Official Statement in Response to DWC Report

December 13, 2018

The Board of Directors of Nazareth Farm, is saddened and compelled to respond to the press releases of the  Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston (DWC) on November 29, 2018 and the Diocese of Syracuse on December 3, 2018.

There are credible accusations against David Pichette who is the Founder and served as Director of Nazareth Farm from 1979 – 1988. He not been an active priest since 1993 and was formally dismissed from the priesthood in 2005. Since learning of these allegations in 2003, the Nazareth Farm staff and Board of Directors have taken steps to ensure our protocols reflect our values and the safety of those entrusted to our care.

Nazareth Farm has implemented the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and did their first formal Protecting God’s Children Training in 2003. Nazareth Farm policies were also updated to reflect necessary practices for safe environment. All staff, board members, sojourners, and adult volunteers are required to show Nazareth Farm and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston proof of their Protecting God’s Children Training. The staff and Board of Directors regularly evaluate our safety protocol to ensure we strictly adhere to best practices and ongoing procedural updates.

Nazareth Farm is committed to its mission statement and the people of Appalachia. Now more than ever we need places for young people, adults, children, and the elderly to interact and become the truest form of Church. Those who have visited Nazareth Farm know that we are truly on Holy Ground; we remain faithful to sharing the love of Christ with all those who turn down Nazareth Farm Road.

We ask for your continued prayers for anyone victimized by abuse, especially within the Church. We pray that Church leaders respond appropriately to the magnitude of the problem and proceed with respect, honor, and integrity for healing in all the Church as we strive to make meaning of the current state of affairs and discern the best path forward. “He makes the sun rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the just and unjust” (Matthew 5:45).

If you or someone you know needs to report abuse or suspected abuse, please take action. Call law enforcement, or the contact the victim assistance coordinators of your Diocese. Here are some contact numbers to assist you:

  • West Virgina Child Protective Services:  1-800-352-6513
  • Doddridge County Sherriff’s number: 1-304-873-1944
  • Phone numbers for every diocese can be found here: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/victim-assistance-coordinators.cfm
  • The number for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Victim Assistance Coordinator Dr. Patricia Bailey is 304-242-6988.
  • Since David Pichette was a priest of the  Diocese of Syracuse, the Victim Assistance Coordinator is Jacqueline Bressette, 315-470-1465.