Former St. Bridget pastor sentenced to probation in Pennsylvania

Father Anthony Criscitelli, a Franciscan Friar of the Third Order Regular who served in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 1982 to 2016, was sentenced May 4 along with another friar to five years probation after each pleaded no contest to child endangerment charges.

Father Criscitelli was charged in 2016 with two other friars for conspiracy for endangering the welfare of children and for endangering the welfare of children in connection to a two-year investigation into sexual abuse in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, in Pennsylvania, where the friars’ province is based. At the time he was charged, Father Criscitelli was pastor of St. Bridget and St. Austin in Minneapolis. Archbishop Bernard Hebda removed him from ministry in the archdiocese at that time.

Father Criscitelli’s criminal charges were related to the supervision of Brother Stephen Baker, who is accused of abusing dozens of children in several states, including Minnesota. Brother Baker served at St. Patrick in Inver Grove Heights from 1977 to 1981. He committed suicide in 2013.

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