R.D. Francis B. McHugh
Fr. Francis McHugh Clearer picture not available

R.D. Francis “Frank” B. McHugh, Order of Prémontré, attended St. John Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas, from 1930 until 1935. He later moved to St. Norbert Abbey in De Pere, Wisconsin, and took his vows in 1938.

McHugh rejoined the St. Norbert Abbey faculty in 1949 and became an active participant in several campus functions, including:

  • Editor of the monthly bulletin, Annals of St. Joseph.
  • Alumni coordinator.
  • Des Peres yearbook advisor.
  • Freshman class advisor.
  • Altar Servers’ Society moderator.

Later, McHugh served as assistant pastor at St. John Parish in Essexville, Michigan (1953-1962) and St. Willibrord in Chicago, Illinois (1962-1966). In 1966, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Ransom in Hingham, Montana. He moved back to Wisconsin in 1969 and became pastor of St. Willibrord before joining St. John’s Essexville as pastor in 1971. McHugh retired from the college priory in 1975 and spent his final years at the abbey.

McHugh died on September 5, 1998. He was 85 years old.

In autumn 2018, St. Norbert Abbey reviewed its personnel files for accusations of sexual abuse. During their investigation, they found credible evidence to accuse McHugh of sexual misconduct with a minor, which took place while he served as assistant pastor to the Essexville parish.

In April 2019, McHugh was publicly accused of sexual misconduct by the Saginaw Diocese. In October 2022, the Chicago Archdiocese added his name to its list of accused clergy members.

At Sommers Schwartz, personal injury attorneys Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller, Matthew Curtis, and Jay Yasso advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. Our firm has pursued high-profile predators such as Dr. Larry Nassar—Michigan State University and USAG team physician—and Dr. Robert Anderson, who sexually abused students, athletes, and other patients for over thirty-five years at the University of Michigan. And we want to help you, too.

If R.D. McHugh or another ecclesiastical leader sexually abused you, don’t wait. Contact Sommers Schwartz for a free consultation, and let our experienced attorneys help pursue your case with the compassion, empathy, and sensitivity your story deserves.

Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller

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Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller

Lisa Esser-Weidenfeller represents injury victims in personal injury and medical malpractice claims. She also represents individuals in cases against those who have committed horrific acts of sexual assault.



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