April 7, 2021
CSJ Statement on SCU’s MMA Report Findings
It is with continued sadness that the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) reviewed St. Catherine University’s recent report pertaining to its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against composer David Haas as they related to the independent 501(c)(3) organization known as Music Ministry Alive! (MMA). As a community of women religious, the CSJs are acutely aware of and have great compassion for the devastation sexual abuse wields on victims, many of whom we serve through our various ministries. The Report was addressed in the April 7, 2021 Star Tribune article, “St. Kate’s inquiry finds claims against composer.”
We believe the Report’s findings and recommendations help clarify and address the tragic Haas allegations. We note its important conclusion that, “We did not find evidence that during MMA’s operation, MMA leadership, team members, interns or any St. Catherine University employees were made aware of the allegations of sexual abuse reported to Into Account (a Kanas City-based victims advocacy group) relating to MMA and the University.” Similarly, neither the CSJs nor their staff had any knowledge of the alleged abuse.
The Sisters of St. Joseph, a non-profit entity separate from St. Catherine University did not sponsor MMA. Upon learning of the allegations against Mr. Haas while working with MMA, CSJ Leadership reviewed its records and found that Carondelet Center, a CSJ host facility, rented limited space to MMA in 2012 and 2013. Some community members did attend MMA events. In the past, Mr. Haas provided periodic musical support for CSJ liturgies and rituals. The CSJs did not sponsor, nor did we receive any reports of alleged related misconduct on our premises. In response to the allegations and the Report, CSJ Leadership will be reviewing its related operational policies to increase safeguards.
April 20th, 2021