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Dear Campus Community:

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester informed Ithaca College this weekend that it recently received notice of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against the Reverend Carsten Martensen, dating from the 1970s. Father Carsten has served in the campus ministries at both Ithaca College and Cornell University since his appointment by the Diocese in 2007. The Diocese stated that Father Carsten has stepped down from all current assignments and public ministry pending completion of an investigation by the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits and future recommendations by its independent review board.

I know that those within our Catholic community as well as the wider Ithaca College community will find this news upsetting and difficult to process. While the Diocese stated that it has never received an accusation against Father Carsten from his time in the Diocese of Rochester and that a full investigation is pending, this allegation is nonetheless deeply troubling to me, to President Collado, and to the college’s senior leaders, and we want to make sure above all else that our community receives the support that it needs.

Sunday night's Catholic Mass at Muller Chapel was celebrated by the Reverend Daniel McMullin, Associate Dean of Students for the Office of Spirituality and Meaning-Making and Director of Cornell United Religious Work. Following Mass, I joined with the Reverend Joe Marcoux from St. Catherine of Siena Church; a member from the Sisters of St. Joseph; and John Morton, Catholic Campus Minister at IC, in being available for anyone who wished to talk.

On Monday, we will hold open office hours from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. in Muller Chapel, and will have additional staff coordinated by the Ithaca College Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).

On Tuesday at noon, the college’s leadership and I will welcome all members of the campus community to gather in fellowship at the chapel and reflect on this painful news.

On Thursday, at 6:00 p.m., the Catholic community will gather by the fireplace in Muller Chapel to share, listen, and pray for one another.

Please be aware that the college provides a number of ongoing resources to our campus community. Support services through CAPS can be reached by calling 607-274-3136. Faculty and staff can access the counseling services of the Employee Assistance Program by calling 1-800-327-2255.

You can find additional resources as well as information on Title IX reporting processes at Ithaca College on the college’s Sexual Harassment and Assault Response & Education (SHARE) website.

I also invite anyone to reach out directly to me, at any time, at

Eileen Heptig, Associate Director of the Cornell Catholic Community, will assume administrative responsibilities for Ithaca College and will work with the campus ministry team to provide ongoing support to our community.

I ask that you join me in praying and caring for our Catholic community, for survivors of sexual abuse, and for the entire campus in this difficult time.

Hierald Osorto
Director, Office of Religious and Spiritual Life

Important Message from the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life | 0 Comments |
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