Subsequent to entering a guilty plea in September to misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to St. Thomas More Parish, Father Edward Belczak was sentenced today in federal court to 27 months in custody and ordered to pay $572,000 in restitution. Father Belczak, who served as pastor of the Troy, Michigan, parish for 29 years, remains restricted from all public ministry and presenting himself as a priest. With sentencing by the court completed, the Archdiocese of Detroit now intends to resume proceedings under canon (church) law against Fr. Belczak.
Director of Communications, Ned McGrath, says the archdiocese fully respects the judicial process and its findings. “There is a lot of hurt resulting from this crime,” McGrath says, “a lot of wounded people. We continue to pray for healing at the parish and for all those impacted, including Fr. Belczak.”
In a related case, the former office manager at St. Thomas More, Janice Verschuren, pleaded guilty last month to stealing over $25,000 from the parish. She will be sentenced next year.
- Ordained: Sept. 3, 1972
- 1972-1975: Associate Pastor, National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak
- 1975-1980: Co-pastor, National Shrine of the Little Flower Parish, Royal Oak
- 1980-1984: Associate Pastor, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Farmington
- 1984-2013: Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Troy
- 2014-present: Subsequent to federal indictment, restricted from all public ministry and presenting himself as a priest