Father Eugene Nickol has resigned from the Office of Pastor at Our Lady of the Fields Catholic Church in Millersville. His resignation occurred last week at a meeting with Archdiocesan officials concerning a recent audit of the parish’s financial and child & youth protection records. The audit showed a lack of appropriate controls to ensure compliance with Archdiocesan child protection, human resources and financial policies.
The audit occurred following an anonymous tip to the Archdiocese about suspected financial improprieties. Prior to receiving this information, the Archdiocese had scheduled a routine audit of the parish, as required by Archdiocesan policy.
Among the concerns noted in the audit’s findings were those related to:
- Oversight and management of offertory funds;
- Payments to vendors and employees; and
- Compliance with human resources and child protection policies pertaining to safe environment training and the maintenance of required documentation for all employees and volunteers.
Auxiliary Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski and several Archdiocesan staff members met with employees and parishioners of Our Lady of the Fields at the parish this afternoon to announce the personnel actions and to inform them of the audit’s findings.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore holds responsible stewardship in the highest regard and expects that all employees of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, clerical or lay, will strictly adhere to the Archdiocesan fiscal policies and practices.
Fr. Nickol served as Pastor of Our Lady of the Fields since 2003.
In 2006, the Archdiocese established EthicsPoint to ensure the proper stewardship of the temporal goods of the Church by providing parishioners, volunteers, employees and others with a way to confidentially report concerns about the conduct of Church activities. The EthicsPoint hotline number is 1-888-572-8026.
The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse. We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities. If clergy or other church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, we ask that you also call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866-417-7469. If you have any other information relevant to this matter, please contact the Archdiocese Office of Child and Youth Protection at (410) 547-5599.