1951, and served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. According to media reports, in March 2005, a 39-year-old man wrote a letter to the Diocese of Erie which stated that Fr. Kucan, also known as Father Jerry, had repeatedly sexually abused him beginning at the age of 8 in 1974. The boy had just started serving midnight mass at St. Anthony’s Croatian Church in Sharon.
The letter explained that he would be called out of class to meet with Father Kucan and another religious Brother. They met in a room on the second floor of the gym where the men performed oral sex on the boy. Father Kucan told the boy that if he ever told anyone about their relationship, his mother would lose her job in the school kitchen and he would be thrown out of school. Father Kucan was removed from ministry. The Diocese offered the man counseling assistance and informed the Franciscans. In June 2005, the victim filed a complaint and received a settlement from the Order.
In January 2007, the Diocese received a letter from a woman detailing how Father Kucan sexually abused her husband when he was an altar boy in the mid-1950s at St. Anthony’s. Her husband committed suicide in 1993 after a long struggle with depression. When she spoke to his therapist after his death, she was told that her husband’s severe depression was directly related to being molested at St. Anthony’s as a child. The woman said Father Kucan also abused her husband’s cousins, who died by suicide in 1993, and had heard that other men who were molested at St. Anthony’s had also committed suicide.
Father Kucan died in December 2010. In April 2018, his name appeared on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In August 2018, his name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list, as well as the PA Grand Jury Report.
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.