April 4, 2024

Dear People of God,

I pray that this letter finds you filled with the joy, hope and promise of Easter and the Risen Christ. I deeply regret having to inform you that the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe, acting on the recommendations of the Province Review Board and the findings of an independent investigation, has removed Fr. Patrick Tuttle, OFM, from all public ministry due to allegations of sexual misconduct. He is living under the strict supervision of an independent monitor.

Fr. Tuttle had already been removed from active ministry and from his role as pastor of Holy Spirit Church in Macon, Georgia, when the reported alleged misconduct surfaced four months ago. In accordance with the Province’s Safeguarding Policies and Procedures, which are posted on the Province website, there was an independent investigation into the allegations.

After careful deliberation, the Province Review Board (referenced in the Safeguarding Policies) reviewed and accepted the findings of the independent investigation, and unanimously recommended to the Provincial Minister that Fr. Tuttle be removed from all public ministry and placed under strict third-party supervision. The Provincial Council also accepted the Review Board’s recommendations. Thus, Fr. Tuttle has been removed from all public ministry.

During the independent investigation process and beyond, the Province has offered outside pastoral care and counseling services to the abuse survivor who bravely came forward with the allegations.

In line with our Safeguarding Policies, we urge anyone who has been subjected to sexual abuse or misconduct by a Franciscan Friar of the Province of Our Lady of Guadalupe to first contact local authorities and then our Victims Assistant Coordinator, Ms. Angelica Jochim, LMFT, at 1-800-770-8013. 

The Franciscan Friars understand that pastoral ministry is not a right, but rather a precious gift entrusted to us. We are humbled by this graced privilege of serving you, the holy and faithful people of God, and we are grateful for your continued prayers and support. We ask you to join us in prayer for the peace and healing for all abuse survivors.

May the Risen Christ send his Spirit to strengthen us and guide us in this difficult moment.


Fr. Lawrence J. Hayes, O.F.M.
Provincial Minister