Message to St. Patrick, Rolla, regarding James L. Gummbersbach

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

This week we were informed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis that two priests who once served at St. Patrick, Rolla, have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. They were assigned to St. Patrick before the Diocese of Jefferson City began in 1956 and when it was still part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

James L. Gummersbach was ordained April 3, 1954 and was assigned that year to St. Patrick. In 1956 he was reassigned to a parish in the St. Louis Archdiocese. Lawrence C. Schierhoff also served at St. Patrick beginning in July 1956.

We do not have any information of allegations made against either man when they were at St. Patrick. 

As a Church, we are committed to a safe, healthy and holy environment for our children. If anyone is aware of any inappropriate behavior toward our children or vulnerable adults, please contact the appropriate Missouri state hotline:

Father Meystrik, Bishop McKnight and all of us in leadership want to be as supportive as possible. In addition, please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator, a licensed professional counselor and a certified clinical trauma professional, Nancy Hoey. You may email her or call 573-694-3199.

Sexual abuse of children is a crime and a sin. We have no tolerance for those who intentionally harm our children, and we will continue to do everything we can to protect our children and help them grow in God’s grace and mercy.