Gianna House founder resigns post

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published May 18, 2016

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EASTPOINTE — Ken Kaucheck, a Catholic priest who helped co-found the Gianna House ministry for pregnant teens in 2015, has resigned from his position on the Gianna House board of directors after the Archdiocese of Detroit determined his involvement was a violation of restrictions placed on his work.

Gianna House is not owned or operated by the archdiocese, but it is a Catholic-based organization based out of a former convent.

According to a press release provided by archdiocese communications representative Ned McGrath, Kaucheck had been banned from public ministry since 2009 after allegations that he had sexual misconduct with a “person under the age of 18” in the 1970s.

“Father Kaucheck was a co-founder of Gianna House and took on leadership positions there, and did so without the knowledge or approval of the archdiocese,” the press release said. “Still, it has been the position of the Detroit Archdiocese that Father Kaucheck’s service at Gianna House constituted a public ministry and was in violation of the restrictions placed on his ministry.”

Kaucheck resigned from the Gianna House board of directors and from his position as director of development April 17, and McGrath said there has been no change in status since then.

McGrath said the allegation was reported to civil authorities, while the archdiocese review board conducted its own investigation. Ultimately, the archdiocese determined that the complaints were of “sufficient substance” to limit his work. Archbishop Allen Vigneron met with Kaucheck, the victim and the review board separately, and Vigneron decided to restrict Kaucheck from any kind of public ministry, McGrath said.

Gianna House’s mission statement is to provide assistance and support to pregnant women and girls — especially those 17 and younger — as an alternative to abortion; in an interview with the Eastsider in November, Gianna House Associate Director Theresa Mayrand said they were hoping to raise enough money to finish renovating the former convent so it could house women and their babies.

Co-founder Diane Masson also told the Eastsider at that time that Gianna House was the joint brainchild of her and Kaucheck.

“He and I were working on it mentally (for six years) and got into it more and more,” Masson said. “We were looking for places to do it.”

Mayrand said in a statement that the board of directors was grateful for Kaucheck’s years of devotion and dedicated service to Gianna House.

“The board remains committed to continuing the mission of Gianna House: to provide a safe residence for pregnant teens and their newborn infants while providing spiritual, educational, and parenting support and resources to all pregnant women in the community,” the statement said.

Kaucheck could not be contacted by press time.

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