On Monday, September 9, 2019, the Very Rev. Joseph Lehman, T.O.R., Minister Provincial of the Sacred Heart Province, spoke with Father Gabriel Zeis, TOR, former President of Saint Francis University (2004-2014), to inform him about a single allegation of alleged sexual abuse of a minor in 1975 that was made against him.  Father Lehman then notified the Bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, Bishop David O’Connell, where Father Gabriel has been currently serving as Catholic chaplain at Princeton University and Diocesan Vicar for Catholic Education.  Although Fr. Zeis denies the allegation, he has resigned from his positions, effective immediately.  The TOR Franciscan Order is pursuing an investigation into the allegation.

The Franciscan Order and the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus recognize the obligation to investigate every allegation for credibility. Therefore, the matter was referred to the appropriate law enforcement authority. This allegation from 1975 references Fr. Zeis during his time at the seminary. No allegations have been made involving his time at Saint Francis University or any other assignment.

(Released - September 10, 2019)