Less than a year after Springfield Catholic leaders blamed job-related stress for a priest’s ill-fated encounter with a set of handcuffs, that priest is returning to work.
Father Thomas Donovan was removed as pastor of St. Aloysius parish after he had to call 9-1-1 last November for help getting out of the handcuffs. Police found him bound and gagged in the parish rectory. Donovan underwent counseling for what the diocese called “non-sexual self-bondage.”
Now an advisory panel tells Bishop Thomas John Paprocki that Donovan can “gradually” return to the ministry. He will be assigned as chaplain of a convent in Alton, but officials do not rule out his eventual return to a parish assignment. The diocese says Donovan’s progress and conduct will continue to be closely monitored.