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St. Stephens Indian Mission

The St. Stephens Indian Mission is located near Arapahoe on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Two former St. Stephens priests who were accused of sexual abuse while in other states did not face allegations at the mission, a spokeswoman said Monday.

The two Jesuit priests accused of sexual abuse who spent time at St. Stephens Mission faced no allegations from their time there in the 1970s and 1980s, a spokeswoman for the order said Monday.

The Midwest Province of the Jesuits — which covers the upper Midwest to Wyoming — released a list Monday of credibly abused priests. No new Wyoming priests were listed. The release comes less than a week after the Central and Southern Province and the West Province each released lists. The former included two clergymen who worked at St. Stephens decades ago: Anthony J. Short and Paul C. Pilgram.

Short, the previous pastor at St. Stephens, was listed on the Midwest Province’s list, though the list suggested he was not accused of abuse during his time in Wyoming. Pilgram, who worked at St. Stephens for roughly two years in the 1970s, was not listed.

It’s unclear why Short was included on the list and Pilgram was excluded. A spokeswoman for the Central and Southern Province said “each province compiled their lists independently.”

“The important thing is that names are being made known and victims’ pain is being acknowledged,” Therese Fink Meyerhoff said Monday.

She had previously declined to comment last week about allegations against the two priests, as did the pastor for St. Stephens. But on Monday, Meyerhoff said neither Pilgram nor Short had been accused of misconduct at St. Stephens.

Short was the superintendent of St. Stephens Indian School and was pastor at the mission for three years in the 1970s. He would return in the early ‘80s, after spending time at Regis Jesuit High. He faced one accusation, according to the province’s list.

Pilgram worked at St. Stephens for roughly two years, before moving to St. Louis University High School, Denver’s Regis and Kansas City’s Rockhurst High School. He was accused of abuse at the latter two schools, and it’s unclear if he faced accusations from St. Louis University High.

Both men have been removed from the ministry and are living under supervision.

Meyerhoff said Jesuits who have faced a credible allegation “are assigned to a Jesuit community where they are restricted from contact with minors.

“A safety plan is developed specific to the accusations against him,” Meyerhoff said in an email Monday. “They also have a designated supervisor who affirms their adherence to the plan.”

The Midwest Province said the list “is based on investigations that have been completed.”

“An established allegation is based on the facts and circumstances of each case wherein there is a reasonable certainty that the sexual abuse of a minor occurred,” the province wrote in the preamble to the list. “An established allegation leads to the Jesuit’s permanent removal from public ministry and possible criminal prosecution. The names on this list are based on a process of consultation and not a legal judgment.”

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Follow education reporter Seth Klamann on Twitter @SethKlamann

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Education and Health Reporter

Seth Klamann joined the Star-Tribune in 2016 and covers education and health. A 2015 graduate of the University of Missouri and proud Kansas City native, Seth worked for newspapers in Milwaukee and Omaha before coming to Casper.

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