A Springfield Catholic priest who left the active ministry after a bizarre incident last year has been cleared for a “gradual return to priestly ministry.”
Father Thomas Donovan was the pastor at Saint Al’s Church in Springfield when he had to call 9-1-1 last year for help getting out of handcuffs and other paraphernalia. At the time, the diocese indicated the incident may have stemmed from stress related to Donovan’s duties.
But now a panel that advises Bishop Thomas John Paprocki on such matters says Donovan does not pose a danger to himself or others and can return to the ministry. Donovan will be assigned to a convent in Alton for now, but a spokesperson for the Diocese does not rule out a return to a parish assignment in the future.